Mile Mrkšić in a Hague courtroom in May 2009
|Born||1 May 1947|
Vrginmost, FPR Yugoslavia
|Died|| 16 August 2015 68) (aged|
|Service/|| Yugoslav People's Army |
Military of Serbian Krajina
Military of FR Yugoslavia
|Rank|| Lieutenant Colonel,|
|Unit||1st Motorized Guards Brigade|
|Commands held||Commander of the Republic of Serbian Krajina Army|
|Battles/wars||Battle of Vukovar|
Mile Mrkšić (Serbian Cyrillic : Миле Мркшић; 1 May 1947 – 16 August 2015) was a Colonel of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) in charge of the unit involved in the Battle of Vukovar during the Croatian War of Independence in 1991. He was convicted for not preventing the mass killing of 264 Croats that followed the fall of Vukovar, and sentenced to 20 years.
The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for Serbo-Croatian, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two alphabets used to write standard modern Serbian and Montenegrin, the other being Latin. In Croatian and Bosnian, only the Latin alphabet is used.
Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.
The Yugoslav People's Army, often referred-to simply by the initialism JNA, was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
After the battle of Vukovar, he was promoted to General in the JNA and later Commander in Chief of the Military of Serbian Krajina (SVK) in May 1995. After the fall of Krajina in August 1995, he was denied entry into Serbia for a while since many blamed him for the military defeat. At one point he was placed under house arrest, sent into early retirement and ended up selling produce at a green market.
In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to their residence. Only those with a house are allowed to be sentenced to arrest in their residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all. House arrest is an alternative to being in a prison while pretrial or sentenced.
Mrkšić was indicted in 1995, along with Miroslav Radić, Veselin Šljivančanin and Slavko Dokmanović, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Dokmanović later committed suicide.[ citation needed ] Mrkšić voluntarily surrendered to the ICTY on 15 May 2002, and was transferred to the court the same day. The trial against him commenced in October 2005 and ended proceedings in 2007, where he was convicted.[ citation needed ]
An indictment is a criminal accusation that a person has committed a crime. In jurisdictions that use the concept of felonies, the most serious criminal offence is a felony; jurisdictions that do not use the felonies concept often use that of an indictable offence, an offence that requires an indictment.
Miroslav Radić is a Serbian army officer who became prominent in the Battle of Vukovar, and was later prosecuted for alleged complicity in the Vukovar massacre, but was released after being acquitted by the ICTY.
Veselin Šljivančanin is a former Montenegrin Serb officer in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) who participated in the Battle of Vukovar and was subsequently convicted on a war crimes indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for his role in the Vukovar massacre. His prison sentence was changed twice, from five to seventeen to ten years. He has since been ordered released by the ICTY on time served and good behavior.
Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg trials. Crimes against humanity have since been prosecuted by other international courts as well as in domestic prosecutions. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative.
Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another individual or group. The most common forms are religious persecution, racism and political persecution, though there is naturally some overlap between these terms. The inflicting of suffering, harassment, imprisonment, internment, fear, or pain are all factors that may establish persecution, but not all suffering will necessarily establish persecution. The suffering experienced by the victim must be sufficiently severe. The threshold level of severity has been a source of much debate.
Genocide is intentional action to destroy a people in whole or in part. The hybrid word "genocide" is a combination of the Greek word γένος and the Latin suffix -caedo. The United Nations Genocide Convention, which was established in 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group".
On 27 September 2007, the Trial Chamber found Mrkšić guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of civilians and prisoners of war at Ovčara, aiding and abetting their torture, and aiding and abetting the cruel treatment given there. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.The verdicts caused indignation in Croatia, which had hoped for far more severe sentences. State-run radio called the outcome "shocking", while the Croatian prime minister said the verdicts were "shameful".
The Vukovar massacre, also known as the Vukovar hospital massacre or the Ovčara massacre, was the killing of Croatian prisoners of war and civilians by Serb paramilitaries, to whom they had been turned over by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), at the Ovčara farm southeast of Vukovar on 20 November 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence. The massacre occurred shortly after Vukovar's capture by the JNA, Territorial Defence (TO), and paramilitaries from neighbouring Serbia. It was the largest massacre of the war and the worst war crime in Europe since World War II up until that point.
In August 2012, Mrkšić was sentenced to 20 years in prison to be served in the high security prison of Monsanto (in Portugal) for the charges upon which he was convicted. He died three years later on 16 August 2015, aged 68.
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was a body of the United Nations established to prosecute serious crimes committed during the Yugoslav Wars, and to try their perpetrators. The tribunal was an ad hoc court located in The Hague, Netherlands.
Milan Babić was from 1991 to 1992 the first President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, a self-proclaimed state largely populated by Serbs of Croatia that wished to break away from Croatia during the Croatian War of Independence.
The Republic of Serbian Krajina or Serb Republic of Krajina, pronounced [rɛpǔblika sr̩̂pskaː krâjina]), known as Serb Krajina or simply Krajina, was a self-proclaimed Serb proto-state, a territory within the newly independent Croatia, which it defied, active during the Croatian War (1991–95). It was not recognized internationally. The name Krajina ("Frontier") was adopted from the historical Military Frontier of the Habsburg Monarchy and Austria-Hungary, which had a substantial Serb population and existed up to the late 19th century. The RSK government waged a war for ethnic Serb independence from Croatia and unification with FR Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska.
The Battle of Vukovar was an 87-day siege of Vukovar in eastern Croatia by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), supported by various paramilitary forces from Serbia, between August and November 1991. Before the Croatian War of Independence the Baroque town was a prosperous, mixed community of Croats, Serbs and other ethnic groups. As Yugoslavia began to break up, Serbia's President Slobodan Milošević and Croatia's President Franjo Tuđman began pursuing nationalist politics. In 1990, an armed insurrection was started by Croatian Serb militias, supported by the Serbian government and paramilitary groups, who seized control of Serb-populated areas of Croatia. The JNA began to intervene in favour of the rebellion, and conflict broke out in the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia in May 1991. In August, the JNA launched a full-scale attack against Croatian-held territory in eastern Slavonia, including Vukovar.
Mirko Norac Kevo is a former general of the Croatian Army (HV). He was the first Croatian Army general to be found guilty of war crimes by a Croatian court, in 2003, after his case was transferred from The Hague to Zagreb. He was released on probation in November 2011.
Momčilo Perišić is a Serbian former general who served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Yugoslavia between 1993 and 1998.
Slavko Dokmanović was a Croatian Serb who was charged with grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violation of the customs of war and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for his actions in the Vukovar massacre while he served as the city's mayor.
Goran Hadžić was President of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina, in office during the Croatian War of Independence. He was accused of crimes against humanity and of violation of the laws and customs of war by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Stojan Župljanin is a former Bosnian Serb police commander.
The Lovas killings involved the killing of 70 Croat civilian residents of the village of Lovas between 10–18 October 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence. The killings took place during and in the immediate aftermath of the occupation of the village by the Yugoslav People's Army supported by Croatian Serb forces and Dušan Silni paramilitaries on 10 October, two days after Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The occupation occurred during the Battle of Vukovar, as the JNA sought to consolidate its control over the area surrounding the city of Vukovar. The killings and abuse of the civilian population continued until 18 October, when troops guarding a group of civilians forced them to walk into a minefield at gunpoint and then opened fire upon them.
The Škabrnja massacre was the killing of 62 Croatian civilians and five prisoners of war by Serbian Autonomous Oblast Krajina Territorial Defence troops and the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) in the villages of Škabrnja and Nadin northeast of Zadar on 18–19 November 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence. The massacre occurred shortly after an agreement to evacuate Zadar's JNA garrison following an increase in fighting between the Croatian National Guard and the JNA.
The Velepromet camp was a detention facility established in the final days of the Battle of Vukovar during the Croatian War of Independence. The camp was set up by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), which shared control of the facility with Croatian Serb rebels. The facility, originally an industrial storage site, was located on the southern outskirts of the city of Vukovar, in close proximity to the JNA barracks. It consisted of eight warehouses surrounded by a wire fence, and was established on 16 November 1991, when the first detainees were brought there.
The Dalj massacre was the killing of 56 or 57 Croats in Dalj, Croatia on 1 August 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence. In addition to civilian victims, the figure includes 20 Croatian policemen, 15 Croatian National Guard troops and four civil defencemen who had been defending the police station and water supply building in the village. While some of the policemen and the ZNG troops died in combat, those who surrendered were killed after they became prisoners of war. They tried to fight off an attack by the Croatian Serb SAO Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia Territorial Defence Forces, supported by the Yugoslav People's Army and the Serb Volunteer Guard paramilitaries. The SAO SBWS was declared an autonomous territory in eastern Croatia following the Battle of Borovo Selo just to the south of Dalj.
Serbia was involved in the Yugoslav Wars in the period between 1991 and 1999 - the war in Slovenia, the war in Croatia, the war in Bosnia and the war in Kosovo. During this period from 1991 to 1997, Slobodan Milošević was the President of Serbia, Serbia was part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has established that Milošević was in control of Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia during the wars there from 1991 to 1995.
The Erdut killings were a series of murders of 37 Hungarian and Croat civilians in the village of Erdut, Croatia committed by Croatian Serb forces and Serb Volunteer Guard paramilitaries between November 1991 and June 1992, during the Croatian War of Independence. Twenty-two Hungarians and 15 Croats were killed. The first killings occurred on 10 November 1991, when twelve civilians died. Eight more were killed over the following several days. Five more civilians were killed on 10 December, and another seven on 16 December. Four others were killed on 21 February 1992 and the final one was killed on 3 June. The bodies of these victims were either buried in mass graves or thrown into nearby wells.
Ovčara was a Serbian transit camp for Croatian prisoners during the Croatian War of Independence, from October to December 1991, and the location of the Ovčara massacre.
| Commander of the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina |
May 1995 – August 1995