THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
THE PROSECUTOR OF THE TRIBUNAL
THE PROSECUTOR OF THE TRIBUNAL
Richard J. Goldstone, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, pursuant to his authority under Article 18 of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ("The Statute of the Tribunal"), charges:
1. From about 25 May to about 30 August, 1992, Serb forces collected and confined more than 3,000 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from the opstina of Prijedor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the former Yugoslavia, in inhumane conditions, under armed guard, in the Omarska "camp", located in a former mining complex approximately fifteen kilometres from the town of Prijedor. As set forth below, the Serb forces killed, raped, sexually assaulted, beat and otherwise mistreated the prisoners at Omarska.
Background - Omarska camp:
2.1. In May, 1992, intensive shelling of Muslim areas in the opstina Prijedor caused the Muslim residents to flee their homes. The majority of them then surrendered or were captured by Serb forces. As the Serb forces rounded up the Muslims and any Croat residents, they forced the Muslims and Croats to march in columns bound for one or another of the prison camps that the Serbs had established in the opstina. The Serb forces pulled many of the Muslims and Croats from the columns and shot or beat them on the spot.
2.2. On about 25 May 1992, about three weeks after Serbs forcibly took control of government authority in the opstina, and two days after the start of large scale military attacks on Muslim population centres, the Serb forces began taking prisoners to the Omarska camp.
2.3. During the next several weeks, the Serb forces continued to round up Muslims and Croats from Kozarac, Prijedor town, and other places in the opstina and interned them in the camps. Many of Prijedor's Muslim and Croat intellectuals, professional and political leaders were sent to Omarska. There were approximately 40 women in the camp, and all the other prisoners in the camp were men.
2.4. Within the area of the Omarska mining complex that was used for the camp, the camp authorities generally confined the prisoners in three different buildings: the administration building, where interrogations took place and most of the women were confined; the garage or hangar building; the "white house," a small building where particularly severe beatings were administered; and on a cement courtyard area between the buildings known as the "pista". There was another small building, known as the "red house", where prisoners were sometimes taken but most often did not emerge alive.
2.5. Living conditions at Omarska were brutal. Prisoners were crowded together with little or no facilities for personal hygiene. They were fed starvation rations once a day and given only three minutes to get into the canteen area, eat, and get out. The little water they received was ordinarily foul. Prisoners had no changes of clothing and no bedding. They received no medical care.
2.6. Severe beatings were commonplace. The camp guards, and others who came to the camp and physically abused the prisoners, used all manner of weapons during these beatings, including wooden batons, metal rods and tools, lengths of thick industrial cable that had metal balls affixed to the end, rifle butts, and knives. Both female and male prisoners were beaten, tortured, raped, sexually assaulted, and humiliated. In addition to regular beatings and abuse, there were incidents of multiple killings and special terror. Many, whose identities are known and unknown, did not survive the camp.
3. The persons accused in this indictment were commanders, guards and others responsible for the conditions and mistreatment of prisoners in Omarska camp or otherwise assisted the accused.
7. The following accused were among those who acted as guards in the Omarska camp:
a. Zdravko GOVEDARICA
Richard J. Goldstone Prosecutor