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Former Serb republic leader transferred to Estonia to serve ICTY sentence

[JURIST] Former Croatian Serb wartime leader Milan Martic [case materials; BBC profile] was transferred to Estonia [press release] Friday to serve a 35-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war in Croatia. Martic was convicted and sentenced [case backgrounder, PDF; JURIST report] in 2007 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] for crimes against Croats and others between 1991 and 1994, including "persections, murder, torture, deportation, attacks on civilians and wanton destruction of civilian areas." The ICTY Trial Chamber found that Martic sought to create a unified Serb territory by forcefully removing the non-Serbs from the areas of Croatia under his control, resulting in expelling virtually all of that population. He was also found guilty of ordering rocket attacks which killed seven people and injured 200. The Appeals Chamber of the ICTY affirmed [press release; JURIST report] Martic's conviction and sentence in 2008 following his appeal.

Martic's transfer to Estonia is pursuant to an agreement [text, PDF] between the UN and the Estonian government to enforce ICTY sentences. Martic was originally indicted [text] in July 1995. He spent several years as a fugitive and then surrendered to the ICTY in 2002. His trial began [JURIST report] in December 2005 and ended in January 2007. In the original conviction, the ICTY Trial Chamber found that Martic exercised "absolute authority" over the RSK's Interior Ministry and security forces, and failed to prevent or punish war crime violations, and even encouraged the "widespread and systematic" persecution of Croatian non-Serbs.

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