Archive for Monday, October 22, 2001

Former Yugoslav general turns self in

October 22, 2001

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— A former Yugoslav army general charged in the 1991 shelling of the ancient Croatian coastal town of Dubrovnik turned himself over to an international war crimes tribunal Sunday. Dozens of civilians were killed in the attack.

Retired Gen. Pavle Strugar, 68, faces 16 counts of murder, plunder and wanton destruction of homes. Indicted in March with three other former Yugo-slav officers, Strugar was expected to appear in U.N. court later this week.

Nearly 70 percent of Dubrovnik was destroyed during a three-month military offensive investigators say was aimed at incorporating the 17th century town into a "greater" Serb state.

The siege began after Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Strugar is accused of leading 35,000 forces of the Yugoslav army in steadily shattering the historic Old Town with more than 1,000 artillery shells. At least 43 civilians, including women and the elderly, were killed in the attacks, the U.N. indictment said.

During his initial appearance, Strugar will have the chance to plead to the charges. They could result in a life sentence. The tribunal doesn't have a death penalty.

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