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One more fugitive to go for ICTY

After today’s arrest of former Bosnian Serb General and suspected war criminal Ratko Mladic, there’s only one more name on the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia’s list of fugitives: Former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic. While not as well known as Mladic or Radovan Karadzic, his alleged crimes are no less serious:  After Croatia declared ...

ALEKSA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
ALEKSA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

After today's arrest of former Bosnian Serb General and suspected war criminal Ratko Mladic, there's only one more name on the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia's list of fugitives: Former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic. While not as well known as Mladic or Radovan Karadzic, his alleged crimes are no less serious: 

After Croatia declared independence on June 25th 1991, Hadzic was appointed president of the government of the self-declared Serbian Autonomous District of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. On February 26th 1992, he was elected president of the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina. He remained in this position until December 1993.

UN prosecutors have charged him with eight counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war for his alleged involvement in persecutions, extermination, murder, imprisonment, torture, inhumane acts, cruel treatment, deportation, wanton destruction and plunder of public or private property.

After today’s arrest of former Bosnian Serb General and suspected war criminal Ratko Mladic, there’s only one more name on the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia’s list of fugitives: Former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic. While not as well known as Mladic or Radovan Karadzic, his alleged crimes are no less serious: 

After Croatia declared independence on June 25th 1991, Hadzic was appointed president of the government of the self-declared Serbian Autonomous District of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. On February 26th 1992, he was elected president of the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina. He remained in this position until December 1993.

UN prosecutors have charged him with eight counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war for his alleged involvement in persecutions, extermination, murder, imprisonment, torture, inhumane acts, cruel treatment, deportation, wanton destruction and plunder of public or private property.

The indictment covers the period between June 25th 1991 and the end of his presidency in December 1993. It alleges that Hadzic participated as a co-perpetrator in a joint criminal enterprise, seeking “the permanent forcible removal of a majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from approximately one-third of the territory of the Republic of Croatia in order to make them part of a new Serb-dominated state through the commission of crimes”.[…]

Among the cases of alleged war crimes against Croats and other non-Serbs that the indictment cites is the murder in November 1991 of 264 Croatian prisoners of war whom Serbian forces took from a Vukovar hospital and shot dead at the Ovcara farm, about 5km south of the city. Hadzic also faces charges of involvement in the extermination or murder of hundreds of civilians, including women and elderly persons, in several villages in Eastern Slavonija.

The indictment also details an event on October 18th 1991, in which forces under Hadzic’s command, members of the paramilitary Dusan Silni unit and Serbian troops, forced 50 Croat detainees to march into a minefield on the outskirts of the village of Lovas, about 20km southwest of Vukovar. Mine explosions or gunfire killed 21 of the detainees.

It’s been speculated that Hadzic may be hiding out in a monestary on the Serbian-Croatian border. 

As for the world’s most prominent war crimes fugitive, with Mladic out of the picture, it’s probably Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony. Muammar al-Qaddafi and Omar al-Bashir also also wanted by the ICC, but as sitting heads of state, it’s hard to really describe them as fugitives.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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