[JURIST] A Croatian prosecutor [official website] on Tuesday charged eight ex-Yugoslav military officers, including commander Borislav Djukic, with war crimes perpetrated during the Croatian War of Independence [BBC backgrounder]. Croatia split from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, and the nations fought until peace was found in 1995. During this time, the prosecutor alleges, the suspects ordered attacks on civilian areas and failed to prevent the rape, torture and murder of over 100 civilians perpetrated by soldiers in their charge.
Prosecution of individuals suspected of committing war crimes during the Croatian conflicts is ongoing. Last month former Serbian paramilitary commander Dragan Vasiljkovic went on trial [JURIST report] for war crimes in Croatia’s Split Court. Dragan was accused of torturing and murdering civilians and prisoners during the Croation War for independence. Vasilijkovic was indicted [JURIST report] in January of this year. In July International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia war crimes defendant Goran Hadzic, the former president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina during the Croatian War of Independence, died from brain cancer. Hadzic was accused of coordinating, supporting and instigating efforts to achieve the “permanent removal of a majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from a large part of the territory of the Republic of Croatia” during his term as president. Hadzic was the last fugitive of the original 161 sought by the ICTY to be arrested [JURIST report].