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. Tuzna

    1. "The generals are regarded by some as national heroes." – is a false statement The generals are regarded by MOST as national heroes.

    2. If someone came into my home, threatened me and I committed an act of self defense should I too be put into prison.

    3. This goes for all of the comments about Croatia being Nazi etc., if this was true during the early '90s do you really think the United States would have been on Croatia's side and AIDED CROATIA throughout the war??? Bill Clinton was one of the greatest presidents and admired by most. Do you really think he would have the U.S. battle for a country that was committing all of these so called war-crimes???

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


      April 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • DenverDan

      How about supporting the Muhajadin in the 80's in Afghanistan? The same people who turned into the Taliban?
      I do not necessarily support the Nazi's in the 90's remark, however

      America supported Iranians to change their government in the 80's. The same people that they are fighting with right now.

      How about the support of the Muhajadin in Bosnia, 6 of which were part of the 9/11 attack...most importantly Muhamed Atta. So don't think that America is allied with any of these countries because they were in the right. They allied themselves with those who they could get the most from at the time. Benjamin Franklin said " The country shall not have permanent allies only permanent interests

      April 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Zoro

    Hrvati su portpuni kreteni. Imam suseda Hrvata i on je djubre, ali ga niko nije dirao.Jebite gotovinu u dupe mamu vam jebem.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sanja

      jebi mater Zoro.

      April 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kurac


    April 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sanja

      To vec svako znaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa 🙂 Cavoglave!!! BOG i HRVATI!!!!!!!!!!

      April 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cetnik

      Pa kad cete vise da dodjete mamu vam jebem, da dobijete malo po labrnji i da ne kenjate vise.. Samo serete a muda nemate da dodjete. Jebale vas Cavoglave i vas usrani Tompson. Ma nabijem vas na kurac sve.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sani

    Also croats are well known for their support of Nazis during WWII. Overall, they like to kill civilians and young babies. They are genocidal people, so it is good that they are in jail.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tuzna

      croats are so terrible and dangerous that even celebrities and public figures such as beyonce, jay-z, dick cheney, oprah, etc. have all visited croatia, some several times...

      people before you post comments get your facts straight. Your uneducated comments are offensive.

      April 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sanja

      F*&&^uck OFF Sunni.

      April 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ponosan Hrvat

      also to mention that Prince William will be taking his HONEYMOON TO CROATIA, NOT SERBIA

      April 16, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. DenverDan

    All sides are guilty. Those who think their side did nothing wrong are blinded either by nationalism or religio-fascism. Twenty years later and everyone is still in denial. As a whole each side was defending their own, on the individual level there were perverted murderers on all sides and you cannot attribute that to any one side as a whole.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • toni

      denver dan please open google see where croatians cities zadar ,dubrovnik ,split ,šibenik are and than see where is serbia
      victim is not to blame as much as agressor

      April 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • DenverDan

      Toni, How about a 200,000 person exodus from Croatia. How about the 2000 people that we executed in the following days trying to flee. This is the denial I speak of. When all three of the people in that region finally realize what happened the next war will come around for some other reason. And each side will still think they are victims.

      April 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yic

      Exactly. I'm a Croat and I do realise things aren't black and white, nor they will be. It's just... horrible. What people were doing there wasn't rational... it was atrocious and, in a majority of cases, I believe, people deeply regretted doing so... on both sides. I'm talking about Bosnia right now, and what happened there is indescribable. A true Free For All match, if there were one. We've all done more than what we'd like to admit, but there is one little detail not to be forgotten – we did not strike first.

      April 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ivana

      Ne da mi se glmiti engleza jer svi ionako znate hrvatski. Ja iz svoje kuće nisam otišla, svoju zemlju nisam napustila, a srbi su pucali po nama i ubijali nas. Zanima me što bi srbima rekli englezi da traže nekakvu Krajinu. Da, ovo je veličanstvena akcija hrvatskih branitelja, heroja i velikana. Kome se ne sviđa Hrvatska neka se iseli, a ako tu ne živi, još mu lakše – ne mora ni dolaziti. Svi vi srbi koji se pozivate na WW2 i ustaše – tamo su bili i četnici. Tko li je samo pjevao: Bit će mesa, bit će mesa klat ćemo Hrvate. Vi koji ste to pjevali i klali u Vukovaru mene nazivate nacistom i zločincem. Ako je zločin braniti svoje: ZLOČINAC SAM

      April 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ponosan Hrvat

      DenverDan, Belgrade ORDERED the mass exodus of Serbs from Knin, in Croatia, and Sarajevo, in Bosnia.

      April 16, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Croat from Toronto

    Darko.... your comment about Cardinal Stepinac having gold teeth from Jewish victims in Croatia??..... you do realize how idiotic and sick that sounds right??.... so ridiculous I can't believe I even commented. Anyway with all the unfair in the world, I can't say I'm surprised with the verdict. I am devastated, dissappointed and sad that this is it for a man who DEFENDED his home and people. ANTE GOTOVINA FOREVER!!

    April 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sanja

      Ante Ante svi smo za te svi smo za te i uvjek cemo biti....

      April 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Zoro

    DenverDan, are you high? Croats MURDERED 600,000 Serbs in only 1 of their concentration camps. Croats are bloodsucking draculas, murderous @holes and retarded dorks. I just wish the entire Croatia will burn in hell.

    We WILL get back our lands sooner or later!!!

    April 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tuzna

      Your land??? Croatia was a republic before Yugoslavia.

      April 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • DenverDan

      Zoro, Yes I know that the Usatshe killed upwards of 750000 Serbs in WWII at Jasenovac, in Vojnic and all other parts of Western Bosnia and western Herzegovina, however, were they fighting for the land which they feel is theirs today or to pay people back for WWII?

      April 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zoro

      @Tuzna Croatia is yours, take it, I surely don't need it. But you cannot have Krajina – Lika,Kordun,Banija,North Dalmatia,W.Slavonia,E. Slavonia,W. Srem and Baranja.Those are Serb lands. Deal with this fact and we can be friends and live in peace. Otherwise, you'll lose Zagreb and other territories that are yours.

      April 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tuzna

      if you take N. Dalmacija that means you take Gotovina he is from Pakostane...

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

      CCCC = Samo Srbi Su Sranje

      April 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ivan

      You wont get crap back... just because serbs live somewhere for 2 minutes doesnt make it "there land"...also in Vukovar Croatian soldiers were outnumbered 20 to 1, yet it still took you clowns 3 months to take the city. NOTHING CAN CRUSH THE CROATIAN SPIRIT

      April 15, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. toni

    Hitler fell in the Czech Republic under the pretext that the Sudetski Germans suffer and that they need to be saved.
    Unfortunately these people were murdered and driven out of vengeance and rage that have aided and abetted the aggressor, although many were innocent. 200,000 people have fled after Serbian army, and they knew that what follows is revenge. as they left the Croatians homes and property, the same happened to theirs, after we took our land, so they would not return and why should they. 600 serb civilian were killed after the army advanced in operation oluja. how many croats were killed and expel by than on our soil.

    April 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • DenverDan

      Are you purporting that only 600 serbs were killed/executed during the entire conflict in croatia? So what would be a more adequate number to justify it?

      April 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. erika


    April 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Accipere quam facere praestat iniuriam

    I am proud Croatian child, half my family were killed when those monsters of the people, if at all we can say that they are people (the Serbs) have decided that the Croatian land belongs to them. Thank all of you who are not from Croatia, but you are acting like you know everything and you have no idea how and what it was, you see some nonsense on the internet and then you think that you have a right to judge us. Shame on you, you were not here and do not know.Do not know that my friend has no father because he was killed by a Serb who was his neighbor for 20 years and that he killed him in front of my friend and his mother, by cutting his throat. Thank you for calling all of our mothers and fathers who were killed that today I could live in Croatia, and not in a Greater Serbia murderers, all of you makes me sick. You Serbs who are here making fun of us, I can only say: I live in Croatia and not in your Greater Serbia, and that maybe we won"t see you in prison, but you will be judged by God and those you slaughtered and your punishment will be much greater than 24 years in prison, if I were you I'd be afraid, because the death and the court of God in near,and to God you can not lie, but I am shure you will try.

    April 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zoro

      Jedi govna.

      April 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Accipere quam facere praestat iniuriam

      Kakav pametan komentar, skoro da sam ostala bez riječi.

      April 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chicago


    April 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki

      true justice is yet to come... when you, Zoro, and your 'victim' Serb brethren answer to God for all the attrocities you commited on sacred Croatian soil. Sram vas bilo cetnici. Samo Seoba Srbe Spasava hehehe

      April 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • DenverDan

      Kiki, How about these "victim serbs". Their blood is now part of that sacred soil you speak of.
      Caution VERY GRAPHIC

      April 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ponosan Hrvat

      chicago, gtfo of here.

      April 16, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. erika

    why can't i comment here

    April 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hysteria

    Imagine Germany after the fall of Berlin wall changing their flag to swastika, currency to Reichsmark... Electing politicians who openly snub and outright insult Jewish citizens (calling them literally "the cancer" of their society). Imagine Germany starts to fire all public workers of Jewish or any other "subversive" ethnicity despite their German citizenship. Imagine them starting to minimize the number of people exterminated in the Holocaust and even saying that they for the most part did it to themselves... Etc, etc, etc.
    What, you think that's unimaginable? Correct answer, congratulations!
    But, you see, all that was not just unimaginable but even justified at the global level when it really happened after the Cold war was over. Why? Because it wasn't Germany that did these unspeakables; it was Croatia. And the role of Jews was played by serbs, so nobody really cared. Aren't those Serbs stupid, dirty, uncivilized, pro-Russian...(sorry if I accidentally missed any slur and negative stereotype about them).
    Now, since those pesky Serbs suffered a horrendous genocide not long ago (1941-1945) and ironically absolved their executioners, accepting their own kin to be their leader, tell me honestly what were they supposed to do when the same knives slitting their throats were drawn again by those same Croats? Perhaps they should have been given some memory eraser?
    Croatia had right to defend "it's own" territory, you say... Which was theirs exactly when? If the Serbs were not so gullible after WWII, they would never even have any grounds to claim that territory as theirs. Even now, these claims are grounded in nothing more than a medieval Croatian mythology as the Serbs lived there for centuries, paying their "tenancy" in blood by being the tampon zone, protecting Europe from the islamic attacks. So yeah, these genrals were just rightfully fighting to take away the livelihoods and houses from the remaining pesky Serbs that were not killed, forcefully converted or already expelled in WWII.
    History can be very painful, but instead of apologizing to Serbia for horrendous crimes their state comminted against them while there was still time (as it should be the human way of resolving the hatred), Croatia decided to get on a bandwagon of dehumanization of serbs in the media to finish the act of extermination under that smokescreen.
    The biggest irony of all is that The Hague tribunal would be very unlikely to even do this slap on the Croatian wrist if it wasn't for the slowly trickle of inconvenient truth about what horrors happened to Serbs in Kosovo. And this is how the problems of Yugoslav succession were solved: Croatia – expel ethnic gruop from their territory, sovereignty is sacred; Kosovo – give ethnic group secession right, self-determination is sacred... As long as Serbs are the losers.
    So dear Croats, less hysteria and don't bite the hands that feed you – continue to play democracy in your (finally) ethnically clean state and let the poor tribunal in The Hague get a nice figlief even if it's picked from the beautiful Dalmation coast (the large stretch of whic you have Serbian victoris in WWI and WWII to thank for having, anyways).

    April 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki

      exactly which one of your historical figures lived in the "tampon zone" and protected Europe from islamic attacks? now you're going to claim that Nikola Subic Zrinski was really a Serb...

      April 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veli Joze

      To all of those that keep referring to WW 2 and Croatia's role I would suggest you take a look at the following.....

      There is a picture here of Hitler and Serbian Prince Pavle. Yes, it's true that Croatia had a fasist government installed in WW2. Why? Because the legally elected government of Vlatko Macek refused to ally with Hitler. He was removed, sent to Jasenovac and Ante Pavelic was installed. Croatia on one hand had no military available to resist (as a small nation who could go against Hitler at that time?) and on the other hand most of the army officers were Serbian before WW 2. The Serbian leadership on the other hand didn't need to be replaced and was so effective in keeping with Nazi policies regarding the Jewish question that Belgrade was declared Judenfrei in August of 1942.

      Today Serb's refuse to recognize their complicity in past events. Instead they turn to spreading lies and half-truths about other groups in former Yugoslavia whether we are speaking about Albanians, Bosniaks, Croatian, Montenegrins or others. Past nazi and fasist collaborators such as Draza Mihajlovic and Nikolaj Velimirovic are now being rehabilitated and celebrated as heroes. The goal then, as now, has always been to create a Greater Serbia. In fact, the strongest politcal party in Serbia today is a pro-fasist party (Serbian Radical Party) that puts out a newsletter called, 'Greater Serbia,' which would encompass parts of Croatia, Bosnia as well as other former republics.

      April 15, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Accipere quam facere praestat iniuriam

    I'm very sorry for you, whoever you are because you do not understand that this is a story about the Civil War in Croatia not WW1 or WW2 ( I am not saying that we should forget that. ),and about Civil War in Croatia you obviously do not know anything. My parents gave their lives so today i could live in free Croatia and so I colud speak the Croatian language and not Srbian. Ther is not one person on this planet , nor you, nor the Hague Court that can diminish my pride . I am prioud of my parenst and my country. Do not speak of those whom you know nothong about. They were people that you can only dream to be one day.

    April 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zoro

      -- Jedi govna!

      April 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Fact

    It is sad to see how many ignorant people are giving history lessons. Serbian reactions don't suprise me, they are deluted and brainwashed, but it really angers me that their delusions are having such an impact on third parties that actually believe them. This is truly a sad day for justice.

    April 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
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