Vlado Trifunovic, a former Yugoslav Army general who was convicted of treason by Serbia’s wartime nationalist leadership during the Balkans wars of the 1990s, has died at the age of 78.
Serbian state media report that Trifunovic, a native of Bosnia-Herzegovina, died on January 15 in Belgrade. There was no immediate confirmation about the cause of his death.
Trifunovic was in charge of a Yugoslav Army unit in the town of Varazdin in independence-seeking Croatia as war broke out there in 1991.
He disobeyed orders from Belgrade to fight and instead negotiated safe passage for his troops.
Trifunovic was convicted of treason by the nationalist government of Serbia's then-President Slobodan Milosevic.
But antiwar Serbs hailed Trifunovic as a hero for saving the soldiers' lives.
In 2010, Trifunovic told the Associated Press that "Varazdin would have been destroyed if I gave the orders to fight."
Based on reporting by AP and The Washington Post