Croatian General Sentenced to 24 Years for War Crimes

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has found Croatian General Ante Gotovina guilty of war crimes and sentenced him to 24 years in prison.

Gotovina, 55, was sentenced for his role in a campaign of ethnic cleansing carried out against the Serbs at the end of the 1991-95 war that Croatia fought for independence from Yugsolavia and against a Serb insurgency.

Gotovina was convicted of being the commander of a campaign against 200,000 Croatian Serbs in the Krajina region.

Alphons Orie, the judge at the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia in The Hague, said Gotovina, with the late President Franjo Tudjman and other top military leaders, was part of a group that wanted the permanent removal of Serbs from Krajina.

Mladen Markac, another senior commander in the campaign known as Operation Storm, received an 18-year sentence. A third defendant, Ivan Cermak, was acquitted.

Gotovina was arrested in the Spanish Canary Islands in 2005, after evading justice for years.

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