From 1992 to 1996, Ante Gotovina was Commander of the Split Military District of the Croatian Army (HV). He was also operations Commander of part of “Operation Storm”, a military offensive launched by Croatia in the Krajina region that lasted from August to November 1995.
According to the indictment, Ante Gotovina participated in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE) the purpose of which was the permanent removal of the Serb population from the Krajina region. He was indicted with Ivan Čermak and Mladen Markač (Gotovina, Čermak and Markač "Operation Storm”). Ante Gotovina has been charged with five counts of crimes against humanity (persecutions, deportation inhumane acts, murder) and four counts of violations of the laws or customs of war (plunder, wanton destruction, murder, cruel treatment).
Gotovina was transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in December 2005.
The trial began on 11 March 2008. On 5 March 2009, the Prosecution completed its case-in-chief. The Defense case commenced on 28 May 2009 and was officially rested on 27 January 2010.
On 15 April 2011, Trial Chamber I delivered its verdict, finding Gotovina guilty of 8 counts of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war, including persecution, deportation, plunder, destruction, murder, inhumane acts and cruel treatment. He was found not-guilty of the third count, that of forcible transfer as a crime against humanity.
In sentencing Gotovina, the Chamber stated that the large number of crimes that had been committed over an extended period of time in a large geographical area, combined with the vulnerability of the victims, should be considered as aggravating circumstances. He was given a single sentence of 24 years imprisonment, with credit to be given for the 1956 days he spent in custody.