Son of ex-leader of Bosnian serbs questioned on father’s whereabouts, family says.
Veselin Sljivancanin, 54, the area’s chief security officer, was sentenced to five years for failing to protect the Croatians, who were considered prisoners of war, from beatings and torture by the local Serb paramilitary forces and Territorial Defence units.
Miroslav Radic, 45, the third of the group known as the “Vukovar Three”, was found to have had nothing to do with the cruelty meted out to the hospital evacuees and ultimately their murder.
Night of torture
Radic was ordered to be released immediately. Sljivancanin, who was arrested by Serb authorities in June 2003, will be credited for his time in detention and will be released within a year.
The hospital in the eastern Croatian town fell to the Serb army in November 1991 after a three-month siege that virtually levelled the town.
When an agreed hour approached, an armoured Serb vehicle blocked access across a bridge to the hospital while buses took another route to smuggle out the men seized inside the building.
More than 200 men were taken first to a Serb army barracks, then to a pig farm at Ovcara where they passed through lines of soldiers who “beat them with wooden sticks, rifle butts poles chains and even crutches”, said a court statement.
Their guards formed “shifts of beaters” in an unrelenting night of torture.
On the night of November 20, Mrksic ordered the Serb army and military police to withdraw.
The paramilitary forces took the men in small groups to an area nearby and shot them.