This case summary is part of a collection of summaries describing the cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). See the Online Resource Hub pages on the ICTY and International Criminal Law, and the table of ICTY case summaries for additional information.


Zelenović (IT-96-23/2) “Foča

Trial Judgment: 4 April 2007; Appeal Judgment: 31 October 2007

Dragan Zelenović, a Bosnian Serb soldier and acting military policeman in Foča, stood trial for allegedly having committed, planned, ordered, or otherwise aided and abetted in the execution of crimes against Bosnian Muslims in Foča, including the gang rape of Bosniak women. The prosecution accused him of individual criminal responsibility for torture and rape both as violations of the laws or customs of war and crimes against humanity.

In 2007, the Trial Chamber accepted his guilty plea and statement of guilt for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war for torture and rape, in which it considered as aggravating factors the large scale of the crimes, Zelenović’s high level of participation in the crimes, and the discriminatory nature of the crimes; the Trial Chamber considered as mitigating factors that Zelenović plead guilty prior to the start of a trial, the complete and unconditional nature of the guilty plea, and Zelenović’s stated intention to help the prosecution. In 2007, the Appeals Chamber affirmed the sentence handed down to Zelenović. The Trial Chamber sentenced Zelenović to 15 years’ imprisonment.