News / Europe

UN War Crimes Trial Resumes for Hadzic

Goran Hadzic, the last of Serbia's alleged war criminals, makes his initial appearance to stand trial on crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague July 25, 2011.
Goran Hadzic, the last of Serbia's alleged war criminals, makes his initial appearance to stand trial on crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague July 25, 2011.
Stefan Bos
The trial of former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic, the last fugitive sought by the United Nations Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, resumed at the Hague on Monday.

Hadzic led Croatian Serb rebels when Croatia's government broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991 and is one of several key officials to face trial at the Netherlands-based court for alleged involvement in atrocities during the Balkan wars. 
 
As president of a self-styled Serbian mini-state in Croatia, the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Hadzic allegedly oversaw atrocities such as the murder and persecution of non-Serbs.  He is also accused of having supervised detention centers where torture, beatings and killings of civilians and other detainees were carried out.
 
Hadzic is accused of leading the forcible transfer of tens of thousands of non-Serbs from across the region under his control during the 1991-1995 conflict.  He was apprehended in 2011 near Belgrade after eight years on the run. 
 
Although Hadzic faces 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, prosecutors on Monday mentioned specifically the killing of patients in what was one of the worst massacres in the Croatian conflict.  Serb forces under Hadzic's command allegedly took some 260 non-Serbs from Vukovar Hospital after a three-month siege of the city.
 
Hague Prosecutor Matthew Gillett said most of the men and boys were slaughtered in November 1991 on a farm in Ovcara, near Vukovar. 
 
"It's been agreed essentially, I am summarizing, that the 194 named victims in the annexed, the paragraph 32 of the indictment, were murdered at Ovcara -- that they were detained when they were murdered, that they were buried in a mass grave at Ovcara, that the grave was protected by U.N. personnel, and [that] the exhumation and autopsies were carried out by international and domestic experts, and [that] representatives of the Croat and Yugoslav authorities were present," he said. 
 
Croatian forensic pathologist Davor Strinovic has investigated the massacre.  Speaking as a witness at the trial, Dr. Strinovic said the youngest victim discovered so far was  16 years old; the oldest was 72.
 
Speaking through an interpreter, Dr. Strinovic said it has been difficult to find and identify the more than 200 victims of the Vukovar Hospital massacre. 
 
"Of course, we are trying and have been trying from the very start to find all of those who are on on the list.  We will never stop looking for those people," he said. "To this day, we have not been fully successful in finding all the people from the list. The forensic pathologist said that, in at least one case it was too emotional for survivors to acknowledge a victim's name."
 
Delays in exhuming the remains have also made it difficult to identify all those who were killed in the massacre, and dozens of suspected victims remain missing. 
 
If convicted on even some charges against him, Hadzic could face life in prison.  Monday's proceedings, came only days before the trial of another prominent Serb, Ratko Mladic.  The former Bosnian Serb general has been charged with war crimes, including involvement in the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys by his forces in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995.
 
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is under pressure to end its operations.  It already closed its main field offices in Croatia and Kosovo, but it is continuing it activities in Serbia and Bosnia. 
 
Russia and Serbia have sharply criticized the tribunal over what they say is its bias toward Serbs following rulings to free two Croatian generals and a Kosovo Albanian former guerrilla commander.
 
Since it was established in 1993, the tribunal has indicted 161 people for Balkan war crimes, of whom 15 have been acquitted.  Proceedings are ongoing for 31 suspects.
 
Last month, the U.N. Security Council extended the work of the court, but Russia abstained from the vote because it said the resolution did not address the tribunal's "inefficiencies." 
 
The court expects to rule on its final appeals by 2016.  After that, any more cases arising from the Balkan wars of the 1990s must be tried in the countries where the crimes were allegedly committed. 

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid