Former top Croatian Serb policeman, Milan Martic, has been found guilty of crimes against humanity committed during the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison. In a lengthy judgement covering the multiple counts under which Martic was tried, the judges at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague found he was not guilty of the crime of extermination.
However he was found guilty on all the other counts, including persecution, murder, imprisonment, torture, inhumane acts, cruel treatment, deportation and forcible transfer, wanton destruction, plunder, and attacks on civilians. At the outbreak of the Yugoslavian conflict Martic was a senior police inspector. In 1991 he was one of the organisers of the defence of the self-proclaimed Serb republic of Krajina, to stop the newly-proclaimed independent Croatia taking control.
He then took charge of the police force, and is widely regarded as having created the policy of ethic cleansing that would become so widespread in the following years. He was picked by Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic to become the Krajinan Serb’s president, succeeding Milan Babic, who pleaded guilty and was sent to jail for 13 years by the tribunal last year.
As President, Martic then ordered cluster bomb missile attacks on Zagreb in 1995, killing seven and wounding nearly 200 civilians.