Vukovar accused Goran Hadzic pleads not guilty to war crimes

24th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic pleaded not guilty Wednesday to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the murder of civilians taken from a hospital during Croatia's 1992-95 war.

"Not guilty, your honour," Hadzic told judge Guy Delvoie of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, when asked to plead to the charges.

Hadzic, 52, was the last of the court's 161 wanted suspects until his arrest last month in northern Serbia's idyllic Fruska Gora mountains after seven years on the run.

The one-time leader of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina during the early 1990s is charged with 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This notably includes his role in the massacre by Croatian Serb troops of some 260 Croats and other non-Serbs taken from a hospital in Vukovar, eastern Croatia, after it fell to Serb troops in November 1991 following a harrowing three-month siege.

Hadzic's arrest came two months after Serbian authorities finally captured wartime Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic, the court's most wanted man.

© 2011 AFP

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