Croatian war crimes suspect, former General Ante Gotovina, has arrived at the war crimes tribunal in the Hague after Spanish police caught up with him earlier this week in the Canary islands. His first appearance in court is set for Monday. Gotovina is charged with responsibility for the murders of at least 150 Serbs by troops under his command during the 1995 “Operation Storm”, when Croatian forces retook parts of the country from Serb rebels.
The indictment also alleges that the troops subjected large numbers of Serbs to inhumane treatment, humiliation and degradation, and that those forces looted and destroyed thousands of Serb-owned homes. The arrest is expected to ease Croatia’s path to joining the European Union, which was sceptical about how serious Zagreb was about trying to catch a man many Croats consider a national hero.
Gotovina’s new home will be in a tiny cell, a far cry from the haunts in Asia, Latin America and Europe where he has been keeping one step ahead of justice in the last few months. A few metres down the corridor is the prison’s other notorious inmate – and Gotovina’s former enemy – Slobodan Milosevic.