European Stability Initiative Distorts the Facts about General Gotovina

Luka Misetic Photo: Darko Tomas/Cropix

Reblogged from Misetic Law blogspot

8 November 2012, by Luka Misetic

The European Stability Initiative has recently broadcast a film about General Gotovina entitled, “Twilight of Heroes.”  Admittedly, I have not been able to view the entire film because it is not yet available for viewing in the United States.  Nevertheless, I was able to review the nine minute preview clip on YouTube (  I was stunned by the level of factual inaccuracy in this documentary, and viewers should be warned that the factual claims in this film are demonstrably false.

At the outset, the film shows Carla Del Ponte speaking about Operation Storm, which was led by General Gotovina.  Del Ponte claims:  “They thought if you are doing a legitimate war, you must not consider if crimes are committed, war crimes or crimes against humanity.  It is collateral damage.  But that is why the International Tribunal was created.  A war is not the permission for the commission of crimes.”

One minute later, the film’s voiceover speaker ominously claims, “Prosecutors suspected that murders and intimidations of Serb civilians during Operation Storm were not isolated incidents, but the result of a policy to ethnically cleanse these parts of Croatia of their Serb population. A criminal conspiracy planned and implemented by Croatia’s leaders.

What the filmakers fail to tell the viewer (at least in the preview clip) is that the Trial Chamber in its Judgement rejected Del Ponte’s claims that the Croatian leadership “did not consider if crimes were being committed against Serbs, war crimes or crimes against humanity.”  Furthermore, the Trial Chamber rejected the Prosecution’s claim that Croatia’s leaders had planned and implemented a criminal conspiracy to allow murders and intimidations of Serbs in order to pursue a policy of ethnic cleansing.  As I noted in one of my earlier posts, the Trial Chamber found:

“The Trial Chamber finds that the common objective did not amount to, or involve the commission of the crimes of persecution (disappearances, wanton destruction, plunder, murder, inhumane acts, cruel treatment, and unlawful detentions), destruction, plunder, murder, inhumane acts, and cruel treatment.(Judgement, paragraph 2321);

Rather, the evidence includes several examples of meetings and statements (see for example D409, P470, and D1451), indicating that the leadership, including Tudjman, disapproved of the destruction of property. Based on the foregoing, the Trial Chamber does not find that destruction and plunder were within the purpose of the joint criminal enterprise.” (Judgement, paragraph 2313);

In light of the testimony of expert Albiston, the Trial Chamber considers that the insufficient response by the Croatian law enforcement authorities and judiciary can to some extent be explained by the abovementioned obstacles they faced and their need to perform other duties in August and September 1995. In conclusion, while the evidence indicates incidents of purposeful hindrance of certain investigations, the Trial Chamber cannot positively establish that the Croatian authorities had a policy of non-investigation of crimes committed against Krajina Serbs during and following Operation Storm in the Indictment area.”(Judgement, paragraph 2203).

The Trial Chamber thus established that the Croatian leadership (1) did not have a policy to allow crimes like murder and intimidation to be committed against Serbs, and (2) did not have a policy of non-investigation of crimes committed against Serbs.

Accordingly, two things were very clear to me within the first five minutes of viewing the preview clip:  (1)  Carla Del Ponte continues to mislead the international public about what the ICTY Trial Chamber concluded, and (2)  the producers of this film did not bother to read the Trial Judgement or interview anyone who had actually read the Trial Judgement.

If the filmakers don’t have time to read the Trial Judgement before making a film about Gotovina, then I don’t have the time to watch their film.

Perhaps in the future the filmakers would be wise to interview the lawyers for the Accused before broadcasting their films.

Relayed Post:


About Luka Misetic: Luka currently represents Croatian General Ante Gotovina before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, The Netherlands


Comment: had the filmmakers interviewed the lawyers of the Accused then this film would have been a true representation, or a balanced representation of facts. Furthermore, the film interviews Stjepan Mesic (former president of Croatia) who in times of his anti-Franjo Tudjman political pursuits, for his own personal gains, went on to the Hague as secret witness for ICTY prosecution! Did the filmmakers interview anyone high up from Tudjman’s side – I think not! The fact that the film says that no international dignitaries were at Tudjman’s funeral can easily be ascribed to Mesic’s craft. It is Mesic and those who did not attend the funeral that should bow their heads in shame for this (if shame is what the film is trying to portray) and not the soul of Tudjman.   



  1. Interestingly the film makers felt that Operation storm was a crime, but the attack on Vukovar and indeed the whole Croatia was somehow not a crime or perhaps not contextually relevant…I am sure that Europe and the film makers would rather not believe there was a war in croatia…just operation Storm.

    • Thats because the attack,ethnic cleansing and war didnt happen from 1991-1995.We all had a bad nightmare,woke up and Operation Storm started.We had nothing else to do that day so we went to kill us some Serbs.The whole period from 1991 to August 1995 never happened according to Eu including Srebrenica which Serbs continue to deny and the goal of Operation Storm was to prevent the same happening in Bihac where the population was 4-5 times that of Srebrenica.Serbs never refused the z4 plan and just wanted Croats to be their Serbs killed few thousands of Croats,Muslims and Albanianswho cares?Operation Storm and few dozens of Serbs civilians matter.


    Suman you are correct 100% in the fact that Europe did not come to Croatia’s aid until the very end was proof that they did not care for us as you can see how we are still being betrayed by the EU. In fact if the United States did not agree to drop any bombs we would no longer be Croats. It was ashamed that Europe waited until the Americans started bombing to help. In fact if we look at the bombs that the USA dropped you will see that they far exceeded the range of what the generals are being charged with but no one from the United States is in the Hague.Soon enough I am sure the so called secret classified documents will be posted on wiki leaks. =)


    (Quote) Stjepan Mesic (former president of Croatia) who in times of his anti-Franjo Tudjman political pursuits, for his own personal gains, went on to the Hague as secret witness for ICTY prosecution!

    He is just one of the traitors of our country and people. I will be sure to piss on his grave. There are others that we will soon know about that betrayed our beloved homeland and heroes.

    • I am sure that Mr. Misetic knows fully the political nature of this trial and the Machiavellian strategy used by the prosecutors. The odds are stacked against the Generals simply because it’s not about truth or justice. It’s about equalization of guilt so Europe and the West can justify it collective failure and abandonment of its democratic values.

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