Goran Hadzic, a Croatian politician of Serbian origin: a biography


2018-11-03 14:00:36




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Goran Hadzic (7 September 1958 – 12 July 2016) was the President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina during the war between Serbia and Croatia. The international criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia considers him guilty of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war.

Hadžić, indicted on fourteen counts. He was accused of involvement in the "deportation or forcible displacement of tens of thousands of Croats and other civilians of non-Serb origin". These actions took place on the territory of Croatia in the period from June 1991 to December 1993; in the number of illegally settled includes 20,000 people from the city of Vukovar. In addition, Hadzic was accused of using forced labor of prisoners, the extermination of hundreds of civilians in dozens of Croatian towns and villages including Vukovar, as well as in the beatings, torture and murder of detainees.

Hadžić much longer the rest of the defendants concealed from the Tribunal by the Serbian authorities managed to catch him only 20 Jul 2011. The trial was terminated in 2014 due to the fact that the accused was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Goran Hadzic

Early years

Hadžić was born in the village of Pacetin in Croatia which was then part of the SFRY. In his youthful years he was an active member of the "Union of Communists of Yugoslavia". Prior to the Croatian war, Hadzic worked as a warehouseman, and was known as the leader of the Serb community in Paceline. In the spring of 1990 was elected to the city Committee of Vukovar as a representative of the "Union of Communists for democratic change".


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On 10 June 1990, Goran Hadzic joined the Serbian democratic party (SDS), and some time later became the Chairman of its branch in Vukovar. In March 1991 he was appointed Chairman of the city Committee of Vukovar and a member of the General and Executive Committee of the Serbian democratic party in Knin. In addition, he was Chairman of the regional Committee of the same party and leader of the Serbian democratic forum in the regions of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem.Serbian Krajina

Croatian war

Goran Hadzic was directly involved in the incident at the Plitvice lakes, which in late March 1991, fighting broke out between the Croatian army and the units of Serbian Krajina. On 25 June 1991, Serbs from the regions of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, held a Congress, which decided to create the Serbian Autonomous oblast (Sao) and to secede from the Republic of Croatia, which was then still part of Yugoslavia. Hadzic was to be the head of government autonomy.

On 26 February 1992, the Serb Krajina joined in two areas of Western Slavonia. Around the same time, Goran Hadzic was replaced Milan Babic became the new head of the unrecognized Republic. Babić was deposed because of the fact that he opposed the peace plan of Cyrus Vance, so I ruined my relationship with Milosevic. According to reports, Hadzic boasted that is "messenger of Slobodan Milosevic". He held a senior position until December 1993.

In September 1993, when Croatia started operation "Medacki pocket", the President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was sent to the Belgrade emergency request, hoping to get reinforcements, weapons and equipment. The Serbian authorities have ignored the request, however, a paramilitary group of approximately 4,000 people (Serbian volunteer guard) under the command of Zeljko Raznatovic nicknamed Arkan came to the aid of the army of Serbian Krajina. The Board Hadzic lasted until February 1994, when the President was chosen by the Croatian politician of Serbian origin, Milan martić.

After the operation "Storm" in August 1995 units of the army of RSK in Eastern Slavonia remained outside of the control of the government of Croatia. Between 1996 and 1997, hadžić was the head of the region of Srem-Baranja County, after the region was peacefully returned to Croatia in accordance with the provisions Urutskogo agreement. In the future, hadžić moved to Serbia. In 2000 in Belgrade, he attended the funeral of Zeljko Raznatovic (Arcana) and very respectful to say about this man, calling him a hero.

Novi sad

Allegations of war crimes during the war in Croatia

Croatian court sentences in absentia Hadzic on two counts: in 1995 for rocket attacks on the cities of šibenik and Vodice, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison; in 1999 for war crimes in Tenja added another 20 years of imprisonment. Later, Hadzic was in the list of most wanted fugitives by Interpol.

In 2002, the Prosecutor's office of Croatia has put forward another indictment against Hadzic, the representatives of the so-called "Vukovar three" (Veselin Sljivancanin, Mile Mrksic and Miroslav Radic), as well as senior commanders of the Yugoslav people's army. They are considered guilty in the murder of nearly 1,300 Croats in Vukovar, Osijek, Vinkovci, Zupanja and some other localities.

President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina

International criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

June 4, 2004, the international criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) accused Hadzic for war crimes.

He was charged with participation in the 14 episodes of war crimeswith his alleged involvement in the forced deportation and murder of thousands of civilians in Croatia between 1991 and 1993. He was accused of the murder of 250 Croats in Vukovar hospital in 1991; the crimes were Given, Argote and Lovas; participation in the creation of the concentration camps in Stajicevo, begejci and Sremski Mitrovica; and a senseless destruction of homes, religious and cultural monuments.


A few weeks before the arrest of hadžić disappeared from his home in Novi the Garden. In 2005, the Serbian media reported that he was hiding in an Orthodox monastery in Montenegro. Nenad Chanak, the leader of the League of social Democrats of Vojvodina, in 2006, claimed that Hadzic was hiding in a monastery somewhere in Prusskoi mountain in Serbia. At one time there were rumors that he might be somewhere in Belarus.

In October 2007, the Serbian government Council for national security has offered 250 thousand euros for information which will lead to an arrest of Hadzic. In 2010, the amount of compensation was increased to $ 1.4 million. 9 Oct 2009 the Serbian police raided the house of Hadzic and seized some of his belongings, but made no statements.

After the arrest and extradition of Ratko Mladic, the penultimate accused of war crimes fugitive, the European Union continued to insist on the extradition of Hadzic, to put it before the court. It was stressed that while he is on the run, Serbia can not count on the EU.


On 20 July 2011, Serbian President Boris Tadic announced the arrest of hadžić and added that this arrest will complete the "difficult Chapter" in the history of the Serbs.

Police found the fugitive near the village of Krusedol located on the slope Russkogo range. Presumably, that's where it was all the time after the ICTY filed charges. To locate the investigators helped the stolen painting, the work of Modigliani. Hadzic had been caught after trying to sell it.

At the time of arrest Goran Hadzic was the last of the accused, who was to appear before the ICTY. After the detention began hearings on extradition, and soon the special court has recognized that all prerequisites for the extradition of Hadzic to the Hague met.the Russian foreign Ministry about the arrest of Goran Hadzic

The Response

After the arrest of Hadzic disappeared one of the obstacles to the rapprochement of Serbia with the European Union, and how to write the Western Newspapers, the country has fulfilled its obligations before the international Tribunal. The leaders of the EU member States congratulated the Serbian leadership, calling the arrest signal about the readiness of Serbia to "a better European future". The Minister of foreign Affairs of the Netherlands URI Rosenthal spoke about the arrest: "Another good step is taken. After he was arrested Mladic, we said to the Serbs that now everything depends on them, that they should take the last step and catching Hadzic. And there it was. Serbia must protect human rights, to fight corruption and fraud, to put in order the economy and... to cooperate with the International criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The last item is completely fulfilled".

Approximately in the following way in favor of the Russian foreign Ministry about the arrest: "Goran Hadzic should be subjected to objective and impartial trial and his case should not be used for artificial delays in the ICTY".


On 22 July, the Minister of justice Snezana malović said that the defendant sent to the Hague for a small plane "Cessna". Before departure to Hadzic was allowed to meet ailing mother, wife, son, and sister, and then, accompanied by a convoy of jeeps and police cars he left the detention center for war criminals, and went first in Novi Sad and then to Belgrade airport Nikola Tesla. The Croatian government then instructed his Prosecutor General and the Ministry of justice to take all necessary measures and to achieve transfer of business Hadzic to Croatia to answer for other serious crimes in which he is accused in this country. There is a theory that the Croatian government wanted to force Hadzic to serve two prison term to which he was previously sentenced in absentia by a Croatian court.the leader of the Serbian community

The Condemnation and death

The reading of the charges at the ICTY on 25 July and lasted 15 minutes. Goran refused to plead guilty to any crime related to the war in Croatia. Appointed by the Tribunal counsel Vladimir Petrovic said that Hadzic is not going to respond to the charges immediately, and intends to use the rights granted to him.

Hadžić pleaded not guilty and on August 24, during his second appearance before the court. Prosecutors have announced their intention to call 141 witnesses, including seven experts. It was also announced on indications taken from eighty-two witnesses, twenty of whom must appear in court. The interrogation of the remaining sixty-two were presented as evidence, after which the defense had the opportunity to cross-examine.

In total, prosecutors have received 185 hours for questioning witnesses and experts. The trial commenced on 16 October 2012. In November 2013, the prosecution closed its case, and in February 2014, the court rejected the Hadžić motion for acquittal. In the petition it was alleged that the Prosecutor had not presented sufficient evidence to convict.

In November 2014, the hadžić was discovered inoperable brain cancer. The trial was suspended because the defendant could not participate in it because of the side effects of treatment. Prosecutors wanted to proceed in his absence, but no decision on this issue was not accepted. In April 2015, the court ordered the temporary release of Hadzic and send him back to Serbia. Goran Hadzic died of cancer July 12, 2016.

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