Reuters, June 17, 2005
Fugitive Gotovina turns comic book hero in Croatia
ZAGREB (Reuters) - A comic book featuring Croatia's most wanted war crimes fugitive as its hero and the U.N. prosecutor trying to hunt him down will soon hit the country's news stands, a newspaper said on Thursday.
Reflecting his hero status among many Croats, a group of veterans from Croatia's 1991-95 war of independence will in August start publishing a monthly comic book about former general Ante Gotovina, Novi List daily said.
"The aim is to promote the values of our homeland war and it is dedicated to all those who shed blood for our country," said Bozo Drmic, who heads the association of war veterans and invalids.
Gotovina has been on the run since 2001 and the authorities' failure to arrest him has delayed the country's drive to start European Union membership talks.
The U.N. tribunal in The Hague has charged him with responsibility for the murders of at least 150 Serbs by troops under his command in the aftermath of a 1995 government offensive against rebel Serbs, and with the plunder and destruction of Serb property.
Gotovina has denied any wrongdoing.
Croatia insists Gotovina cannot be found despite its best efforts but chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte has said he was within Zagreb's reach, in Croatia or in neighbouring Bosnia.
He remains popular in Croatia and support posters saying "A hero, not a criminal" are often put up across the country.