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UN war crimes tribunal indicts former Croatian general

UN war crimes tribunal indicts former Croatian general

A retired Croatian general has been charged by the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia with responsibility for his alleged role in a 1993 operation against a Serbian enclave.

The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) made the indictment public today after it was issued last week. Among the charges of murder and cruel and inhumane treatment of civilians and captured soldiers during a two-day attack on the Medak Pocket, were counts of tying bodies to a car and dragging them along village roadsides, and burning a Serbian woman alive while soldiers mocked her.

According to the indictment, Mirko Norac, "acting individually and/or in concert with others...planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of persecutions of Serb civilians of the Medak Pocket on racial, political or religious ground."

At the time of the attack - which expelled 400 Serb civilians from the region - Mr. Norac was a commander of the Ninth Guards Motorized Brigade and led a group formed for the purpose of conducting the operation, The Hague-based court said. The indictment says that as a result of the Croatian military operation, "the Medak Pocket became uninhabitable…thereby depriving the Serbian population of their homes and livelihoods."

Two other generals have already been charged with responsibility for the same operation - Rahim Ademi, who is free on bail pending his trial, and Janko Bobetko, who has died.