|3rd President of Republic of Serbian Krajina|
|Prime Minister||Borislav Mikelić
|Preceded by||Goran Hadžić|
18 December 1954 |
|Political party||Serbian Party of Socialists|
Milan Martić (Serbian Cyrillic: Милан Мартић; born 18 November 1954) is a Croatian Serb politician, former president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. He was a senior rebel commander of Serbian forces in Croatia during the Croatian War of Independence.
Martić was convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 12 June 2007 and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Martić was born near Knin and was the local police chief in Knin at the time of Croatia's declaration of independence. In 1990, he took on the position of local Serb leader, organizing Martić's Police militia. From 4 January 1991 to August 1995, Martić held various leadership positions, including President, Minister of Defence, Minister of Internal Affairs, in the unrecognised offices of the Serbian Autonomous District (SAO) Krajina, and the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK).
Martic was supported by Slobodan Milosevic during the 1993 presidential election in Serbian Krajina. Martic ran for the Serbian Party of Socialists which received significant financial support from Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia.1 In a second round of voting in 1994 he was elected President and remained in power until the fall of Serbian Krajina during the Croatia's Operation Storm in 1995.
Initially indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 25 July 1995, Martić surrendered on May 15, 2002, and was transferred to the tribunal in The Hague the same day. He was charged with murder, persecutions, inhumane treatment, forced displacement, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages. He pleaded not guilty to all counts.2
According to the ICTY, in the amended indictment, he "helped organize an ethnic cleansing campaign of Croats and other non-Serbs from Krajina where 78,000 lived and virtually the entire non-Serb population was forcibly removed, deported or killed". He was originally charged only with ordering a rocket attack on the Croatian capital of Zagreb which killed seven civilians as retaliation to Operation Flash. Martić later appeared on Serbian television and radio, admitting he ordered the shelling.
Milan Babić who, along with Martić, was one of the most important leaders of rebelled Croatian Serbs, said during Martić's trial that the entire war in Croatia was Martić's responsibility, orchestrated by Belgrade.3
His trial started on December 13, 2005 and ended on January 12, 2007.4 On June 12, Martić was sentenced to 35 years in prison.25 His sentence of 35 years in prison was confirmed by ICTY appellate council on October 8, 2008. The judgment was also especially damaging to the legacy of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and the then Serbian regime as Martić was found to have been part of a "joint criminal enterprise" which included Blagoje Adžić, Milan Babić, Radmilo Bogdanović, Veljko Kadijević, Radovan Karadžić, Slobodan Milošević, Ratko Mladić, Vojislav Šešelj, Franko Simatović, Jovica Stanišić, and Dragan Vasiljković.5
- Milosevic Loses Krajina, Filip Svarm, December 20, 1993 Vreme News Digest Agency No 117
- "Serb leader jailed for war crimes". BBC News. 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
- Goran Jungvirth (2006-02-17). "Martić “Provoked” Croatian Conflict". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
- "U utorak presuda Milanu Martiću" (in Croatian). Jutarnji list. 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
- "Summary of Judgement for Milan Martić" (PDF). International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
- War criminal transferred to Estonia