ICTY in the Hague – just before Christmas 2011 (Goran Hadzic trial date set) (General Ante Gotovina appeal road strewn with more unjust obstacles)

Goran Hadzic, President of the Government of the self-proclaimed Serbian Autonomous District Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem (SAO SBWS) and subsequently President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) in Croatia 1991-1993 was arrested (July 20011) in Serbia after seven years on the run and in hiding.

 Indicted for war crimes against Croatian people: persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; extermination; murder; imprisonment; torture; inhumane acts; deportation and forcible transfer; cruel treatment; wanton destruction of villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity; destruction or wilful damage done to institutions dedicated to education and religion; and plunder of public or private property.

The indictment alleges that Hadžić participated in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE) (headed by the president of Serbia at the time, Slobodan Milosevic) as a co-perpetrator.

The purpose of the joint criminal enterprise was the permanent forcible removal of a majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from a large part of the Republic of Croatia in order to make it part of a new Serb-dominated state. The areas in question included those regions that were referred to by Serb authorities as the “SAO Krajina,” the “SAO Western Slavonia,” and the SAO SBWS. By 26 February 1992, all of these areas had become part of the self-proclaimed RSK.

It is alleged by ICTY that the joint criminal enterprise came into existence no later than 1 April 1991, and continued until at least 31 December 1995.

Hadžić is charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1)) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal)…” http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/cis/en/cis_hadzic_en.pdf

His trial will start October 16, 2012, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as announced Friday, 16 December 2011. Pre-Trial Judge Guy Delvoie made the decision after advising the prosecution and defence of the date. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/tdec/en/111216.pdf

The indictment above unequivocally points to the absolute need of Croatians to defend and liberate their lives and territory. Hence, Operation Storm in August 1995.

This is where Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac come in – to any peace-loving and freedom-minded person they are heroes to the multitude of people whose lives they saved, whose homes they’ve restored.

Although convicted for war crimes by the ICTY in April 2011, their convictions are on Appeal.

And in light of this the Croatian World Congress (HSK) has printed 100,000 Christmas cards they plan to send to Croatian generals detained at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague.

The cards will be distributed to Croatians living in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Sweden and Netherlands who want to send Christmas greetings to general Ante Gotovina and other Hague inmates.

The Christmas cards have a pre-printed statement but also room for a personal message, HSK Secretary Danijel Lucic says.

Christmas Cards for Generals Gotovina and Markac

“As we celebrate Christ’s birth and Christmas, our thoughts are with those who made free Croatia possible. We are certain that the post box in The Hague will be overflowing with greetings from around the world and we are certain that the generals will read each individual message,” Lucic says. http://www.croatiantimes.com/news/General_News/2011-12-16/23937/_Some_100,000_Christmas_cards_for_Croatian_generals_in_the_Hague

Of course the Appeal at the ICTY is still revolving around General Gotovina’s motions to introduce new evidence (from Serbia) which could demonstrate that the masses of Serbs who fled Croatia at the finish of Operation Storm in August 1995, left of their own volition or at request of their leaders, and were not expelled as the ICTY conviction ruled. Certainly it seems that the ICTY tries hard to avoid sending a subpoena or something like it to Serbia for the documents by way of a court order.   https://inavukic.com/2011/11/20/general-ante-gotovina-and-calvary-at-icty-in-the-hague/

In its latest filing to the Appeals Chamber of the Hague war crimes tribunal, defence counsel for Croatian General Ante Gotovina says that the Appeals Chamber should admit 25 additional documents because they constitute new evidence that would have changed the trial court ruling had they been available to the court, thus dismissing the prosecution’s arguments opposing the admission of new evidence, the Hague tribunal said on Monday.

The defence team representing Gotovina before (ICTY) on November 4 filed, again, a motion to introduce new evidence in the appeal, including the minutes of meetings of the Serbian Supreme Defence Council held in Belgrade during a Croatian military offensive known as Operation Storm in the summer of 1995, U.S. diplomatic dispatches released by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, and expert reports by US officers.

“All of the Category I documents could have impacted the verdict because they establish not only that the evacuation order (from the rebel Serb leadership) was the primary and direct cause of departure, but also because they establish that the Croatian Army (HV) artillery attack was not,” the defence says in its filing.

The trial chamber established the expulsion of the Serb population committed through random artillery attacks that sent civilians fleeing, thus dismissing the defence’s evidence that the rebel Serb authorities had called for the evacuation of civilians and that the artillery attacks were directed against military targets. http://daily.tportal.hr/166064/Gotovina-s-defence-again-urges-admission-of-new-evidence.html

Furthermore, Gotovina’s defence is again seeking the so-called “Artillery diaries” from the United Nations that would demonstrate the nature and intensity of artillery attacks referred to in above paragraph. http://www.sense-agency.com/icty/gotovina-seeks-%E2%80%98artillery-logs%E2%80%99-from-un.29.html?cat_id=1&news_id=13465

Let’s watch and see whether the ICTY will allow the new evidence into court which could render the original conviction unsafe, overturn it etc., as far as the joint criminal enterprise for alleged expulsion of Serbs is concerned, anyway.

ICTY was established in accordance with Chapter VII of UN Charter.

Article 51 of that Charter reads: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security”. http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter7.shtml

The UN forces were present in Croatia when Operation Storm occurred.

So I ask myself: why is it so difficult for the ICTY to allow new evidence into the Gotovina appeal? Why is it so hard to get the documents from Serbia and the UN? This is simply unjust.

Whatever happens Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac have earned the 100,000 and more of Christmas cards from the people they’ve saved and from a grateful nation which they led into liberty! Ina Vukic, Prof.(Zgb), B.A.,M.A.Ps.(Syd)

Comments

  1. Michael Silovic says:

    We all know the trial of General Gotovina was political and not based on facts, I urge all of the Croatian people who support the Generals freedom to oppose the entry to the EU in protest of his false conviction. In doing so there will be much pressure to have him released because many powerful European countries want to be able to control Croatia’s oil and gas and soak the blood from the Croatian people by making them puppets of a yet to be named EU President and to steal all of its natural resources.At least if this is to happen we have our Generals freed. The Generals were only convicted because they are nationalists who love their country and would have opposed the joining of the EU.Why are Croatians being forced to join the EU? You can still have liberty,justice,democracy,free trade, tourism with out being slaves to foreign government.

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  2. I think people are generalizing events and situations because of arrogance. In reading the Gotovina Court transcripts one can easily see why he was convicted of war crimes. There is enough civilian evidence against Gotovina it isn’t funny. There is enough evidence there to convict any man for that matter. We didn’t forget about Jasenovac death camp nor should we. I have seen the victim list there and found my family name Uzelac had 658 victims. Was Gotovina not happy that we escaped this time. Maybe he wanted us as dead chickens again and take all our wealth. I have not forgotten Benkovac, why should I, my father was born there and his father too, and his father! Where do I belong?, in Benkovac or here in Australia where I was born. At least this time around I have got to see the face of the devil Gotovina, the murderer of my peoples, peoples of this sacred land Dalmatia. Never let this dispicable devil out of gaol. Thank god we have a world crimminal court. Peter Emil Uzelac. Australia.

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    • Thank you on your comment. I also suggest you read the Gotovina Appeal papers from ICTY and that should clarify some things.At the end of the day if Gotovina’s conviction is confirmed by the Appeal that is the matter that should be accepted. However, there’s a big devil in the detail: there are huge problems in obtaining evidence from Serbia and the UN that might shed further light on the criminal court proceedings.
      You haven’t forgotten Jasenovac, nor should you. No one should forget the terrible deaths people had suffered. But you shouldn’t forget the concentration camps from WWII in Serbia (eg. Sajmiste the first concentration camp established in Europe during WWII) where 94% of Serbian Jews were exterminated, either.
      Don’t forget the mass murders by Serbs in Croatia, of Croatians and non-Serbs between 1991-1993, also. Gotovina did not start the war, the war was started by Serbs and Belgrade based YU army who did not want Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia even if 94% of Croatian citizens voted for secession. And any individual, regardless of ethnicity, who perpetrated war crimes must answer for them before the law.

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