UN tribunal terminates provisional release of former Croatian Commander

31 December 2007 –

The United Nations war crimes tribunal set up to deal with the worst crimes of the Balkan wars of the 1990s has ordered the arrest of a former Croatian commander for violating the terms of his provisional release by leaving his designated residence to go on a hunting trip without permission.

On 28 December, the Duty Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) requested the Government of Croatia to immediately arrest Mladen Markac and transfer him to the UN Detention Unit in The Hague, Netherlands, where the court is based.

Last week, the Tribunal received information that Mr. Markac had left his designated residence in Zagreb to go on a hunting trip in Biligora on 22 December. Croatian authorities did not report any breach of provisional release conditions in the five days following that trip, photos of which were published in the local media, but did confirm the violation upon the Registry’s request.

Mr. Markac – accused of murder, persecutions, deportation, inhumane acts and other crimes allegedly committed during his time as Commander of the Special Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia – has been on provisional release since December 2004.

He is to stand trial with two co-accused, Ante Gotovina and Ivan Cermak. The start of the trial has not yet been scheduled.

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