Updated: 11 - Jan - 2000 NATO Press Releases


24 Dec.

Statement by Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson on actions by SFOR to detain a person indicted for war crimes

Yesterday, 23 December 1999, SFOR detained an individual suspected of being Zoran Vukovic. Vukovic is indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for war crimes. Theses crimes were committed while serving as a sub-commander of the Bosnian Serb Military Police and as a paramilitary leader between April 1992 and February 1993 in the Southern BiH city of Foca.

Vukovic is charged with violations of the Laws or Customs of War, and crimes against humanity for his part in the rape and torture of Moslem women between 3 July 1992 and 23 July 1992. These crimes and violations are punishable under Articles of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The individual suspected of being Zoran Vukovic is now being processed for transfer to The Hague.

There were no casualties sustained during the operation. Yesterday's action was undertaken in accordance with SFOR's mandate that authorizes it to detain such persons when encountered in the course of SFOR's duties. This mandate was given to SFOR by the North Atlantic Council under authority contained in the relevant United Nation Security Council Resolution.

There can be no peace without justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina. NATO is determined to play its rôle in helping to bring indicted war criminals to justice. Indeed yesterday's detention is the second by SFOR this week. Those indicted war criminals that remain at large have no permanent hiding place. NATO will continue to detain them, as well as those that the Chief Prosecutor at the ICTY may indict in the future. I therefore advise all indicted war criminals to surrender immediately to the Tribunal.

SACEUR as overall commander for SFOR has kept me fully informed of this action. I would like to praise the SFOR troops and their commanders for the courage, professionalism, and dedication in carrying out this action which will contribute to the continued consolidation of the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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