Trial opened on 11 March 2008; Prosecution case closed on 5 March 2009; start of Defence case on 28 May 2009; Sentenced on 15 April 2011 to 18 years of imprisonment; Acquitted on appeal on 16 November 2012.
Commander of the Special Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia
Mladen Markac was born on 8 May 1955, in Djurdjevac, in the present Republic of Croatia. He made a career within the Croatian Interior Ministry.
On 18 February 1994, Mladen Markac was appointed Commander of the Special Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, which gave him overall authority and responsibility for the operation and functioning of the Special Police. During the same period, Mladen Markac was also Assistant Minister of the Interior for the Special Police.
According to the indictment, in his capacity as Commander of the Special Police, Mladen Markac participated in various structures of power and responsibility, and possessed effective control over all members of the Special Police who were involved in Operation Storm and the related continuing operations in that region, as well as over diverse units of the Croatian army detached to his forces.
The facts of the case relate essentially to “Operation Storm”. The major part of this wide military offensive came into full effect on 4 August 1995 and continued for several days thereafter, with continuing actions and operations until approximately 15 November 1995. Operation Storm aimed at the re-taking by the Croatian Army of the Krajina region.
According to the indictment, from July 1995 to November 15, 2005 and even after that date, Mladen Markac along with other persons planned, established, implemented and/or participated in a joint criminal enterprise, the common purpose and objectives of which were the permanent removal of the Serb population from the Krajina region, by force, fear or threat of force, persecution, forced displacement, transfer and deportation, appropriation and destruction of property and other means, which constituted or involved the commission of crimes.
Among these crimes were the forcible displacement of the Serb civilian population from their homes and the systematic plunder and destruction of property belonging to the Serb civilian population, the purpose of which was to expel or remove the Serb civilian population and to discourage and/or prevent members of that population from returning to their homes and resuming habitation, thereby permanently removing and ethnically cleansing these Serbs from the Krajina region.
On March 11, 2004, Mladen Markac voluntarily surrendered and was transferred to the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) in The Hague.