location: Zrmanja village hamlets of Potokom and Gudura, in the Gračac municipality

time: middle of August and 29 September 1995

description of crime: according to testimony by Pero Perković, member of the HV’s 15th Homeland  Regiment, after the operation “Storm”, his group participated in mopping up operations around the Zrmanja river. In the middle of August in the hamlet of Potkom, they found Đurađ Čanak, an elderly man in a jacket with the sign “police”, which later turned out to have been part of an old uniform that belonged to his son from the times of former Yugoslavia. Nikola Rašić, member of the HV, tied Čanak to a fence, placed rags around him and set them on fire. When Čanak admitted that he was hiding two hunting rifles, he was taken to the woods where he handed them the weapons. Perković claims that on their way back from the woods they ran into soldiers Milenko Hrstić and Ivica Petrić. The latter apparently went mad upon hearing that Čanak had handed them over the weapons.  According to Petrić’s testimony before the Zadar County court, Čanak had claimed that he did not have any other hidden weapons, and since Petrić was convinced that this was a lie, he fired two bullets in front of the elderly man’s legs, one in his lower leg and one in his left shoulder. When they left, Petrić said, Hristić returned with the words that he would “finish off the old man”. He fired a couple of bullets, but nobody saw if he had indeed hit the old man. In his testimony, Hristic claimed that he fired three shots “without aiming” only to prove to the other soldiers that he was not a coward.

Maria Teresa Mauro, UN officer for civil affairs and member of the action team for human rights (HRAT) in the former Sector South, visited on 9 October 1995 the valley of Zrmanja where the locals told her that on 29 October 1995 a group of six men in uniforms shot dead two men: Milan Marčetić (47) and Dušan Šuica (68). Milan’s mother Smiljka Marčetić said that around 16:00, three armed men in uniforms asked him to show his Croatian documents and then dragged him away from her house. Ten minutes later, shots were heard at the distance of several hundred meters from the house. Smiljka Marčetić told HRAT that one neighbour then walked in the direction from which the shots were heard, and found Milan’s corpse.

victims: two persons killed –  Đurađ Čanak (80), Milan Marčetić (47) and Dušan Šuica (68)

legal consequences: The County Court in Zadar, in its ruling of 15 July 1996, convicted Ivica Petrić for the criminal act of killing civilian Đurađ Čanak and sentenced him to six years of prison, while Milenko Hristić was acquitted.

On 5 October 1995, the Zadar-Knin Police Administration filed criminal charges to the Zadar County Prosecution against unknown perpetrators for the murders of Marčetić and Šuica, but to this day perpetrators have not been found.