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. tihana234 7:55 pogledajte sve videe ako ne samo pogledajte te 2 min pa cete vidit dali je on ubojica.

    April 16, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. pam

    dear michael,
    i have one thing to say to you, educate yourself. can you even find croatia on a map? do you have the slightest idea of what you're talking about? do you know where Vukovar is are what it is for that matte?
    Oh, and please google Ovčara, and Srebrenica. then go grab a history book and stopo listening to the media, which are, whne you look at it, wspecially in your precious america pretty single minded, they're all telling you the same thing, and then after doiung some learning and using common sense, then maybe we can talk.

    April 16, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Nice try Pam, I lived in Zagreb 1985-1992.

      I suggest not to read and listen CNN, as they're only stenographers of power. Google Jasenovac, Google Hitler welcomed in Zagreb in 1941, Google Artukovic, Google Stepinac, Google Ustasha, Google, Google 500 American pilots saved by Serbis books you'll find out who's been our true friend for so many years.

      April 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tihana234

    i agree with you, they say some thing but they don't know nothing about Croatia and Vukovar. probably that judge
    who send our general in to prison for 24 years doesn't know what happend in 1991-1995

    April 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Krisi

    wow, you are all experts. How many of you lived through Vukovar which was bombed for months by Serbs, Serbs who killed thousands of innocent Croatians who didnt have a chance to get out. Get this straight....Croatia wanted a democracy, free from Communism. Serbs are communists..fact! Just ask anyone who lived in "yugoslavia" who was NOT ALLOWED to say they are Croatian, or who was NOT ALLOWED to sing their national anthem! Who HAD to learn serbian. It is so absurd that Croatia is accused of war crimes that it makes me sick to my stomach. It was a war that had casulties but a war STARTED BY SERBS! PERIOD! Do you think that AMerica would have backed us up if we were war criminals? NO! And that is a fact! We had no choice but to defend our land and our new democracy. Nothing else needs to be said.

    April 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Excuse me, but the war started on Croatian side when tons of arms were illegally transported from Hungary and Germany in the early 1991, and nobody tried to stop. Croatian' general Spegelj, one of the wirst fascist murderers, and member of Communist party of Croatia, planned to kill hundreds of thousands of Yugoslav armiy members and their families while sleeping. Also since 1941 Ustashas committed over 500 terrorist actions against the current YU Govt and innocent people by planting bombs in movie theaters, planes, railroad stations, YU embassies, public places...Shame on those who support them.

      April 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • darko

      FYI war started with that blockbuster starring Martin Spegelj. You remember him. Hi said that every Serb should be killed on his door-step, or forced to leave Croatia. Some plan for independence, ha?

      April 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      Croatian soil had been attacked by Serbian aggressors. The conviction of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac was a political act by Judge Orie who in fact was a defense lawyer for Dusko Tadic back in 1995.

      Michael, you mention that this sentencing was well deserved. Is this well deserved too.

      If you choose to watch this video, it will be one step towards you understanding that the Croatian population that was oppressed during the Croatian War for Independence, and had pent up anger for Serbians who attacked their soil and their homes. If this video of Vukovar's destruction of Serbian aggressors is something that did not give people a chance to escape. Croatians asked Serbians to move back to Serbia. But where did Serbians ask Croatians to move?

      April 17, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. pam

    this really nice site won't let me comment on your reply, but I'll try later

    April 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pam

    ok, can somebody tell me why i can't post my commnet right now, it's not offensive, i'm not insulting anybody, can anybody tell me why i can't reply?

    April 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • pam

      Oh, isn't his lovely? the freedom of speech at work! this site keeps telling that I already posted what I'm trying to post for the fisrt time. Who wouldn't love this democracy?

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

      Because it is ignorant and stupid. Nuf said.

      April 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom

    Today, during the massive public revolts there were flags waved from various people. the flag taht really touched me the most was the conjoint flag of the United States of America and Croatia! Between the two flags stood a sign saying
    Together since 1995!
    Therefore by this I salute the Croats that made that and the United States of America people!

    April 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      We're not your friends. We only have interest in your country in order to make some profit. Wake up Croatians, you're nothnig but our little puppets.

      April 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Better to be your puppets like 99% of the world rather than poor with dumb leaders like Josipovic and Kosor.

      April 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pam

    Nice try, Michael, lived in Zagreb 1988-2011

    WWII? Still? this isn't the issue, but if you wanna play like that, google Hiroshima & Nagasaki 1945, google Iraq and Afghanistan 2011, google any country that doesn't participate in your so called world order, google US intervenion anywhere anytime. OH, and did you know who fully backed us up during this so called ethnic cleansing? your president clinton. do you know that you, your president bombed serbia at the time?

    April 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      We would bomb you too, but we found your beautiful islands a source of additional cash. on the other hand we bmobed Serbia because we were desperately in need of an Army base in Kosovo, in order to test some new depleted-uranium bombs...However the slit of country we might bomb could always extend to the west of Serbia one day...

      April 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Krisi

    thanks Tom 🙂

    April 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • HR

      Thank you Kris 🙂

      April 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      exactly HR 😀

      April 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tihana234

    ok i watch the news and serbia tell that operation Storm (Oluja) is crime. no it isn't, this is defense. defense of the Serbs. i don't know why general Gotovina had wait 24 years and Čermak 18 years to see his country this is not fair. gotovina had to wait 4 years to judgment, and then they judg him to 24 years ??????????? NOT FAIR

    April 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Not fair to wait, but well deserved. And some of us would say not enough..including all Serbian murderers as well like Mladic

      April 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      We have our country because of them, stf up Michale, America has never been judged because they killed 200.00 people and more in HIOSHIMA AND NAGASAKI.

      April 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pam

    Michael, don't worry we already know what your capitalism and world order represent.
    Now, this is the true american mentality emerging, you say you could bomb us?

    April 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      We will act against any country committing crimes against humanity. Face it, your country committed a crime against humanity in 1995, live with it. By admitting the truth about yourselves you will find a way to reconcile. Build trust and laws that will be equal to all your citizens. As long as you live in denial there will be no progress.

      April 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      As Daniel already stated,this country sent in a bomber over Baghdad,Iraq to bomb a civilian air raid shelter and it did,killing over 400 civilians whose only crime was to try to survive the first Golf War on Feb.13,1991. If that wasn't a crime against humanity,what is??? Will somebody please answer that???

      April 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Croatian people were trully misled over past decades by the forreign secret services and Vatican. I've been in Serbia and met a lot of people there and even after the wars and all of sad developements that happened in 90's, people didn't show a sign of hate towards the foreigners visiting their country or any other working in Serbia(like a lot of chinese), not only that , but also Serbs are very warm and hospitable nation, which, unfortunately, I can not say for Croats. When i visited Croatia, I came upon racial segregation thinking and hate like no other to something that they never even saw before, which really blew my mind. For example, Croats hate/dislike blacks cause their church forces that opinion to them. Shamefull at the least.

      April 17, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. pam

    I'm still trying to post the other half of my original post as a reply to you, but still this site, so nice...

    April 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pam

    could you just let me post my comment and be done with it? huh?

    April 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shockre

    free speech at its finest, Goebbels wouldn't be ashamed of this.
    Good Job CNN (sarcasm off)

    April 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Markusen

    Jadranka Kosor se u Smederevu slozila da Gotovina robija u Zabeli kod Pozarevca (to je 5km od groba Milosevica). Tu je Gotovini i mesto (u Zabeli ne u grobu). Bila je i delegacija iz Hrvatske u Zabeli, ali to nisu javili na TV.

    Hrvati, vi cete za sedam dana zaboraviti i ko je bio Gotovina. ICTY je EU, a EU je NATO. NATO je zajednicki neprijatelj Srba i Hrvata. NATO ce vam isprati mozak (ako ga imate). Zasto ne strajkujete gladju i zedju kao jedan gospodin danas u Beogradu? jer ste kukavice. Boli vas za vaseg Gotovinu.

    April 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Antonia

      Problem is that when you Serbians are accused for war crimes that makes you proud ... you celebrate your losen battles ... we will be and we are, imbaresed with this veridict ... especialy as it's not truth that we commited genocide ... to commit genocide you need to kill ppl ... like what you did in Srebrenica, remember? ... in so called Krajina teritory empty when Croatian army entered ... they're run away like covards and i'm sure they know very well why they left ... maybe because they were killing and slatering croats for 4 years in our own country and beeing afriad of revange? ... well, i would be afraid also if i was them ... even more i would be disscusted of myself and couldnt sleep well for the rest of my life ... Serbians who were in Croatia never were killed or torchured ... I have many Serbian friends who lived in a shelter for years along with me ... and please dont tell me who is our enemy ... there's no WE anymore ... my enemy were Serbians who were trowing bombs on me every day for 4 years ... and took the best years of my childhood ... of course you were played by Milošević and company telling you that Croats will kill you all and to start fighting us ... well ... we just wanted to get out of Jugoslavia becuse you started to print money just for Serbia after a fix exchange rate was established for the first time ... and you would never get killed or forged away from Croatia ... but you were stupid enough to first to belive those story's, second to want whats not yours and third to take guns in your arms ... tell me what is Serbia now ... can you see how much you lost both in teritory and economy ... and still i can read on youtube "ubij hrvata da šiptar ima brata" and almost 50% of ppl in Serbia vote for radicals who still dreams about Gret Serbia. As long as it's like that you wont be wellcomed in Croatia ... tell me if i was like that would you want me in your country? your possition right now is your own fault and your own shame for trusting to wrong people ...

      April 19, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
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