ICTY orders former Croatian general to stay in The Hague until trial

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled Wednesday that former Croatian general Ante Gotovina [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] must remain in detention in The Hague until his trial. The court denied Gotovina's motion for release [decision text, PDF] and dismissed the motion to strike because of the risk he could flee. Gotovina, who has indicted [text] for alleged crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war, filed a motion for provisional release in August to await trial under house arrest in Croatia. The motion also required Croatian officials' assurance that Gotovina would return to The Hague for trial, but the prosecution formally opposed [text, PDF] the request, writing that provisional release would undermine the interests of justice. The ICTY has not yet given a trial date. Reuters has more.

After his 2001 indictment Gotovina became the third most-wanted ICTY war crimes suspect until officials arrested [JURIST report] him in Spain's Canary Islands in 2005. He is charged in connection with the killing of Croatian Serb civilians during the Balkan wars in the 1990s, including failing to prevent the murder of 150 people in Krajina during Operation Storm [BBC report] in 1995. The offensive forced about 150,000 Serbs from their homes.

 

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