|Bringing to Justice Those Who Perpetrated War Crimes and Atrocities |
Bringing to Justice Those Who Perpetrated War Crimes and Atrocities
Statement by the Secretary General of NATO, The Right Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen. Source: NATO Press Release (2001)113. Brussels, Belgium, August 15, 2001.
On 15 August 2001, Dragan Jokic, who was under indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), voluntarily surrendered to Stabilisation Force (SFOR) elements and representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Acting within its mandate, SFOR processed and transported Mr. Jokic to The Hague.
Dragan Jokic was indicted for crimes committed in July 1995 when he was the Chief of Engineering of the Drina Corps 1st Zvornik Brigade holding the rank of Major. As such, he was an advisor to the Brigade Commander and to the Chief of Staff/Deputy Commander for matters relating to engineering services. From on or about 6 July 1995 to 11 July 1995, units of the Drina Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) shelled the Srebrenica "safe area" and attacked Dutch-manned United Nations observation posts. Between 11 July 1995 and approximately 1 November 1995, over 5000 Bosnian Muslim males who had been captured were transported by the VRS from the Srebrenica enclave to the Zvornik Brigade zone of responsibility where they were summarily executed. Accordingly, Jokic is accused of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war.
Today's action reflects NATO's commitment to bringing to justice those who perpetrated war crimes and atrocities. Jokic's surrender is a reminder to all those indicted for war crimes who are still at large, that they will not escape justice. I urge those with guilty consciences to turn themselves in.
This action was undertaken in accordance with SFOR's duties and mandate given to SFOR by the North Atlantic Council under authority contained in the relevant United Nation Security Council Resolutions. The parties to the Dayton Peace Agreement remain responsible for co-operating in the investigation and prosecution of war crimes and other violations of international/humanitarian law. SFOR will continue to do its part by carrying out its mandate in a firm and even-handed manner.