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Generals face war crimes charges in Croatian court

Generals face war crimes charges in Croatian courtA Croatian district court today opened the trial of two suspected war criminals in the first case transferred from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to a domestic court system. Mirko Norac and Rahim Ademi, two Croation army generals, face war crimes charges for atrocities allegedly committed during a land seizure campaign in 1991. Norac is already serving a 12-year sentence for war crimes and Ademi voluntarily surrendered to the tribunal in 2001. Both men are pleading not guilty in the case.

The charges for the men include the killing of 28 civilians and 5 civilians. Allegations detail the murder of an 84-year-old blind villager and the death of a 31-year-old retarded man who was dragged behind an automobile before Croatian troops burned him alive. The two former generals are charged with failing to prevent atrocities and for ordering the "indiscriminate shelling" of Serbian villages in the area known as the Medak Pocket.

The two are the highest ranking Croatian officers being tried for war crimes against the Serbian population. The former generals face 20-year sentences if convicted. The trial is expected to last about a year.




Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors