Mladen Naletilic, a Bosnian Croat commander convicted of war crimes against Bosniaks by the Hague Tribunal, will go on trial again next week for murder and abduction.
Zagreb county court has scheduled the first trial session for March 15 after the Hague Tribunal last month granted early release to Naletilic, who had served two-thirds of his 20-year prison term for participating in a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia in 1993.
After his release, 67-year-old Naletilic, the former commander of the ‘Convicts’ Battalion’ of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, immediately flew to Croatia and said he would live in Zagreb, where his sons are based.
But there were still two outstanding cases against him in Croatia, which were put on hold during his Hague trial and jail term.
He was indicted in Zagreb for the murder of HVO soldier Robert Nosic in 1993 and for the abduction and torture of another HVO serviceman, Damir Brekalo, in 1995.
Naletilic was arrested in 1999 and extradited to The Hague in early 2000.
Judge Ivan Turudic, who sentenced former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader to ten years in prison for bribery last year, ordered Naletilic to attend next week’s hearing, but no arrest warrant has been issued.
Together with his military subordinate Vinko Martinovic, Naletilic was convicted by the Hague Tribunal in 2003 for wartime crimes including persecution on political, racial and religious grounds, torture, destruction and plunder.
Naletilic was found to have ordered the destruction of Bosniak houses in the village of Doljani in April 1993 and forcibly removed around 400 Bosniak civilians from the villages of Sovici and Doljani in May 1993.