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The Prosecutor v.

Anto Furundžija
Summary

Anto Furundžija was the commander of a special unit of the Croatian Defence Council called the “Jokers.”
He was brought before the ICTY for the commission of crimes against Bosnian Muslims who were
interrogated at the headquarters of the “Jokers” in Nadioci (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in May 1993. During
the interrogations, those detained were subjected to sexual assaults, rape, physical and mental suffering.

Trial Chamber II was satisfied that the elements of the war crime of torture have been fulfilled and it found
Furundžija guilty of this crime as a co-perpetrator. Furthermore, Furundžija was also found guilty of aiding
and abetting the war crime of outrages upon personal dignity, including rape. Although Furundžija did not
personally commit the crime, his presence and actions aided and abetted the commission of rape. Furundžija
was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

Legally relevant facts

Anto Furundžija was the commander of the “Jokers”, a special unit within the Croatian Defence Council
(HVO). As such, he was actively involved in the hostilities against the Muslim population in the Lašva
Valley area (in Bosnia and Herzegovina), including the attack on the village of Ahmići (Bosnia and
Herzegovina), where he personally participated in expelling Muslims from their homes in furtherance of
the armed conflict. The events giving rise to the case against Furundžija have occurred at the “Jokers’”
headquarters, a holiday cottage in Nadioci, (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in May 1993. During this time,
Furundžija captured and interrogated women with the intention to obtain information which he believed
would benefit the HVO. During the interrogations, those detained were subjected to sexual assaults, rape,
physical and mental suffering. (para. 66 et seq.)

Issues

Have the elements of the charged crimes been fulfilled?


If so, can Anto Furundžija be held liable for these crimes?

Judgments

Trial Chamber II found that “the elements of torture have been met” (para. 268). Subsequently, Trial
Chamber II found Furundžija “as a co-perpetrator, guilty of a Violation of the Laws or Customs of War
(torture).” (para. 269)

Furthermore, Trial Chamber II was satisfied that “all the elements of rape were met … [t]he Trial Chamber
finds that Witness A suffered severe physical and mental pain, along with public humiliation, at the hands
of Accused B in what amounted to outrages upon her personal dignity and sexual integrity” (para. 272).
Although Furundžija “did not personally rape Witness A, nor can he be considered, under the circumstances
of this case, to be a co-perpetrator” (para. 273), Trial Chamber II held that “the presence of the accused and
his continued interrogation aided and abetted the crimes committed by Accused B. He is individually
responsible for outrages upon personal dignity including rape, a violation of the laws or customs of war
under Article 3 of the Statute” (para. 274).

Furundžija was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.