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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Croat suspect to be film 'hero'
Gen Gotovina in Spanish custody
Gen Ante Gotovina was third on the tribunal's wanted list
A Croatian film director has cast a Hollywood heartthrob in the role of General Ante Gotovina, a top war crimes suspect facing trial in The Hague.

Antun Vrdoljak said he had given the part to his son-in-law Goran Visnjic, who stars in the television drama ER.

The director said he wanted to make the feature film because Gen Gotovina "is a real hero of the 'homeland war'".

Gen Gotovina is charged with committing atrocities against Croatian Serbs during the 1990s Balkan wars.

He was arrested in December 2005 on the Spanish island of Tenerife after four years on the run.

Born 12 Oct 1955
Fought in French Foreign Legion
Commanded Croatian forces against Serb forces in Krajina region, 1995
Early retirement, 2000
Indicted for war crimes in Krajina, 2001
Arrested in Tenerife, Dec 2005

He is still regarded as a war hero by many Croats.

Mr Vrdoljak said he wrote the script because "we owe a lot to this man".

Prosecutors accuse Gen Gotovina of belonging to a joint criminal enterprise with the late Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and others.

The indictment, dating from 2001, says they planned the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from their self-declared republic of Krajina in Croatia in 1995.

Gen Gotovina is charged with responsibility for the alleged murder of about 150 Serbs, persecution, and the deportation of thousands.

About 200,000 Serbs - many elderly - were forced out of the region during the offensive.

Croat suspect denies war crimes
12 Dec 05 |  Europe

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