Croatian online news portal Vjesnik reports Friday 27 April that Slobodan Homen from Serbia’s ministry of Justice gave a statement to Serbia’s Evening News in which he said:
“We are very interested in achieving an agreement on relinquishing the cases for war crimes. Croatia has 1500 such cases against Serbs, and we only have 40 against Croatians. We are close to completing the final version of the text, and when elections are over, talks on withdrawing the lawsuit for genocide will commence”.
Talks on withdrawing reciprocal international lawsuits between Croatia and Serbia for genocide will commence as soon as elections are over in Serbia, said Homen, the secretary of Serbian ministry of justice.
The Serbian Evening News reported that Croatian and Serbian departments of Justice are currently conciliating the text of a bilateral agreement regarding relinquishment of war crimes lawsuits that are currently before the courts in Serbia and Croatia.
Homen said that initialing of such a document is the main prerequisite for agreement to end the reciprocal proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for genocide.
The main hearing for genocide in Croatia is expected to commence at the ICJ during the first half of 2013.
In July 1999 Croatia filed a case for genocide against Serbia. The genocide as it occurred during the Serb aggression in Croatia 1991 – 1995, Croatian War of Independence. In 2008 ICJ ruled it has jurisdiction to hear the case.
In 2010 Serbia filed a countersuit against Croatia. Croatia must file its additional reply to Serbia’s counter suit by 30 August 2012.
Serbia’s countersuit contains material on Serbian-Croatian relations with accent on World War II and the killing of Serbs in the Jasenovac camp during that war.
By extending the timeline addressed in this ICJ case to WWII Serbia seems to be looking at justifying or mitigating its main role in genocide in Croatia during 1991 – 1995. That is, telling the world: look what Croatians did to our people in 1941 – 1945!
If Serbia’s countersuit is anything to go by, then it is plainly clear that Serbia has no intentions of admitting any wrongdoing, any genocidal rampage against Croatia, ever.
Let’s hope that Croatia’s current government and the Opposition see this and that Croatia does not withdraw its genocide claim against Serbia in the ICJ. By withdrawing Croatia would give into Serbian intimidation when there is absolutely no reason for Croatia to feel guilty.
Today’s Croatia, Croatia of 1991 – 1995, cannot be answerable for events that occurred in 1941, if not for any other reason then for the fact that 1941 Croatia was not a united political entity, but split into three major opposing and antagonistic factions: pro-Fascist, pro-Communist and neutral. Serbia’s unrelenting ways of painting the whole of Croatian nation as being anti-Serb are abominable, and inherent in its countersuit at the ICJ.
This is one of the main reasons why Croatia must pursue with the genocide case against Serbia at the ICJ – to clear its name and do justice for the individual victims and to do justice to the nation of Croatia once and for all. Croatia must never forget that, as opposed to WWII events, the 1991-1995 years were about 94% of Croatian people voting to secede from communist Yugoslavia and Serbia employing genocidal aggression in order to try and stop Croatia from achieving independence. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)