Croatian Serb war crimes defendant Hadzic dies | News | DW | 13.07.2016
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Croatian Serb war crimes defendant Hadzic dies

Goran Hadzic, the rebel leader of Croatian Serbs during the 1991-1995 Balkan Wars, has died. He stood accused of committing war crimes.

The former Croatian Serb rebel leader Goran Hadzic, who was accused of war crimes, died on Tuesday at the age of 57, Serbian state media Tanjug reported.

Hadzic was arrested in Serbia in 2011 after seven years on the run and put before the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The court released him from jail last year and halted the trial in April because Hadzic was suffering from advanced stages of terminal brain cancer.

He died in Novi Sad in northern Serbia after spending the past several months in the hospital.

Hadzic was charged with 14 counts of war crimes for his role in leading an ethnic Serb effort to carve off one-third of Croatia after the Western Balkan country declared independence from Serb-led Yugoslavia.

To form the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina, Hadzic was accused of "cleansing" non-Serbs from the territory through murder, beatings and forced removal.

Hadzic was the final of the 161 suspects to face trial at the ICTY after being captured in Serbia.

Former Bosnian Serb army leader Ratko Mladic, who faces genocide and crimes against humanity charges for his role in the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, is the last defendant on trial at the international tribunal. A verdict in his case is expected in later 2017.

The collapse and splintering of the former Yugoslavia led to the 1991-1995 Balkan Wars that left hundreds of thousands displaced and more than 100,000 dead.

cw/kl (AFP, AP)

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