Croatian generals convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity
People watch former Gen. Ante Gotovina's verdict on live TV Friday in the central square of Zagreb, Croatia.
April 15th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

Croatian generals convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity

The International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia announced Friday that it had convicted two Croatian generals of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ante Gotovina, who commanded Croatia's Split military district during the mid-1990s war that led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia, was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Mladen Markac, who headed the Interior Ministry's Special Police, received an 18-year prison term.

A third general, Ivan Cermak, was acquitted of all charges and ordered released as soon as possible.

Gotovina and Markac participated in an ethnic cleansing operation in Croatia's Krajina region between July and September 1995, the court found. Under the leadership of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, the generals and others attempted to clear the Krajina of ethnic Serbs and repopulate it with Croats, the court said.

Tudjman, who died in 1999, never was officially charged with any crime.

The trial in The Hague, Netherlands, started in March 2008 and involved 145 witnesses and 4,819 evidence exhibits, the court said.

The verdict was greeted by boos and hisses from crowds gathered in the central square of Croatia's capital, Zagreb, the BBC reported. The generals are regarded by some as national heroes.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Croatia • Human rights • Justice • Military • Netherlands
soundoff (486 Responses)
  1. Ivana

    I am a proud Croatian. But today I only feel sadness and pain for all those that fought for our Country!!! Milošević made fun of the tribunal, no other Srb will ever be held accountable for Vukovar, Ovčara, Dubrovnik and so many other instances. My heart goes out to all those families that lost their husbands and sons so that today I could without fear, but with a lot of sadness say that I am CROATIAN!!!!

    April 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ivana

    And to all, just find information abou Vukovar, or better yet, go to Vukovar, visit the hospital and then tell me that we got what we deserved.

    April 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. toni

    proud to be Croat.

    April 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nixy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatian_War_of_Independence
    SERBIA is gilty.....

    April 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. toni

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyozLyFI6G4 this is how it was

    April 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • julie

      Ohhh you should have present that video to the Court, they would have found him innocent for sure! O well too late, I guess world finally got to see true face of Croats.....so very disappointing...I am not coming back to Dubrovnik ever again, you people are monsters!

      April 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @julie – never need u back in Croatia, people like you just follow along with bs propaganda..im dead tired of see these comments by Serbs talking about WW2! hey you guys if i haven't recalled didn't your chetniks leaders also have joined with Hitler??? bs facts are never straight for Croats but for u Serbs your people are put as the victims..but god i swear one day justice will be mad..Croats will never forget this day! its like if Russia invaded US, the US wouldn't defend its own country to gain control of their region??? type in King Tomislav of Croatia..this will tell you how long croats been here!

      April 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stipe Mesic

    Stupid hague idiots who never stepped FOOT into Croatia and saw the war-torn towns and villages reflecting Serbia's crazed road for dominance. Croatia rightfully defended WHAT WAS THEIRS and Hague who has no business is now here to make the rules for them? SRBE NA VRBE! Shame on you all!

    April 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • what?

      U support your general, and say he and entire Croat nation is innocent, yet you insert serbian text "Serbe on Verbe" in your commentary, which means...."hang all serbs"....You hate a nation to a point that you want to exterminate it. That's what your general (unsuccefully) tried....just like Hitler with Jews.... Sick.

      April 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @what? and the Serbs didn't have some hate words against Croats either?? understand this one thing...tell me when did Croatia step foot in Serbian land?? can u answer that or u gonna put more Serbian propaganda bs!

      April 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • darko

      BOLID... DILEJA... postoji toliko lepih reci.... ali ni jedna ni izbliza ne moze da opise stanje u kome se ti nalazis. Pa mukice zbog tebe i treba legalizovati eutanaziju. hahaha

      April 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nebosja

      @Stipe Mesic

      Tragically, "SRBE NA VRBE!" is pretty much how the Croats "defended" what was "theirs" - by killing anyone and destroying everything that WASN'T "theirs".

      Screw you and the collective denial of your people.

      April 17, 2011 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Matea

    yeah..so everyone who thinks Gotovina is guilty:
    please go and learn a little history -.-
    Croatia IS THE VICTIM and its very sad that some people who weren't there speak about that because they think they know it better than my father,uncle,grandpa,cousin AND EVERYONE who protected Croatia.
    Thanks for reading that.
    p.s I AM A PROUD CROATIAN TEENAGER and i only wanna cry today BECAUSE THIS IS NOT FAIR :'(
    and yes: a Netherlander was judging him– so i am not surprised with the judgment -.-

    April 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • what?

      How are you so sure that no war crimes were commited? You say you are a teenager....means you were not borned, or were in diapers when war was over.... In Germany, until 70's People didn't want to beleive that Nazi system destroyed half of Europle, they thought they were "liberators"..... All is relavant. In your eyes he might be a hero, just as some crazed up Nazis beleived 25 years after WW2, that Nazis were "good" guys. You will grow up, you can look up resources that didn't come from Croatian propaganda. Theres always two sides to the coin.

      April 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matea

      Look, i know the truth an GOD knows it.
      Thats everything we need.
      Do you really think I would comment this page knowing Croatia is the "bad" side??no!
      i would be shamed– but im not. and that has a reason. So dear i heard a lot of rude commments about croatia, but
      its just not true.. believe me or not, its your choice

      April 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @ matea : Thank You! one day it will come to Serbs the justice too!

      April 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. toni

    and you know better than me because you lived where? what you think happened. and dont come we dont want you here

    April 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • darko

      You said it Tony. You don't come here and we don't go over there. But somehow some people go to Croatia with serbian licence plates and people from croatia come with their cars to Serbia. Cars with serbian plates have a great time being demolished in croatia. Goods in serbian markets from croatia are well accepted, how many products from serbia are allowed to sell in croatia... and there are many more similar examples... and who hates who. Serbia committed genocide in croatia and now, that plan not worked out... let's visit concerts of croatian singers, buy their candies, even go at the sea over there... come on GET REAL!

      April 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. toni

    what? where are you from

    April 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. toni

    Croatia has been occupied, 30% of the territory occupied, besieged cities, a state almost divided into two parts
    we are sorry that we defend our self. Croatian troops have not entered the Serbian land

    April 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seselj

      Pa nisi enter Serbian land, jer vi picke znate sta bi vam se desilo....nebi vas vise bilo 🙂 Haha dok su sprske granate padale po dubrovniku i zagrebu, ja sam cesao muda u Beogradu.....ala su bile dobre te 90' 🙂

      April 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • toni

      za razliku od tebe neki srbi koji su imali veće muda za češat su dobila po pički, a ti junačino stoj doma

      April 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @seslj sta seres! a Croat never needs a dirty land like yours.. you are the ones that cry because you don't have any MORE! jebali vas mater!

      April 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Seselj

    Bok decki! Evo, upravo zavrsavam pakovanje, boravak u Sheveningenu je protekao super! Popularniji sam u Srbiji nego ikada do sada. Zeno, spremaj sarme, dolazim kuci pocetkom Septembra. Gotovina me je pitao dali moze da preuzme moju celiju? Naravno da moze, ja cu svakako da preuzmem Srpsku Krajinu, mislim da je to naj manje sto sam mogao da ucinim za njega. Pozdrav svim Hrvatima....vidimo se 🙂 ..uskoro...

    April 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sani

    Tudjman should have been at that trial, however Gotovina has to take fall for Tudjman. He is a general, he did what he was told to do.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ponosan Hrvat

      tudjman died in 99, u idiot

      April 16, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. PetarBre

    I think it is high time for you Croats to stop trying to brainwash everybody, but man up, and take responsibility for crimes that you committed. Nobody is denying crimes committed against you, but it doesn't make much sense saying: hey somebody bombed my city so I have the right to go and kill their elderly, burn all their houses and property, expel all the Serbs from the land they lived for centuries, and steal everything they owned and move Croats into their homes.
    That is what the war criminal generals are accused for, and not anything else.
    And Serbs did not occupy 30% of your territory, they were MAJORITY for centuries on that territory, with you constantly trying to eradicate them, starting with Nazi WWII campaign, and finishing with Operation Storm.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • HEH::::::

      Petre___

      krajina je bila naseljena srbima ali oni su bili manjina unutar teritorija koji hrvatima pripada jos od kralja Tomislava...

      onda je po tvome Vojvidiuna ili onaj dio gdje je par tisuca hrvata vec stoljecima dio Hrvatskog teritorija ili da oni imaju pravo da se odvoje od Srbije

      April 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • PetarBre

      @Heh
      Ne kazem ja da su imali pravo da se odvoje, to je druga prica. Vazno je da Srbi jesu bili vecina od 80%+ na teritoriji Krajine i pre rata. To je cinjenica a ne da sam ja dosao iz Srbije i naselio se u Krajinu, kao sto vi predstavljate sliku, a onda me vi pravedno isterali.

      Hrvati u Vojvodini imaju pravo na svoju zemlju gde zive vekovima. Srbi ocigledno to pravo nemaju u Hrvatskoj.

      April 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yic

      Sure, nobody is denying crimes done to us. Except only a half dozen, if even so, of your war criminals have been tried and got measly 7-10 year sentences for obliterating the whole city of 50,000 inhabitants. Bravo.

      April 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. toni

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyKAGIZvd90&NR=1 start at 4:50

    April 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HEH::::::

    heh, if all countrys of the world would accept HAAG as an interantional tribunal... through HISTORY there would be many GENERALS and PRESIDENTS of ALL NATIONS IN PRISON RIGHT NOW....

    ALL OF NATIONALITIES IN THIS RESPONSES WOULD SEE THEIR COUNTRYMEN IN JAIL.

    STARTING ALPHABETICALY FROM ALBANIA TO ZIMBABVE

    SO ALL OF YOU CAN SHUT UP WHEN IDOLISING YOUR COUNTRY – CHECHK YOU OWN HISTORY

    SORRY FOR THE BAD WRITTING__I DONT CARE MUCH RIGHT NOW

    April 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
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