SREBRENICA CONVICT DRAGAN JOKIC TRANSFERED TO SERVE SENTENCE IN AUSTRIA
commander Dragan Jokic on Trial.
On 17 January 2005, Jokić was found guilty by the Trial Chamber of aiding and abetting extermination, murder and persecutions of Bosnian Muslims committed in the eastern Bosnian enclave in July 1995. His sentence of nine year’s imprisonment was affirmed by the Appeals Chamber on 9 May 2007.
Jokić is also charged with contempt of the Tribunal for refusal to testify before the Trial Chamber on 31 October and 1 November 2007 in the Popović and others trial. Jokić pleaded not guilty to the charge of contempt and the case remains pending.
An information sheet on the case can be found on the Tribunal’s website.
The Tribunal indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 116 have been concluded.
FACTS ABOUT DRAGAN JOKIC:
Dragan Jokic was born on 20 August 1957 in the municipality of Zvornik. In July 1995, he was the Chief of the Corps of Engineers in the Zvornik Brigade, with the rank of Commander. Furthermore, from the morning of 14 July until that of 15 July 1995, Dragan Jokic was the officer on duty in the Zvornik Brigade.
The acts for which he was indicted relate to all of the crimes which were committed against Bosnian Muslims after the fall of the Srebrenica enclave in July 1995.
On the morning of 14 July, a convoy of around thirty buses transporting Bosnian Muslims left Bratunac for Zvornik. The men were driven to various detention centres in the Zvornik municipality, including the schools in Grbavci, Petkovci and Pilica. Sometime between 14 and 16 July, they were blindfolded before being put on board buses and taken to nearby fields. Here, terrorised and defenceless, they were executed group after group. The surrounding areas of Orahovac, the Petkovci dam and the military farmhouse of Branjevo became indeed true killing fields, strewn with dead bodies.
Approximately 500 male Bosnian Muslims were also executed on 16 July in the Pilica cultural centre where they were being detained. Trucks for loading the bodies and digging equipment were already on site at the time of the executions, or arrived soon afterwards, to bury the dead in mass graves. The Engineering Corps from Zvornik on a repeated basis provided the equipment and drivers to participate in the burial operations.
Dragan Jokic was considered to be blameworthy since he knew that Bosnian Muslims were being held in the Grbavci school in Orahovac and also in those of Pilica and Kozluk. In addition, the sending of heavy earthwork materiel and drivers with excavators to prepare the mass graves to the place where the executions were underway or had just ended, was proof that Dragan Jokic knew that killings had been carried out on a large scale.
Commander Jokic, in his position as Chief of the Engineering Corps of the Zvornik Brigade, was therefore charged with having participated in the planning, supervision, organisation and finally the burials which followed the campaign of murder and, as the Brigade Officer on duty, to have participated in the coordination of the communications between the Officers and Commanders of the Srpska Republica Army (VRS) concerning the transportation, detention, execution and burial of the Srebrenica Bosniaks and to have written or otherwise transmitted reports and regular updates to his superiors concerning the progress of the operation underway.
Jokic voluntarily surrendered to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 15 August 2001. He was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment by the Trial Chamber I on 17 January 2005. Jokic's sentence was confirmed on appeal on 9 May 2007. He was transferred to Austria on 22 December 2008 to serve his sentence.