Wednesday, March 17, 2004

New Batch

Only a week after Monday's flight that took Mladen Markač (Mladen Markac) and Ivan Čermak (Ivan Cermak), Croatian media is speculating about two more Croatian generals are going to face indictments at ICTY. This time, alleged indictments are related to war in Bosnia, namely the period that featured hostilities between Bosnian Croat militia HVO and forces loyal to Alija Izetbegovic's Muslim-dominated government.

Two generals used to command HVO during those times. First one, Milivoj Petković (Milivoj Petkovic) has already been in Hague as a witness during the trial against General Tihofil Blaškić (Tihofil Blaskic), later sentenced to 45 years for massacre of Muslim civilians in village of Ahmići (Ahmici).

The other general Slobodan Praljak, probably has the most interesting biography of all war crimes suspect. He started as a film director, was active in politics as founder of one Croatia's nationalist parties in 1990, but his greatest moment of fame came in 1991 when he became commander of Croatian forces in strategically important village of Sunja near Sisak. His force, which, among others, included prominent Croatian actor and WW2 Partisan Sven Lasta in the role of sniper, successfully held its position earning Praljak great deal of fame.

His role of Bosnian Croat commander was less successful and brought him lot of infamy, mostly due to his controversial decision to destroy famous 16th Century bridge in Herzegovina capital of Mostar, at those times divided between warring Croats and Muslims. Image of bridge falling down infuriated international and even some large sections of Croatian public, but Praljak remained unrepentant and used every opportunity to defend his decision.

If Praljak goes to Hague, his trial is going to be among the more entertaining.


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