Prosecutor v. Kunarac et al.

Citation: IT-96-23 & 23/1

Link to the full case: http://www.icty.org/case/kunarac/4

Trial Judgment: 22 February 2001

Appeal Judgment: 12 June 2002


Dragoljub Kunarac was the leader of a reconnaissance unit of the VRS. Radomir Kovač and Zoran Vuković were sub-commanders of the military police of the VRS and members of the paramilitary in the town of Foča. The three of them were tried for allegedly having participated in a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Foča and the mistreatment of Bosnian Muslims, including having repeatedly stolen from, enslaved, raped, and tortured Muslim women and girls who were held in various detention centers and soldiers’ apartments; this case marks the first time the ICTY issued sentences for rape and enslavement as crimes against humanity.


Kovač was charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility, of violations of the laws or customs of war for rape and outrages upon personal dignity and crimes against humanity for enslavement and rape. Vuković was charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility, with violations of the laws or customs of war for torture and rape and crimes against humanity for torture and rape. Kunarac was charged on the basis of individual and superior criminal responsibility, for all these crimes.


In 2001, the Trial Chamber convicted Kunarac for enslavement and rape as crimes against humanity and rape as a violation of the laws or customs of war; Kovač for enslavement and rape as crimes against humanity, and rape and outrages upon personal dignity as a violation of the laws or customs of war; and Vuković of torture and rape as both crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. The Appeals Chamber upheld these convictions and sentences in 2002. Kunarac was sentenced to 28 years’ imprisonment, Kovač to 20 years’ imprisonment, and Vuković to 12 years’ imprisonment.


Summary based on notes from the IJRC