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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 18:31 GMT
Croatia minister goes in hunt row
Mladen Markac (left) and Ivan Cermak in the courtroom of the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague
Mladen Markac (L) appeared in court in The Hague in 2004
Croatian interior minister Ivica Kirin has resigned after being pictured on a boar hunt with a war crimes suspect.

"I... offer my apology to all those that might have been harmed," Mr Kirin said in a resignation letter.

Croatian newspapers published pictures of him out hunting before Christmas with former police chief Mladen Markac, who is accused of massacring Serbs.

The international war crimes tribunal has summoned Mr Markac to the Hague for breaking the terms of his parole.

These included not leaving his home in the capital, Zagreb, without permission.


Croatian police say they have since arrested him without any problem.

As interior minister, it was one of Mr Kirin's duties to ensure Mr Markac obeyed his parole conditions.

Hence his difficulty when newspapers carried photographs of the two men in a boar-hunting party in Bilogora, in north-west Croatia.

"I consider (resignation) it a moral act and my duty due to circumstances in which I was involved regarding the case of General Markac," Mr Kirin said in his letter.


Mr Markac, 52, is accused with several other former security figures with involvement in a plan to drive ethnic Serbs from the Krajina region in 1995, when he was commander of police special forces.

More than 150 Serb civilians were killed in the operation, which came towards the end of Croatia's war of independence during the wars that accompanied the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

Mr Markac surrendered to the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2004. He was allowed to return to Croatia on parole pending trial.

Country profile: Croatia
22 Dec 07 |  Country profiles
Tribunal indicts Bosnian Croats
02 Apr 04 |  Europe
Croat generals plead not guilty
12 Mar 04 |  Europe

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