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The Hague, 22 July 2011
Goran Hadžić in Tribunal’s Custody
Goran Hadžić, the last remaining fugitive, was today transferred to the Tribunal’s custody, after having been at large for almost seven years. Hadžić, who was arrested by Serbian authorities on 20 July 2011, has been admitted to the UN Detention Unit in The Hague.
Hadžić’s initial appearance, at which he will be asked to enter a plea to the charges he faces, will be announced in due course.
Goran Hadžić, former President of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), is charged with a number of crimes committed in eastern Slavonia, Croatia, from June 1991 to December 1993, including persecutions, murder, imprisonment, torture, inhumane acts, cruel treatment, deportation and wanton destruction.
The UN Detention Unit where Hadžić is detained meets the highest international standards for the treatment of detainees. It is managed in a manner respecting the detainees’ dignity and rights, and providing all the necessary conditions for the preparation of their defence.
Hadžić is alleged to have participated in a joint criminal enterprise, the purpose of which was the permanent removal of a majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from approximately one-third of the territory of Croatia in order to make it part of a new Serb-dominated state.
Among the members of the joint criminal enterprise were Jovica Stanišić, Franko Simatović and Vojislav Šešelj who are currently standing trial at the Tribunal as well as Slobodan Milošević, the former President of Serbia.
Hadžić is charged with persecutions, which included the deportation or forcible transfer of tens of thousands of Croat and other non-Serb civilians, including the deportation to Serbia of at least 5,000 inhabitants from Ilok, 20,000 inhabitants from Vukovar and the forcible transfer to locations within Croatia of at least 2,500 inhabitants from Erdut.
According to the indictment, “virtually the whole Croat and non-Serb population of this area was forcibly transferred, deported or killed.”
Hadžić is charged with the extermination, murder and willful killing of hundreds of Croat and non-Serb civilians, including 264 victims who were removed from the Vukovar Hospital in the aftermath of the Serb take-over of the city in November 1991. According to the indictment, the victims were transported to the JNA barracks and then to the Ovčara farm, where they were beaten and tortured before being transported to a remote execution site between the Ovčara farm and Grabovo, where they were killed and buried in a mass grave.
Hadžić stands accused of the imprisonment of thousands of Croat and other non-Serb civilians in a number of detention facilities, including Ovčara farm and Velepromet warehouse in Vukovar, the Stajiċevo agricultural farm, the military barracks of Begejci and Zrenjanin in Serbia as well as the police buildings and hangar near the railway station in Dalj. According to the indictment “the living conditions in the detention facilities were brutal and characterised by inhumane treatment, overcrowding, starvation, forced labour, inadequate medical care, and constant physical and psychological assault, including mock executions, torture, beatings, and sexual assault.”
Hadžić is also charged with wanton destruction, plunder of public or private property, including plunder and destruction of homes and religious and cultural buildings, in the towns and villages of Dalj, Dalj Planina, Čelije, Vukovar, Erdut, Erdut Planina, Aljmaš, Lovas, Sarengrad, Bapska and Tovarnik.
The accreditation procedure for Hadžić’s Initial Appearance is not yet open.
Further details will be provided in a separate Press Advisory announcing the date and time of the Initial Appearance.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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