AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Judges at the U.N. war crimes tribunal will rule on Thursday whether three former Yugoslav officers were criminally responsible for the 1991 massacre of non-Serbs in the Croatian town of Vukovar.
Here are some facts about the so-called “Vukovar Three”.
Mrksic is a Serb born in present-day Croatia in 1947.
He was commander of the Yugoslav Peoples Army (JNA) First Guards Motorised Brigade during the war in Croatia. According to the tribunal’s indictment, Mrksic’s brigade had primary responsibility for the attack on Vukovar and the killing of at least 264 Croats and other non-Serbs who were taken from Vukovar hospital following the army’s takeover of the town.
He retired from military service in August 1995 after his unit withdrew from Croatia, ending his career as a general.
Mrksic surrendered to the UN tribunal in May 2002.
Sljivancanin was the First Guards’ security officer, also in charge of a military police battalion in 1991. Born in 1953 near Zabljak in current Montenegro, he was a JNA major and subordinate to Colonel Mrksic. He retired from the army in October 2001.
Sljivancanin has maintained the highest public profile of the Vukovar Three, telling a magazine in 2001 he “could not picture himself” in The Hague and did not recognize the tribunal.
Two years later, Sljivancanin was arrested by security forces in Belgrade in June after a 10-hour standoff between riot police and his supporters outside his apartment block where he had apparently returned to celebrate his 50th birthday.
Radic, the youngest of the Vukovar Three, was born in September 1962 in Zemun in present-day Serbia. According to his indictment, he graduated in 1985 from the Yugoslav People’s Army Academy in Sarajevo as an infantry officer.
In the indictment his rank is given as that of a captain in the JNA where he commanded an infantry company in the first battalion of the First Guards.
After the fall of Vukovar, Radic left military service to enter private business in Serbia.
He gave himself up to the war crimes tribunal in 2002.
The three men have all pleaded not guilty.
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