Rahim Ademi in 2011
30 January 1954|
Karače, SFR Yugoslavia
|Awards||Order of Duke Domagoj|
Born and raised in the village of Karač, Vučitrn, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (modern day Kosovo), Ademi graduated from the Yugoslav military academy in Belgrade in 1976. He was assigned to a station in Rogoznica near Šibenik in Croatia where he married and had two children.
In 1986, the Military Court in Sarajevo convicted him of counterrevolutionary acts and Albanian irredentism, but after serving a year and a half in prison, the Supreme Military Court agreed with his appeal and acquitted him. He would spend the next years serving as an officer in Sinj until 1990 when the war in Croatia was starting and he deserted the Yugoslav People's Army in order to help create Croatian army formations.
He officially joined the Ministry of the Interior in 1991 and later became part of the Croatian Army forces during the Croatian War of Independence. Between 1992 and 1993, as a Brigadier, he commanded Croatian military units in the Sinj area, with particular responsibility for the Peruća Dam. In 1993 he was assigned to the post of sub commander of the Gospić military district, but was relieved of duty later that year, after the infamous Operation Medak pocket. He later served as a sub-commander of the Split military district and was promoted to brigadier general for his achievements in Operation Storm in 1995. He remained there until 1999 when he was reassigned to the post of the Assistant Chief Inspector of the Armed Forces in Zagreb.
In 2001, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indicted Ademi for crimes against humanity allegedly committed against the Croatian Serbs in the aforementioned Medak pocket operation. He was originally in the custody of the Court but was later allowed to prepare his defense free. In November 2005, in line with its completion strategy, the ICTY referred the Ademi-Norac case to the Croatian judiciary. The trial began on 18 June 2007 in front of a special bench of the Zagreb County Court with Judge Marin Mrčela presiding.
Ademi claims that the Croatian government, under international pressure, relieved him of duty in Gospić in 1993 in order to make him a scapegoat, rather than implicating commanding officers Janko Bobetko, Mirko Norac and Mladen Markač. He alleged that the Tribunal wanted him for questioning as far back as 1998 but the government did not allow him to answer their questions. On 30 May 2008, he was acquitted by the Zagreb County Court of responsibility for atrocities committed against Serb prisoners by Croat troops during Operation Medak Pocket.
In March 2010, the Supreme Court of Croatia upheld Ademi's acquittal.
- Blažević, Davorka (12 July 2001). "Bivša vlast mi nije dopustila da se 1998. odazovem i obranim pred haaškim sudom" [The former government did not allow me to respond in 1998 and defend myself at the Hague Tribunal]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Split. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- Personal recollection as UN Military Observer Jul 1992 - Feb 1993. (Commando1664)
- Ademi Acquitted of Medak Pocket Crimes, iwpr.net; accessed 26 November 2014.
- "Croatia urged to speed up war crimes prosecutions". Amnesty International. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2010.