Wednesday, October 24, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 24,2007) - The defence team of a convicted Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic, which considers that substantial violations of the criminal proceeding occurred during the first instance process, has asked for the revocation of the verdict and a new trial.

But, the Bosnian State Prosecutor denied these allegations and has asked the Appellate Chamber of the Bosnian State Court to confirm the first instance verdict.

The only party to the proceeding to appeal the verdict was the defence.

Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic was sentenced by the first instance verdict to 34 years imprisonment for war crimes committed on the territory of the eastern Bosnian town of Foca in the course of 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic is, inter alia, charged with having committed murders and deportation of Bosnian civilians from the villages in Foca area and rape of Bosnian girls and young women – the youngest being 12 years old.

The first instance Trial Chamber pronounced the verdict in February 2007. Its verdict also included a paragraph indicating that the indictee should cover the costs of the proceedings.

After the defence filed a complaint about this decision, all injured parties were advised to take legal action in that regard.

Milan Trbojevic said that his client did not feel well and, for that reason, a request was made to postpone the proceeding before the Appellate Chamber of the Bosnian State Court.

He said that Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic was severely wounded during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.He further said that Serbian war criminal Jankovic suffered from kidney cancer and that he should be operated on.

The same diagnosis was confirmed by the medical commission, which examined the indictee as per a request made by the Trial Chamber. The commission concluded that an operation was needed, but that the indictee's health condition was not alarming. Nevertheless, the Appellate Chamber decided to proceed with the hearing.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor reiterated that it did not file an appeal against the first instance verdict, but it asked for its confirmation. It described the allegations contained in the defence's appeal as "ungrounded".

The Convicted Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic said he "wanted the real truth to be revealed", even if he would be pronounced guilty.

"I am now prepared to defend myself. In the course of the first instance trial I was not prepared, as I was not feeling well. In addition, the prosecutor did not allow me to do anything," Serbian war criminal Jankovic said.

In response to his statement, the chairwoman said that the process was led by the court and not by the prosecution. Jankovic did not comment on the judge's remark.

Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic's defence announced that, in case a retrial was opened, the indictee was ready to provide the court with the names of those who perpetrated the crimes charged upon him.

The Appellate Chamber of the Bosnian State Court shall render its decision at a later stage.

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