August 5, 2020 — Where are the rebel Serb leaders and presidents of the paramilitary state in Croatia today? While Croatia celebrates the 25-year anniversary of Operation Storm, some leaders and instigators of so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina ended up in prison. Others have died.
Jovan Rašković, founder and president of the Serbian Democratic Party in 1990, was the instigator of the Serb uprising in Croatia. Dnevnik.hr reports that Rašković withdrew from politics after the Bloody Easter at Plitvice. Seven Serbian special forces were wounded and Josip Jović was killed in battle. He died of a heart attack in Belgrade in 1992.
Milan Martić was the chief of the Knin militia and the leader of the “Log Revolution” in Knin, which began on August 17, 1990. He was the former president of Serbian Krajina. At his Hague trial, he received a 35-year prison sentence for war crimes against non-Serb civilians in Croatia. He is serving his prison sentence in Estonia.
Croatia Serb Babić: ‘Greater Serbia’ Idea Seduced Him
Milan Babić, President of the first Serb Krajina republic in Croatia and the first and last government of the breakaway republic. The Hague tribunal indicted him for war crimes in 2004. He then claimed that the politics and idea of a Greater Serbia seduced him. As the first The Hague indictee; Babić pled guilty. He then reached an agreement with the prosecution, and received a 13-year prison sentence. He later committed suicide in the detention unit in The Hague.
Borislav Mikelić was the Prime Minister of the Serb Krajina republic in Croatia from 1994 to 1995. Croatia authorities filed an indictment against Mikelić and considered him most responsible for the suffering of Croatian police officers and civilians. He received a 20-year prison sentence. The Zagreb County Court eventually dismissed the indictment after he appealed. He died in Belgrade in 2018 at the age of 79.
Mile Mrkšić was the last commander of the rebel Serb army in Croatia. Prior to that, he fought in Vukovar, where he was the commander of all rebel units. He voluntarily surrendered to The Hague in 2002, and received a 20-year prison sentence in 2007. He died on August 16, 2015 of cancer while serving a prison sentence in Portugal.
Goran Hadžić was the President of the so-called Serb Krajina republic in Croatia from 1992 to 1993. Croatian courts sentenced him in absentia to 20 years for bombing Šibenik and 20 years for crimes against Croats in Slavonia. He faced trial for war crimes at The Hague tribunal in 2011. In 2016, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
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