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Milan Levar (Gospić, 1954 - 28 August 2000) was a Croatian whistleblower, a former officer in the Croatian army.

Levar was killed by a bomb placed under his car outside his house in Gospić 28 August 2000, because he had publicly campaigned for justice for victims of crimes committed during the 1991-1995 war in Croatia. After volunteering for the Croatian Army in 1991, according to reports, in 1992 he was ordered to round-up Croatian Serbs for execution which he refused. He had helped to defend the town in 1991 when local Serbs rebelled against Croatia's declaration of independence. That same year he witnessed Serbian civilians taken by truck to locations outside of Gospić where they were executed by military police squads and buried in hidden mass graves. Thereafter, he witnessed the plunder of their homes. Levar reported the crimes at the time they occurred but nothing was done.[1] He was so shocked by his own side's actions that he left the military and decided to give evidence to the war-crimes tribunal in the Hague.[2] After the war he was contacted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague and interrogated as a potential witness in 1997 and 1998 in connection with war crimes. He helped collecting evidence and finding other witnesses who were then interviewed by the Tribunal. He was killed before he managed to give his testimony in the court room.

Investigation into Levar’s death has been so far unsuccessful. The Croatian authorities have stopped informing his widow of the progress of the investigation. She herself has received death threats from unknown individuals on several occasions. The lack of progress in the investigation shows the ongoing climate of impunity and a lack of political will in Croatia to deal with the past. In many cases witnesses have refused to testify citing fears for their safety as the main reason. One of the concerns voiced by the witnesses is the prevailing impunity of the high profile military and political officials who were in position of power during the war. Despite the existence of publicly available information, including evidence from public court proceedings in Croatia, allegations against many of the officials have not been investigated.[3]

See also

  • Twelve Generals' Letter
  • Josip Reihl-Kir


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