Wartime Croatian Serb leader and war crime defendant Goran Hadzic dies


The wartime Croatian Serb leader and war crime defendant Goran Hadzic has died in Novi Sad, Serbia. Hadzic (58) died in hospital about 8 p.m.

Hadzic got sick at his home, and was taken to the Emergency Center, where he died. It is assumed that a thrombus in the lung caused the death. Hadzic was in poor health, and was twice hospitalized in the past month.

The Hadzic's trial in the Hague tribunal was suspended in October 2014 when he got sick.

The wartime Croatian Serb leader was facing 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity over his alleged involvement in the forced removal and murder of thousands of non-Serb civilians from Croatia between 1991 and 1993.

Hadzic was president of the self-proclaimed Serbian Autonomous District of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem and subsequently President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina – both unrecognised Serb-controlled areas within Croatia.

He was charged with persecution on political, racial or religious grounds, extermination, murder, imprisonment, and torture. The prosecution also accused him of deportation, forcible transfer, wanton destruction and plunder of public or private property.

It alleges he was part of a joint criminal enterprise whose purpose was “the permanent removal of a majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from a large part of the territory of Republic of Croatia”.

Goran Hadzic was the last ICTY fugitive to be arrested. He was caught in Serbia in 2011 after spending seven years on the run.

His trial started in October 2012. The prosecution had already presented its evidence, and Hadzic had just started his defence when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.