Goran Hadzic, Serbian struggle prison – obituary


Goran Hadzic, who has died aged 57, was the final fugitive wished over struggle crimes within the former Yugoslavia whose seize in 2011 helped to convey the Republic of Serbia in from the diplomatic deep freeze.

An ethnic Serb former warehouseman from Slavonia, a area in east Croatia, Hadzic, supported by Slobodan Milosevic’s regime in Belgrade, led ethnic pogroms and armed riot after Croatia’s secession from Yugoslavia in June 1991, leading to partition of the nation and the Serbian seizure of 1 / 4 of the territory. For nearly two years, from 1991-93, Hadzic set himself up as “President” of the self-styled breakaway Serbian republic of Krajina. In 1995, nonetheless, Croatia launched main offensives which might successfully finish the struggle in its favour, after which he moved to Serbia.

Hadzic went on the run after he was indicted in July 2004 on 14 counts of struggle crimes and crimes towards humanity in the course of the 1991–95 battle. Specifically he was charged with taking part in a number one position within the brutal destruction of the Croatian city of Vukovar in 1991. His most infamous alleged crime was the bloodbath of 250 Croats and different non-Serbs taken from a hospital after the town fell following a three-month siege. Taken to a close-by pig farm, the captives have been crushed and tortured earlier than being shot and dumped in a mass grave.

He was additionally charged with duty for the bloodbath of Croat civilians who have been compelled to stroll right into a minefield within the city of Lovas. Different prices included torture of civilians in detention amenities and the forcible switch of tens of hundreds of non-Serbs.

Earlier than his seize in July 2011, Hadzic was stated to have been dwelling underneath a false title in monasteries in northern Serbia, the place he was hidden by diehard ultra-nationalist Serbian Orthodox monks. However he began operating out of cash and it was his obvious determined try to promote a Modigliani portrait (it was by no means clear whether or not he actually owned such a portray) that acquired him observed by the Belgrade authorities, who put a 24-hour tail on the contacts they thought he would possibly go to for assist.

On July 20 Hadzic emerged from hiding to fulfill a buddy in some closely wooded hills not removed from his former house in Novi Unhappy, close to the Croatian border. Because the assembly started, Serbian commandos emerged from the undergrowth in black balaclavas.

The arrest of Hadzic crossed the final title off the UN tribunal within the Hague’s record of 161 indictees, bringing an finish to what had arguably been one of the profitable manhunts in historical past.

Goran Hadzic was born on September 7 1958 within the Croatian city of Vinkovci, then a part of Yugoslavia; and in his youth was politically lively as a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. Till the break-up of Yugoslavia, he labored as a warehouse man in Vukovar. As Croatia started strikes to interrupt away from Yugoslavia, Hadzic emerged as a frontrunner of native Serbs.

Hadzic’s arrest was seen as a victory for Serbia’s reformist president, Boris Tadic, who had devoted himself to Serbia’s “ethical rehabilitation”,  and as an essential step ahead in Serbia’s bid to grow to be an EU member. The nation obtained full candidate standing the next yr.

Earlier than he was extradited to the UN tribunal, Hadzic was allowed to say goodbye to 2 separate households – his spouse, son and daughter in Novi Unhappy and his mistress and youngster in Belgrade.

Hadzic’s trial started in October 2012. Prosecutors completed presenting their case towards him in November 2013 and Hadzic had simply began his defence when he was identified with mind most cancers in November 2014. He was launched provisionally six months later and allowed to return to northern Serbia for therapy.

Goran Hadzic, born September 7 1958, died July 12 2016


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