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Croatia: Doctors Say War Crimes Indictee Seriously Ill

Zagreb, 17 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Doctors for retired Croatian General Janko Bobetko say he is seriously ill and receiving constant medical care, suggesting that the war crimes indictee is unfit to face trial. The UN war crimes tribunal last month disclosed its indictment against Bobetko in connection with the killing of some 100 ethnic Serbs in the midst of the 1991-1995 Serbo-Croatian war. The tribunal demanded Bobetko's extradition to The Hague.

Croatian officials have so far refused to hand over Bobetko, saying the general only led military operations to defend Croatia's territorial integrity.

The Croatian government has also claimed that Bobetko is too ill to travel to The Hague. In a statement released today by the state-run HINA news agency, Bobetko's doctors said he is confined to his bed and suffers from heart problems, a leg injury, diabetes, and stress.