The International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague is due to deliver a verdict in the case of a former Serb rebel leader accused of murder, torture and ethnic cleansing in the early 1990’s. Its alleged Milan Martic and other Serb leaders planned to create a “mini-state” by annexing ethnic Serb territory in Bosnia and Croatia.
It is claimed that hundreds of Croats and other non-Serbs were forcibly removed from their homes and later murdered as part of the plan. Their houses and property were razed to the ground. Many thousands who were not killed were forced to flee. Martic has denied the charges, which date back to his time as leader of the self-proclaimed Republic of Krajina and head of the local police.
The prosecution has asked for a life sentence to be imposed if he is found guilty. Martic is also accused of ordering indiscriminate missile attacks on the Croatian capital, Zagreb, towards the end of the war, in retaliation for major Croatian offensives.