The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, has denied the request of Gojko Jankovic, convicted of war crimes by the Bosnian state court in Sarajevo, to review his case.
Jankovic, wartime commander of a paramilitary unit that operated together with the Army of Republika Srpska, VRS, in the area of Foca, eastern Bosnia, filed a motion for the review of his case in April 2010, more than two and a half years after he was convicted.
In the motion Jankovic argued that his rights were violated during the trial before the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
He claimed that he was indicted by a law that did not exist in 1992, when the crimes were committed, that the State Court was biased in his case, and that there were various incorrect findings “stating misidentification, misapprehension of his role in the events, incorrect determination regarding witnesses…”
Jankovic also argued that he was improperly convicted on charges outside the scope of the indictment confirmed by the Tribunal.
He proposed that his case be referred back to the ICTY or that the Tribunal should order the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina to re-try him on the basis of the Tribunal’s original indictment.
Jankovic was charged by the ICTY in 1996. His indictment was amended in 1999.
In March 2005 he was arrested and transferred to The Hague. The same year his case was referred to the war crimes chamber of the Bosnian state court and he was transferred to Bosnia, as the part of the completion strategy for the Tribunal. The ICTY has transferred a total of seven cases to the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The state prosecution in Sarajevo adapted his indictment and a trial was held. In 2007 he was sentenced to 34 years for crimes against humanity and war crimes, including rape and sexual enslavement of young women and girls in Foca. His youngest victim was 12 years old at the time of the rape.
The ICTY concluded that the OSCE mission in Bosnia regularly monitors war crimes trial, including this case, and no issues of concern were found.
The Tribunal concluded that they do not have appellate jurisdiction in regard to the national courts, calling on Jankovic to refer his concerns to local judicial bodies.