Former Serb leader kills himself in Dutch jail

6th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

6 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch authorities have confirmed former Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic committed suicide at the UN prison in Scheveningen on Sunday. Details of how he took his own life have not been disclosed.

6 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch authorities have confirmed former Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic committed suicide at the UN prison in Scheveningen on Sunday. Details of how he took his own life have not been disclosed.

Babic was the former president of the self-declared Krajina Serb republic that broke away from Croatia after it declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

UN prosecutors regarded him as a key ally of former Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milosevic. They campaigned to drive out non-Serbs from part of Croatia and create a new Serb-dominated state.

Babic surrendered to the UN Tribunal in 2003 and made a deal with UN Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. He received a 13-year sentence after he admitted murder, deportation and unlawful imprisonment of non-Serbs from eastern Croatia. He also agreed to testify against other suspects, having already given evidence against Milosevic in 2002.

The court accepted his guilty plea and cooperation posed "great risk to his family and his own safety". The tribunal's appeals chamber confirmed Babic's sentence last year and he was transferred abroad to serve his sentence.

He was brought back to The Hague last month to testify in the trial of Milan Martic, a high-ranking official of the Krajina Serb republic who is charged with crimes against non-Serb civilians. 

This is the second time a defendant has committed suicide in the UN jail at Scheveningen. Croatian Serb Slavko Dokmanovic hung himself in his cell in 1998. He was facing war crime charges in relation to the fall of Vukovar in 1991.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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