Croatian Generals acquitted of war crimes



Zeenews Bureau

The Hague: A war crimes court here on Friday acquitted two Croatian generals of atrocity charges against Serbs during Yugoslavia's break-up in 1995, the BBC reported.

Appeals judges said the generals - Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac – be released.

The Croatian generals had filed appeals in the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal against their conviction for their roles in a 1995 military offensive to drive Serb rebels out of land they had occupied for years along part of Croatia's border with Bosnia.

The generals, Gotovina and Markac, were sentenced to 24 and 18 years respectively in 2011 for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Judges had then ruled that both men were part of a criminal conspiracy led by former Croat president Franjo Tudjman to expel Serbs.

They are still considered heroes in their home country for their roles in Operation Storm, the battle seen as sealing Croatia's independence as the former Yugoslavia crumbled.

Croatian war veterans' organizations called for prayers for the generals ahead of Friday's appeals judgment.

(With Agency inputs)