Crime in Berak (defendant Milorad Momić)

Trial against Milorad Momić for war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH. INDICTMENT (SUMMARY) Defendant Milorad Momić is charged that, in his capacity as TO member together with other TO members, in 1991 in the period from 2 September until the end of autumn, he participated in activities of systematic psychological and physical abuse of entire civilian population in Berak. Their aim was to force the remaining non-Serb civilians out of the village in order to make it Serb-ethnic area. They imprisoned about 120 non-Serb civilians who remained in the village, by placing them in the big sheds of agri-business VUPIK. After that, they took them to the detention camp which had been established for that purpose in the houses of Maria and Petar Penavić and Mato Mitrović. Some of detained civilians were killed. They threatened to kill some of the mentioned civilians and frequently abused them physically by firing above their heads. They were bringing prisoners to the detention camp and beating them there; they were taking the prisoners in for questioning in the basement of Mato Mitrović’s house and were beating them there. With the purpose of establishing the mentioned goals, the defendant:

  • in the detention camp in Berak on not-precisely established date in autumn 1991 was beating with his hands Anđa Rušnov, Danica Rušnov and Mara Kujundžić,
  • in Berak on 5 September 1991, together with Ilija Čučković as previously agreed, killed Kata Garvanović in front of her house by firing a burst-fire, and thus he committed a war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH.

Amended/specified indictment of 12 October 2011 can be viewed (in Croatian) here. On 31 August 2012 the prosecution amended the indictment. With this amendment, Momić is charged that that in the village of Orolik on 2 September 1991, as a member of the Berak Territorial Defence together with several paramilitary formation members, he was hitting with his arms and feet Stanko Penavić, an inhabitant from Berak who had previously been detained and brought to Orolik. Because of this Penavić lost his consciousness, sustained several bone fractures and his 8 teeth were forced out. The defendant is no longer charged with incrimination (abuse of Anđa and Danica Rušnov and Mara Kujundžić and killing of Kata Garvanović). GENERAL INFORMATION Vukovar County Court Case file number: K -53/11 Defendant: Milorad Momić (kept in custody in Osijek, extradited from France on 2 September 2011, claims to be holding only French citizenship – obtained in 2006 – according to the press, his present name is Guy Monier) Criminal offence: war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraphs 1 of the OKZRH War Crimes Council (panel): judge Nikola Bešenski, President of the Council; judges Milan Kojić and Irena Lenić, Council Members Prosecution: Vlatko Miljković, Vukovar County Deputy State Attorney Indictment: no. K-DO-42/01 of 5 April 2006 issued by the Vukovar ŽDO, amended in respect of the defendant (no. K-DO-42/01 on 12 October 2011 and on 31 August 2012) Defence: Tomislav Filaković, lawyer practising in Osijek (appointed defence counsel) Victims: – according to the initial indictment: – killed: Kata Garvanović; – beaten: Anđa Rušnov, Danica Rušnov, Mara Kujundžić – according to the indictment amended on 31 August 2012: – abused: Stanko Penavić VERDICT On 21 December 2012, the Vukovar County Court’s War Crimes Council pronounced the defendant Momić guilty and sentenced him to three years in prison.