Ante Gotovina

Gotovina directed toward a poster southeast from Dubrovnik, to entries from Montenegro: (Poster translation: “Wilkommen in the country of the general Ante Gotovina”)

Ante Gotovina (* 12. October 1955 on the island Pašman close Zadar, Croatia) is a former Croatian general. In connection with the Croatian war of independence an international warrant of arrest Hague of the tribunal is present against it. One accuses to him, he is to have instructed war crimes as a general of the Croatian army and thus as commanders in chief of the Croatian troops , against Serbs.

Table of contents

military career

Gotovina joined with 18 years of the French Fremdenlegion . There he became NCO at the second paratroop regiment (2eme REP) and accepted the French nationality. Later it than teacher of Commando units was active in Latin America. In the eighties it stood in France because of jewel theft before court, served there a short detention. it occurred 1990 the Croatian army. He was appointed 1992 the major general and 1994 the lieutenant general. As a commander it befehligte between 1992 and 1996 the military district Split, which covers also a part of the municipalities Benkovac , Drniš , Gračac , knees , Šibenik and Zadar.

It was one of the generals, which led the Croatian army with the military operation Oluja (operation storm), with the Croatian army the Republic of Serbian Krajina back-conquered proclaimed by the Serbs and the Serbian FE storage of the UN-protected zone Bihać terminated.

Directly nachem general Gotovina he had successfully locked, led this military operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the military operation Maestral a part of the Croatian army, which proceeded in coalition with Bosnian government troops against the Serbian troops of Ratko Mladić. Afterwards it was promoted by the president at that time Franjo Tuđman to inspector general of the Croatian army. In this time Gotovina exercised complete control of all Croatian units. To 29. September 2000 it was set off from the newly selected Croatian president Stjepan Mesić and from the active service to dismiss.

accusation before the international criminal court and escape

2001 was accused Gotovina by the international criminal court for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) into the Hague of crimes against the humanity, which troops under its command are to have committed.

The charges read and. A.:

  • Killing of at least 150 Krajina Serbs; additionally several hundreds disappeared
  • plundering of private and public property
  • plundering and destruction of villages and cities
  • driving out from roughly 150,000 to 200,000 Krajina Serbs


According to public prosecutor's office also Croatia president at that time was involved in planning and execution Franjo Tuđman. The supplementing indictment speaks criminal combination of one „“, existing and. A. from Gotovina and Tuđman, a whose goal was „driving by force and durable of the Serbian population out from the Krajina region “.

Gotovinas accusation comes for the Croatian population (particularly in the areas of Croatia, from which 270,000 Croats were sold by Serbian partisans and now after four years return could) great importance too, because he is regarded in view of his surprisingly fast military successes of all Croats as a national hero. Therefore into the Hague in this point in Croatia frequently with lack of understanding one meets to the accusations of the international war crimes tribunal.

Internationally according to interest lacking in a seizure was accused to the Croatian authorities Gotovinas. The Croatian government had repeated explained against it, their the place of residence of the ex-general was not well-known, and the state carried everything out, what stands in its power, in order to make and deliver the general. Thus end 2004 road controls were accomplished in completely Croatia, and the Croatian police scanned some houses for the presumed war criminal.

Great Britain, the Netherlands and some Scandinavian states opposed to a further approximation of Croatia to the European Union , should Croatia not completely with the responsible UN-war crimes tribunal co-operate. Originally for the 17. March 2005 intended beginning of the negotiations of accession of Croatia with the European Union was reset accordingly. In its following report Chefanklägerin Carla del Ponte, Kroatien avowed from June 2005 is on the correct way, however not yet enough undertook, in order to seize Gotovina. The reproach was not directed directly against the government of Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, however subordinated Croatian authorities was subordinated to protect Gotovina. Besides accused del Ponte of the catholic church in Croatia and the Vatikan to cover the looked for ex-general. The official negotiations of accession began then, just as to the European Union entry of Turkey, to 4. October, after the Chefanklägerin in its report had certified full co-operation on the day before it the Croatian government „ “with the search for Ante Gotovina.

arrest Ante Gotovinas and the consequences

to 8. December 2005 knew del Ponte admits to give that Ante Gotovina had been arrested the day before on Teneriffa on the Kanari islands (Spain). Gotovina was during the dinner in a hotel in the tourist place Playa de read Américas in the south of the island seized. It meant, it had had falsified identity papers with itself. The Spanish police already searched intensively for several days for it. The ex-general kept itself hidden different islands of the archipelago.

In the Croatian capital Zagreb protested in the subsequent evening several hundred humans against the arrest Gotovinas. The protest was then terminated after excesses by the police by force. The large support demonstration, to 11. December in Split took place and by numerous combinations of former soldiers and generals was organized, ran however peacefully and without rough political slogans. The media report from 40.000 to 60,000 humans, who had met there. From protest trailers established Gotovinas in several cities road blocks and set motor-car tires in fire.

After Gotovina had been demonstrated before the national Court of Justice in Madrid, he became to 10. December 2005 finally the international criminal court transfers. With its first appearance before court to 12. December denied the accused any debt.

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