Croat Generals Begin War Crimes Trial
Croatia has cooperated with Hague investigators and in return it hopes to join the European Union by the end of the decade. Serbia, on the other hand, has not fully cooperated with the tribunal, and as a result its path to EU membership is blocked. If Serbs see the trial against Croats as fair, they may be more willing to hand over their own generals.
Three Croat generals still widely regarded as national heroes for leading a 1995 military campaign that seized back land taken over by rebel Serbs went on trial Tuesday at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.
Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac are accused of orchestrating the killing of at least 150 Serbs and the expulsion of thousands of others in a 1995 offensive known as "Operation Storm" aimed at reclaiming a southern Croatian region known as the Krajina.
They have pleaded not guilty to war crimes and crimes against humanity charges including murder, persecution, plunder and inhumane treatment of civilians. If convicted, they face maximum life sentences.