Mile Mrkšić

Mile Mrkšić (Serbian Cyrillic: Миле Мркшић; 1 May 1947 – 16 August 2015) was a colonel of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) in charge of the unit involved in the Battle of Vukovar during the Croatian War of Independence in 1991. He was convicted for not preventing the mass killing of 264 Croats that followed the fall of Vukovar, and sentenced to 20 years.[1][2][3]

Mile Mrkšić
Accused Mile Mrkšić.jpg
Mile Mrkšić in a Hague courtroom in May 2009
Born(1947-05-01)1 May 1947
Kozarac, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Died16 August 2015(2015-08-16) (aged 68)
Lisbon, Portugal
Allegiance SFR Yugoslavia
 Serbian Krajina
 FR Yugoslavia
Service/branchYugoslav People's Army
Serbian Army of Krajina
Armed Forces of FR Yugoslavia
RankLieutenant colonel
Unit1st Motorized Guards Brigade
Commands heldCommander of the Serbian Army of Krajina
Battles/warsBattle of Vukovar


Mrkšić was born in Kozarac near Vrginmost on 1 May 1947.

After the battle of Vukovar, he was promoted to General in the JNA and later Commander in Chief of the Serbian Army of Krajina (SVK) in May 1995. After the fall of Krajina in August 1995, he was denied entry into Serbia for a while since many blamed him for the military defeat. At one point he was placed under house arrest, sent into early retirement and ended up selling produce at a green market.[4]

Mrkšić was indicted in 1995, along with Miroslav Radić, Veselin Šljivančanin and Slavko Dokmanović, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Dokmanović later committed suicide.[5] Mrkšić voluntarily surrendered to the ICTY on 15 May 2002, and was transferred to the court the same day. The trial against him commenced in October 2005 and ended proceedings in 2007, where he was convicted.[citation needed]


On 27 September 2007, the Trial Chamber found Mrkšić guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of civilians and prisoners of war at Ovčara, aiding and abetting their torture, and aiding and abetting the cruel treatment given there. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.[1] The verdicts caused indignation in Croatia, which had hoped for far more severe sentences. State-run radio called the outcome "shocking", while the Croatian prime minister said the verdicts were "shameful".[2]


In August 2012, Mrkšić was sentenced to 20 years in prison to be served in the high security prison of Monsanto, Portugal. He died three years later on 16 August 2015, aged 68.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b "Mrkšić found guilty of aiding and abetting murders at Ovčara, and Šljivančanin guilty of mistreatment, Radić acquitted". The Hague: ICTY. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b Batty, David (27 September 2007). "Ex-Serb colonel gets 20 years for Vukovar war crimes". Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Serb Army officers sentenced in Vukovar mass murder case". New York Times. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Accurate fire on military targets, random targeting of civilians". Sense Agency. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  5. ^ Croatian Serb war crimes suspect found dead, BBC News, 29 June 1998
  6. ^ Mile Mrkšić dies,; accessed 21 August 2015.
  7. ^ Mile Mrksic, a Serb Army Officer Convicted of War Crimes, Dies at 68,; accessed 11 March 2016.

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Military offices
Preceded by Commander of the Serbian Army of Krajina
Succeeded by
Army disbanded