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War crimes suspect to make 2nd appearance in court

By the CNN Wire Staff
Goran Hadzic (center) is taken to see his ailing mother on July 22. He is now in the Netherlands.
Goran Hadzic (center) is taken to see his ailing mother on July 22. He is now in the Netherlands.
  • He is the last of 161 suspects indicted by the court
  • Hadzic is the former president of the self-proclaimed Serbian republic in Croatia
  • He will be asked to enter a plea at his appearance
  • Goran Hadzic
  • The Hague
  • War Crimes
  • Serbia

(CNN) -- Goran Hadzic -- the last Yugoslav war crimes suspect at large until his arrest last month -- will make a second appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Wednesday.

An ex-Croatian Serb rebel leader who had been a fugitive for seven years, Hadzic was captured in Serbia on July 20. He was wanted for crimes against humanity and war crimes in connection with the wars that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

The former president of a self-proclaimed Serbian republic in Croatia, Hadzic is accused of trying to remove Croats and other non-Serbs from the territory and the "extermination or murder of hundreds of Croat or other non-Serb civilians," among many other crimes, according to the tribunal.

On Wednesday, Hadzic will be asked to enter a plea. He had declined to do so at this first appearance on July 25.

He was the last fugitive of the 161 people indicted by the tribunal, which is based in The Hague.

He is charged with a number of offenses committed in eastern Slavonia and Croatia, including persecution, murder, imprisonment, torture, cruel treatment and deportation, the tribunal said.

Prosecutors say he and others sought to permanently remove a majority of the Croat and non-Serb population from about a third of Croatia to make way for a Serb-dominated state.

Hadzic is charged in one incident in which 264 people were taken from a hospital in November 1991, detained and "beaten and tortured before being transported to a remote execution site ... where they were killed and buried in a mass grave," the tribunal said.

Other Croats and non-Serbs were held in "brutal" conditions" characterized by inhumane treatment, overcrowding, starvation, forced labor, inadequate medical care and constant physical and psychological assault, including mock executions, torture, beatings and sexual assault," the tribunal said.