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. pam

    First of all, people EDUCATE YOURSELVES! I know it's difficult with only mtv and similar idiocies on tv all the time and with no geography as a mandatory course in primmary or secondary education. You don'0t know what you're talking about. We were the ones who were attacked, we were the ones who had to defend ourselves, and know what, we had no weapons or means to do it, and then your Clinton came nad gave us millions of dollars and weaponry and artillery to be able to defend ourselves! Get your facts straight. Your uneducated comments offend me.
    Please, google Vukovar in 195, look at it! Who did at! We sure as hell didn't do that to ourselves! Google Srebrenica and then talk about ethnic clenasing! YOu don't know the first thing about what happend and then you come here and dare to judge. You? Americans?
    Julie who we disgust and you never want to come back to Dubrovnik? our beautiful Dubrovnik that was alspo attacked and destroyed in the war? Didi you know that? Open a history book! PLEASE, DON'T ever come back, we don't want you there! We disgust you, your capitalism, your preemptive wars, occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and whatnot disgust me! Rogue states? YOU'RE A ROGUE STATE! You think you're in a war? You don't know the meaning of the word! Your war is hundreds and thousand of miles away, don't get me started on that! I hipe you never find out what is like TO BE IN A WAR, be attacked in your own home by an agressor!

    April 16, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
    • life

      well said. JNA took our armour before they attacked Croatia. and don't forget- Croats didn't want the war. they only wanted their independence, but Serbian Goverment didn't like that idea, they wanted Greater Serbia. Do you know how difficult is to fight when you don't have armour, when all your armament factories are closed because Belgrade ordered it and when you have to fight against one of the best armies in the world? No,you don't. But you also don't know that feeling when you beat that army and when you have your own country where you can say I'm Croat and I speak Croatian.

      April 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. P!nK

    Hej...necu glumit nikakvog engleza jer ja to nisam..zivim u HRVATSKOJ i poosim se time..! Ovo sto se desava nije normalnoo... Hrvatska ima vise od 4.5 milijuna stanovnika... A sad zamislite te ljude,branitelje, po trgovima kako placuu i mole se za pravdu... Koja nikad nece biti pravedna..24 godine je usitinu previse,jer ON TO NIJE ZASLUZIO. Hrvatska nije napala Srbiju vec Srbija NAS! A u ovom ratu mi smo is Bog pomoci i da ce istina dodi na svoje. SRAMOTA Haaga je sto nisu uzeli ni jedan obranin dokaz u obzir usitinu SRAMOTA¨! CIJELA HRVATSKA BRANI ANTU NE SAMO ONI ODVJETNICII...CIJELAA HRVATSKA JER JE ANTE BRANIO NAS! <3

    April 16, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Darko

      Srbi napali hrvatsku!!! U kom ti filmu zivis... ali razumem te... nije lako biti hrvat. Ocistio drzavu od svih drugih pa sad pokusava da objasni svetu kao da je to uradio u samoodbrani. Najveci spomenik u hrvatskoj bi trebao da bude Slobodanu Milosevicu. U ispovesti jednog od srpskih politicara, jna je bila u takvoj situaciji na pocetku rata da su ameri pitali tada Slobu za koliko dana si u Zagrebu, pet, deset ili petnaest. Njega da slavite, a ne Gotovinu, covek se kurcio u vec dogovorenoj situaciji

      April 16, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ireland

    Shame on the EU... That's all I can say.

    April 16, 2011 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. like

    April 16, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. serb

    Serbian generals convicted and Croatian generals convicted...Let's try all to live in peace now for the sake of us and our children and let's stop breeding the hatred! I think it was enough!

    April 16, 2011 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. pam

    You think it's enough? enough? i think you should brush up on your history and compare what you id and what we did

    April 16, 2011 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. servussupraantica

    I would suggest to all the interested people to please follow the trial of Serbian Vojvoda Dr. Seselj in the Hague. He will next be presenting the evidence of defence while bringing a large array of witnesses, amongs which many of them high ranking western diplomats, and or presidents. The truth is one, and everyone has an opportunity to see it live!!! Thank you for your attention. God bless you all.

    April 16, 2011 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nenad

    God bless America. And please US go and free all the world, like New Mexico,Iraq, and so on ....

    April 16, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bojan

    Nederland lost compass

    Dutch peacekeepers in SREBRENICA.
    Dutch lawyers in Krajina CROATIA.
    What is next ... another slave trade?

    April 16, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. pam

    Yeah, and this Krajina? DO you understand that the So Called Krajina (cause that's what we should call it) never actually existed? You keep refering to it as if it were a country,as if serbs were indigenous people there? HELLO? It was and still is croatian soil, and they came there and declared it a part of the grea serbia and wanted to make a part of theri own country. We did ethnic cleansing? You do not know the half of the story, so don't feel fit to judge us from your high pedestal

    April 16, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      A quite of ignorant comment. Krajina was a part of ex-Yugoslavia, inside of Croatia, but its borders were not recognized within Yugoslavia, as long as it existed. The Serbis in Krajina lived since 13th century and were constantly genocided by Croats ever since. The worst masacres in WWI and WWII wer committed by Ustashas over inocent Serbian populaton in Krajina, and people in Krajina never forgot it. On the other hand in 1992 Tudjiman declared them as non-existant nation, or ethnic minority never gave them equal rights as to Crotas living in Croatia. That's why they rasied against the fascisct Croatian Govt only to save their lives, and not to be genocided once again. Unfortunatelly in 1995 during the action "storm" 300,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Krajina, and the world di not say a single word about it. But now we know what really happened: the same Intenational commnuity you praised back in 1992 told you that Croatians are criminals. A convinction well deserved.

      April 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • life

      Michael- as I can see you like history and you also like mentioning that "old" history. nice. THEN YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW SERBS EVEN CAME TO "KRAJINA". 924. Bulgarians attacked and defeated Serbian leader Zaharija and they escaped in Croatia and Croatian king Tomislav SAVED THEIR LIVES AND "HOSTED" THEM IN HIS COUNTRY. In exchange for their saved lives they had to defend Croatian borders (which were also the borders of western europe). Now you know how Serbs have come on that territory.
      and please, don't tell me that I'm talking about irrelevant, old history facts because you're always reffering to those 1941-1945 and Ustashe etc.

      April 16, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Accipere quam facere praestat iniuriam

    Besmisleno je raspravljat se sa Srbima o ratu, bili su ništa od naroda i to ce uvijek i ostati, neznam zašto se uopće spuštamo na tu razinu. Zapravo svi nek misle šta žele, mi znamo kako je bilo! Hvala Gotovini i svim ostalima za ovu predivnu zemlju koja se zove HRVATSKA!!

    April 16, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • darko

      Samo vi zadrzite Vasu "razinu". Na toj razini sovinizam, fasizam i slicne "kvalitativne" osobine krase Vas i Vama slicne.

      April 16, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Zoro

      Jedi govna!

      April 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marko

    Croatia's Krajina? What the f.. is thaht??? Krajina never existed!!!

    April 16, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • darko

      Marko, pored toliko neznanja elementarne istorije, zapanjen sam da si savladao slova

      April 16, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Michael

    Finally a justice for Croatian murderers who committed the worst genocide in Europe since 1945 ethnically cleansed over 300,000 Serbs from Krajina. In 1910 it was 700,000 Serbs living there, today the numbers are betwen 170 and 176, 000. That says it all. And still they live in denial that never happened, niether during WWII when celebrating Hitler in Zagreb in 1941, supporting Ustashas with majority. They show no shame.

    April 16, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • anera


      April 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • anera


      April 16, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. George

    Good morning Croatia, it's a bit overcast ?

    April 16, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Truth

    Croats should have killed them all,then none would be able to testify against Gotovina and Markac.

    April 16, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      With this comment I believe everybody's clear who Croats really were, have been, are and always will be.

      April 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • darko

      Good luck Dude with finding a brain cell

      April 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • HR

      Ti si totalni car!
      **you are a God 🙂

      April 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
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