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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.