Martinović, Vinko

Vinko MartinovicVinko Martinović, also known as Stela, was commander of the “Mrmak” or “Vinko Škrobo” unit of the Convicts’ Battalion (KB -“Kažnjenička Bojna”) and subordinate to Mladen Naletilić. The main tasks of the KB, founded in 1991 in Mostar in south-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), were combat missions, expulsions and attacks against Bosnian Muslim civilians in the territories occupied by the HV (army of the Republic of Croatia) and the HVO (Croatian Defiance Council). The KB acted as part of, or in co-ordination with these Croatian forces. In the course of the campaign launched against the Bosnian Muslims in April 1993, the villages Sovici and Doljani (Jablanica) were attacked. In May 1993, a large military offensive of “ethnic cleansing” began against the Bosnian Muslims of Mostar. The campaign aimed at gaining control of the municipalities of Mostar, Jablanica and others in BiH and forcing the Bosnian Muslims to leave these territories. Vinko Martinović, as commander of the sub-unit of the KB, was one of the leading perpetrators of these attacks.

The indictment against Vinko Martinović was issued on 21 December 1998. He was charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility and superior criminal responsibility with crimes against humanity and war crimes. Martinović was arrested in Croatia and transferred to the ICTY on 9 August 1999. On 31 March 2003, he was sentenced by the Trial Chamber to 18 years’ imprisonment. The judgement was confirmed by the Appeals Chamber on 3 May 2006.

On 9 May 2008 Vinko Martinovic was transferred in Italy to serve the remainder of his sentence. Credit was given for time spent in detention since 9 August 1999.

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