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The Hague, 10 December 2005
Transfer of Ante Gotovina to the Tribunal
Ante Gotovina was today transferred to the Tribunal's Detention Unit in The Hague. An indictment against him was made public in July 2001 and after more than four years of evading justice, he was arrested on 7 December 2005 in the Canary Islands by the Spanish authorities.
Gotovina, a former Croatian General, is charged with persecutions, murder, plunder of property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, deportation and forced displacement, and other inhumane acts, which took place under his command and control, against the Serb population during and in the aftermath of the August 1995 Croatian military offensive known as Operation Storm.
The operation was intended to establish Croatian authority over the Krajina region of Croatia. According to the indictment, another purpose of the operation was the forcible and permanent removal of the Serb population from that region. The indictment alleges that as commander of the Split Military District, Gotovina was the overall operations commander of Operation Storm in the southern portion of the Krajina region.
It is further alleged that during and after the offensive, Croatian forces attacked and took control of towns, villages and hamlets in the southern portion of the Krajina region during which they subjected the local Serb population to persecutions and plundered and destroyed their property. It is alleged that, by his acts and omissions, Gotovina encouraged others, including Croatian civilians, to perpetrate these crimes. Further, it is stated that the accused had a duty to restore and ensure public order and safety and he failed to fulfil this duty.
The indictment alleges that Croatian forces killed at least 150 Serbs in Krajina while subjecting large numbers of others to inhumane treatment, humiliation and degradation. In addition, it is stated that these forces also plundered and destroyed thousands of Serb-owned dwellings in the municipalities of Benkovac, Donji Lapac, Drnis, Gospic, Gracac, Knin, Korenica, Obrovac, Sibenik, Sinj and Zadar, thereby forcing the Krajina Serbs to flee.
The indictment charges Ante Gotovina on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal) with:
persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, deportation and other inhumane acts (forced displacement) (crimes against humanity, Article 5)
plunder of public or private property and wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages (violations of the laws or customs of war, Article 3), and
on the basis of individual criminal responsibility of a superior (Article 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal) with:
other inhumane acts (crimes against humanity, Article 5)
murder (violations of the laws or customs of war, Article 3)
Since its inception in 1993, the Tribunal has charged 161 persons for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. To date, proceedings against 88 persons have concluded. Six indicted persons remain at large.
A date and time for Ante Gotovina's initial appearance will be announced in due course.
The full text of the indictment is available on the Tribunal's website http://www.un.org/icty/
Hard copies can also be obtained from the Media Office.
Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website at www.un.org/icty.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
For more information, please contact our Media Office in The Hague
Tel.: +31-70-512-8752; 512-5343; 512-5356 Fax: +31-70-512-5355 - Email: press [at] icty.org