Miroslav Antić


Serbia blasts UN war tribunal after court clears Croatia generals of crimes against Serbians

leave a comment »

Serbia blasts UN war tribunal after court clears Croatia generals of crimes against Serbians

  • Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac showed no emotion at the decision
  • Sentenced to 25 and 18 years in 2011 for crimes, including murder
  • Deputy PM Rasim Ljajic condemned ruling saying tribunal had ‘lost all its credibility’
  • Decision is one of the most significant reversals in court’s 18-year history

By David Williams

PUBLISHED: 19:28 GMT, 16 November 2012 | UPDATED: 19:29 GMT, 16 November 2012

Judges at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal have controversially overturned the convictions of two Croat generals for crimes committed against Serbian civilians,.

The decision has sparked an outcry in Serbia where politicans accused the court of ‘selective justice’.

Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajic condemned the ruling, saying the tribunal had ‘lost all its credibility’ amid warnings the ruling raised questions about the handling of cases in The Hague and could bring into the open the thinly concealed animosity between the two Balkan neighbours.

Controversial: Judges have overturned the convictions of Ante Gotovina (left) and Mladen Markac (right) for crimes committed against Serbian civilians. The decision has been met with anger in Serbia

‘What happened (in the court) is a testimony to the selective justice which is worse than any injustice,’ he declared.

The decision, by a 3-2 majority in the five judge appeals chamber, is one of the most significant reversals in the court’s 18-year history and overturns a verdict that dealt a blow to Croatia’s self-image as a victim of atrocities, rather than a perpetrator, during the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

Neither Ante Gotovina nor Mladen Markac showed any emotion at the decision, but their supporters in the court’s packed public gallery cheered and clapped as Presiding Judge Theodor Meron ordered both men freed immediately.

Gotovina and Markac were sentenced to 24 and 18 years respectively in 2011 for crimes, including murder and deportation. Judges ruled both men were part of a criminal conspiracy led by former Croat President Franjo Tudjman to expel Serbs.

No credibility: Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajic condemned the ruling

But the appeals judges said prosecutors failed to prove the existence of such as conspiracy, effectively clearing Croatia’s entire wartime leadership of war crimes in the operation known as Operation Storm.

Some 600 Serbs were killed and more than 200,000 were driven from their homes during the operation when Croat forces retook the Krajina region.

Gotovina’s and Markac’s convictions were one of the few at the tribunal set up in 1994 to punish perpetrators of atrocities against Serb civilians.

Gotovina is especially popular among Croatian nationalists. The charismatic former soldier fought in the French Foreign Legion in the 1980s and spent four years on the run from justice before being captured in the Canary Islands in December 2005.

The verdicts against the two generals had triggered anti-Western sentiments among nationalist Croatians ahead of the country’s planned European Union entry in July 2013.

After the convictions last year, thousands of Croatian war veterans massed in Zagreb and ripped EU flags and denounced Croatia’s leaders who have made EU membership their goal.

Yesterday there was jubilation in the Croat capital Zagreb where thousands of people – many dressed as war veterans – burst into applause after the verdict was announced.

‘Our generals are heroes because they risked their lives to save our country and liberate the people,’ student Andjela Anic, 26, said.

But in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, the acquittals enraged hard line opponents of the U.N. court in who accuse its judges of anti-Serb bias – a kanagaroo court, they say, whose main aim was to vilify and convict Serbs.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said : ‘It is now quite clear the tribunal has made a political decision and not a legal ruling. The ruling will not contribute to the stabilisation of the situation in the region and will open old wounds.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2234136/Serbia-blasts-UN-war-tribunal-court-clears-Croatia-generals-crimes-Serbians.html#ixzz2CQ3XfHvo
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Written by Mika

16. novembra 2012. u 15:33

Objavljeno u Uncategorized

Ostavite odgovor

Popunite detalje ispod ili pritisnite na ikonicu da biste se prijavili:

WordPress.com logo

Komentarišet koristeći svoj WordPress.com nalog. Odjavite se /  Promeni )

Google+ photo

Komentarišet koristeći svoj Google+ nalog. Odjavite se /  Promeni )

Slika na Tviteru

Komentarišet koristeći svoj Twitter nalog. Odjavite se /  Promeni )

Fejsbukova fotografija

Komentarišet koristeći svoj Facebook nalog. Odjavite se /  Promeni )


Povezivanje sa %s

%d bloggers like this: