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Janko Bobetko

Janko Bobetko (1919-2003) was a Croat army general and the chief of main staff of the Croatian army between 1992 and 1995. His career spanned more than 5 decades of military service-although intermittently. During WWII he was a brigade commander in Tito's partisan army and in the post-war period rose to the rank of lieutenant-general. But, in the events known as the "Croatian Spring", Bobetko, who sided with the reformist Croatian Communist leaders, was demoted and expelled from Yugoslav Army after Tito's crackdown on Croatian leadership.

In 1993, during the Medak pocket military operation against the Krajina Serbs, the Croatian soldiers supposedly committed crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war, and the ICTY subsequently indicted Bobetko as the supreme commanding officer.

Bobetko refused to accept the indictment and refused to surrender to the court, indignantly claiming that such an indictment questions the legitimacy of the whole military operation. The crisis protracted as the popular opinion concurred with Bobetko, and the Croatian government wouldn't assert an unambiguous position over his extradition. This contributed to the rapid physical deterioration of already gravely ill Bobetko, and he died in 2003 before being extradited.

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