Convicted Serb war criminal Mrksic dies

Convicted Serb war criminal Mrksic dies

LISBON - Agence France-Presse
Convicted Serb war criminal Mrksic dies

AFP photo

A former Serb army commander serving a 20-year sentence for his role in the massacre of Croats during the Balkans wars has died in Lisbon at the age of 68, the Portuguese government said on Aug. 18.

Mile Mrksic, a former officer in the Yugoslav army (JNA), was convicted in 2007 by the  International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for aiding and abetting the torture and murder of nearly 200 civilians in Vukovar in eastern Croatia in 1991.  

His sentence by The Hague-based UN  court was upheld on appeal in 2009, and he was transferred in 2012 to a high security prison in Lisbon.

Mrksic died Aug. 18 of a terminal illness in a hospital in the Portuguese capital, a justice ministry spokesman told AFP, without elaborating.

The capture of Vukovar by the Yugoslav army and Serb rebels in 1991 is considered a pivotal event at the outbreak of Croatia’s 1991-95 war of independence.

The town was razed and more than 1,000 civilians were killed during the three-month siege and its aftermath, while some 22,000 non-Serbs were expelled.