- Title: VARIOUS: SIX WARTIME BOSNIAN CROATS ARRIVE AT DETENTION CENTRE OUTSIDE THE HAUGE
- Date: 6th April 2004
- Summary: (W3) ZAGREB, CROATIA (APRIL 5, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. MV GROUP OF FORMER SOLDIERS WITH SLOBODAN PRALJAK IN THE MIDDLE (WHITE BEARD) SINGING CROATIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM AT AIRPORT TERMINAL; CLOSE UP SLOBODAN PRALJAK 0.21 2. SON OF LATE CROATIAN PRESIDENT FRANJO TUDJMAN, MIROSLAV TUDJMAN SHAKING HANDS AND SAYING GOODBYE TO VALENTIN CORIC 0.29 3. SOUNDBITE (Croatian) FORMER CHIEF OF BOSNIAN CROAT HVO MILITIA, SLOBODAN PRALJAK, SAYING "Lot of work is ahead of us. We have to continue what we had worked on for four years. We have been defending ourselves and we are not guilty." 0.42 4. MV CROWD APPLAUDING; ADRANKO PRLIC SAYING GOODBYE TO TWO DAUGHTERS AND WIFE; JADRANKO PRLIC RAISING HANDS, PEOPLE APPLAUDING; PEOPLE SAYING GOOD BYE TO VALENTIN CORIC, VARIOUS OF HANDSHAKES AND HUGGING (5 SHOTS) 1.24 (W5) THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (APRIL 5, 2004) (REUTERS) 5. MAN AT MAIN GATE TO SCHEVENINGEN DETENTION CENTRE; BUS ARRIVING WITH BOSNIAN CROATS AND ENTERING GATE OF PRISON; SECURITY CAR BLOCKING GATE, GATE CLOSING; SLV EXTERIORS OF DETENTION CENTRE (6 SHOTS) 2.21 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 21st April 2004 13:00
- Location: ZAGREB, CROATIA/THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands Croatia
- Reuters ID: LVAEI02NW29T8OHJY2SATAJA0K61
- Story Text: Six wartime Bosnian Croat arrive at a detention
centre just outside in The Hague.
Six wartime Bosnian Croat officials who
voluntarily left Croatia for the United Nations war crimes
tribunal in The Hague arrived at Scheveningen detention
centre in the Netherlands on Monday (April 5, 2004) to face
charges of ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims during their
Slobodan Praljak and Milivoj Petkovic are former chiefs
of Bosnian Croat HVO militia. Jadranko Prlic and Bruno
Stojic were prime and defence ministers, receptively, in a
self-styled state Bosnian Croats proclaimed in 1993.
Valentin Coric was its military police chief and
Berislav Pusic in charge of prisoners. All are Croatian
Their surrender comes as Croatia is seeking to advance
its European Union membership bid by cooperating fully with
the tribunal. Two other Croatian generals surrendered to
the tribunal in March.
A group of about three hundred people saw them off at
the airport and sang the national anthem before the six
boarded the plane.
Monday's was the largest group of indictees to leave
for the Hague from anywhere in former Yugoslavia since ten
Bosnian Croats surrendered in October 1997, after Croatia's
nationalist government came under heavy Western pressure to
hand them over.
The indictments put on the bench most of civil and
military leaders of Herceg-Bosna, a separatist statelet
Bosnian Croats proclaimed in 1993 in defiance of the
central government in Sarajevo.
The indictments, made public on Friday, charged them
with crimes against humanity, including persecution, rape,
detention and murder of Bosnian Muslims.
According to the indictment, their aim, allegedly
devised together with the late Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman and his Defence Minister Gojko Susak, now also dead,
was to cleanse the areas under Croat control in central and
southern Bosnia and annex them to Croatia proper.
At the peak of the conflict, Bosnian Croats rounded up
hundreds of Muslim men and put them in squalid detention
camps, which were closed down later in 1993 under Western
The war was waged on the side of the main 1992-95
conflict which pitched separatist Bosnian Serbs against
Croats and Muslims. Herceg-Bosna president Mate Boban, who
died in 1997, was also mentioned as in the indictment and
would have probably been indicted too.
Praljak is now a tobacco businessman while the Croatian
army sent Petkovic into early retirement last week, as soon
as he agreed to surrender. Prlic has held a variety of
government posts in Bosnia after the war ended in 1995. The
others kept a lower public profile.
Croatia hopes to become a candidate for EU membership
in June and start entry talks early next year, but its bid
depends on meeting certain political criteria.
These include respect for ethnic minorities,
cooperation with neighbours and full compliance with the
The biggest stumbling block is the case of fugitive
general Ante Gotovina, indicted by the tribunal in 2001,
who remains at large. The government insists he is not
hiding in Croatia.
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