Crime in Vukovar (defendant Žarko Tkalčević)

 

trials in Croatia :: legally valid and final verdict

Trial against Žarko Tkalčević for criminal offence of war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, Paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH.

INDICTMENT

On 21 May 1996, the Osijek County State Attorney’s Office issued the indictment No:KT-42/96 which charged Žarko Tkalčević with commission of the criminal offence of war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, Paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH.

The factual description of the indictment was amended by the motion issued on 22 February 2001.

GENERAL DATA

Vukovar County Court

Case No: K-38/99

War Crimes Council (judges’ panel): judge Ante Zeljko, Council President; judge Stjepan Margić, Council member; lay judges Štefanka Andrić, Zoran Bračić and Mirko Kovačić, Council members

Criminal offence: war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, Paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH

Indictment: issued by the Osijek County State Attorney’s Office, No: KT-42/96, dated on 21 May 1996

Accused person/Defendant: Žarko Tkalčević, present at the trial

Defence Counsel: Nediljko Rešetar, lawyer from Osijek

VERDICT (SUMMARY)

According to the Vukovar County Court’s verdict dated on 11 April 2001, the accused Žarko Tkalčević was found guilty as charged that he – in his capacity as the Second Lieutenant of the so-called JNA (Yugoslav National Army) and Commander of 120mm calibre mortar and Deputy Commander of the Artillery Unit within the Infantry Battalion of the Guards Brigade from Belgrade – was commanding the JNA soldiers on the line of fire in the area of the village of Negoslavci to regularly open mortar fire on Mitnica, a suburb of Vukovar, with no selection of military targets thus causing the wounding and killing of a large number of civilians and the destruction of a large number of houses, apartments, commercial facilities and cultural sites and a huge material damage caused by mortar fire. The accused Tkalčević was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

In its judgment No:IKž-532/01-5, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia on 19 November 2003 dismissed the appeals lodged by the County State Attorney and the accused Žarko Tkalčević as unfounded and upheld the first-instance court verdict.