Croat war crimes witness killed

Monday, 28 August, 2000

A key witness for the international war crimes tribunal's investigation into the mass killing of Serbs in the Croatian town of Gospic has died in an explosion.
Milan Levar was the only Croat to accuse two senior Croat military commanders of carrying out a murderous campaign against the Serbs in 1991.
Police said he died in a "powerful explosion" in the front yard of his house in Kaniska Street in Gospic.
The area has been sealed off and police have begun an investigation into the incident.
Mr Levar shocked Croatia two years ago, when he accused Tihomir Oreskovic and Mirko Norac - military commanders of Gospic in 1991 - of carrying out mass executions of Serbs.
At least 100 people are suspected to have been killed in this campaign.

Trouble started when minority Serbs waged a rebellion against Croatia's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Aided by Serbia, the rebels waged a six-month war against the Croat military.
Mr Levar was involved in organising the security of Gospic against the Serb forces at that time.
His testimony and the evidence presented by him led to a war crimes tribunal investigation.
In April, tribunal officials visited Gospic and found human remains in the area.
Although no indictment has come out of the investigations, Mr Levar had been recieving constant death threats.
Police had even put him under surveillance to foil possible assassination attempts.

Original article