Mile Mrkšić

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Mile Mrkšić

Accused Mile Mrksic.jpg

Mile Mrkšić in a Hague courtroom in May 2009
Born(1947-05-01)1 May 1947
Vrginmost, FPR Yugoslavia
Died 16 August 2015(2015-08-16) (aged 68)
Lisbon, Portugal
AllegianceFlag of Yugoslavia (1943-1992).svg  Yugoslavia
Flag of Serbian Krajina (1991).svg  Serbian Krajina
Flag of Yugoslavia (1992-2003).svg  FR Yugoslavia
Service/branch Yugoslav People's Army
Military of Serbian Krajina
Military of FR Yugoslavia
Rank Lieutenant Colonel,
General
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. [1] [2] [3]

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.

Yugoslav Peoples Army 1945-1992 combined military forces of Yugoslavia

The Yugoslav People's Army, often referred-to simply by the initialism JNA, was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Contents

Biography

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. [4]

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 Montenegrin soldier

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.

Charges

Crimes against humanity deliberate attack against civilians

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. [1] 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". [2]

Vukovar massacre massacre

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.

Sentence

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. [5] [6]

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

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.

See also

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Škabrnja massacre

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Velepromet camp

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Dalj massacre

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.

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Erdut killings

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.

References

  1. 1 2 "Mrkšić found guilty of aiding and abetting murders at Ovčara, and Šljivančanin guilty of mistreatment, Radić acquitted". The Hague: ICTY. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  2. 1 2 Batty, David (27 September 2007). "Ex-Serb colonel gets 20 years for Vukovar war crimes". Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  3. "Serb Army officers sentenced in Vukovar mass murder case". New York Times. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  4. "Accurate fire on military targets, random targeting of civilians". Sense Agency. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  5. Mile Mrkšić dies, jutarnji.hr; accessed 21 August 2015.
  6. Mile Mrksic, a Serb Army Officer Convicted of War Crimes, Dies at 68, nytimes.com; accessed 11 March 2016.
Military offices
Preceded by
Milan Čeleketić
Commander of the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
May 1995 – August 1995
Succeeded by
Army disbanded