CROATIA: ANTE GOTOVINA and MLADEN MARKAC – ACQUITTED OF WAR CRIMES AND SET FREE AT ICTY

General Mladen Markac (left) General Ante Gotovina (right)
Croatians celebrate the victory of truth and justice
November 16 2012
(Photo: Jutarnju List)

I am swept away and overwhelmed by pride and awe and so is the Croatian nation.

The ICTY Appeal Chamber has today acquitted and set free Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac. The truth prevails, justice prevails.

“The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, composed of Judges Theodor Meron, presiding, Carmel Agius, Patrick Robinson, Mehmet Güney, and Fausto Pocar, today reversed by majority, Judges Agius and Pocar dissenting, Ante Gotovina’s and Mladen Markač’s convictions for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war and entered verdicts of acquittal. (Judgment summary – here)

On 15 April 2011, Trial Chamber I found Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markač guilty of committing crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war from July to September 1995 by participating in a joint criminal enterprise to permanently and forcibly remove the Serb civilian population from the Krajina region of Croatia. Mr. Gotovina was sentenced to 24 years of imprisonment, and Mr. Markač was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment. 

The Appeals Chamber unanimously found that the Trial Chamber erred in concluding that all artillery impact sites located more than 200 metres from a target deemed legitimate served as evidence of unlawful attacks against towns in the Krajina region of Croatia. A majority of the Appeals Chamber further concluded that the Trial Chamber erred in finding that artillery attacks ordered by Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markač were unlawful. The majority also held that the Trial Chamber erred in finding the existence of a joint criminal enterprise whose purpose was the permanent and forcible removal of Serb civilians from the Krajina region. Accordingly, the majority reversed all of Mr. Gotovina’s and Mr. Markač’s convictions. The majority also declined to enter convictions against Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markač on the basis of alternate modes of liability. The Appeals Chamber ordered the immediate release of Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markač.  

Mr. Gotovina was a Colonel General of the Croatian Army (HV). In 1995, he served as the commander of the HV’s Split Military District and as the overall operational commander of a military offensive known as “Operation Storm” in the southern portion of the Krajina region. Mr. Gotovina was arrested in Spain on 7 December 2005 and transferred to the Tribunal on 10 December 2005. Mr. Gotovina was represented on appeal by Mr. Gregory Kehoe, Mr. Luka Mišetić, Mr. Payam Akhavan, and Mr. Guénaël Mettraux.

Mr. Markač was the Assistant Minister of the Interior and Operation Commander of the Special Police in Croatia in 1995. Mr. Markač surrendered to the Tribunal on 11 March 2004. He was represented on appeal by Mr. Goran Mikuličić, Mr. Tomislav Kuzmanović, Mr. John Jones, and Mr. Kai Ambos.

The Office of the Prosecutor was represented on appeal by Ms. Helen Brady, Mr. Douglas Stringer, Ms. Laurel Baig, Mr. Francois Boudreault, Ms. Ingrid Elliott, Mr. Todd Schneider, Ms. Saeeda Verrall, and Mr. Matthew Cross”.

I am speechless with gratitude, I celebrate and give thanks to all who have worked hard and stood by the truth. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Ina,love you! 😉
    Thanks for all the hard and stressfull work during all these years.Croatia is lucky to have someone like you!

    Like

  2. Is this even real? I cannot allow myself to believe this is real. I mean, I am so incredibly happy, but I feel like I can already see a storm brewing from those individuals who will not be pleased about these events. Still, if this can actually happen, I have regained hope that Croatians really can overcome anything that is thrown at.

    This is amazing. Thank you, Ina, for standing up for the truth, thank you to everyone else who did in their own way and thank you to the dear Lord in heaven.

    This is not the end though, I truly hope more and more people will become educated about the injustices that have occured, not just against the Generals, but against the Croatian people. If we get the truth out there and do not allow it to be forgotten, then hopefully, we can finally start moving forward to a better future. I pray that this will happen.

    Like

    • Congratulations, Kat!!! I agree with you!!! We must bring more light over the injustices our people has sufffered throughout history!!! Our life as a nation is very old. It has been alive for centuries and nobody can deny that. Zivila Hrvatska. Veronika iz Buenos Airesu, Argentina. Zivio Gotovina, Zivio Markac.

      Like

  3. Ina, your blog says it all:
    The Gospel of John, Ch.8,V.32
    “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
    Congratulations to the Generals and their team and I thank God that the majority of Appeal Chamber Judges are men of high moral standing and strength to deliver justice.

    Like

  4. jumpingpolarbear says:

    Hvala ti Boze, General se vraca doma!

    Like

  5. thank you for this information. We hear from our friends in Trogir that everybody today is celebrating and having a party.

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  6. Miso Sorbel says:

    I’m filled with pride for the Generals and Croatian nation. The Serb aggressor would do well to listen to this song and lyrics, for only through humble admitting of ones’ sins and seeking a righteous path in coming to terms with their awful attack on Croatia could their souls truly be saved

    Like

  7. I can barely believe that I have lived to see this day .Justice has been done !!!

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  8. We are all in awe, all in tears of happiness! We have prayed for this day, and have kept our faith and trust in the truth being revealed. Thank you Ina for keeping us updated along the way, you have been a beacon of light. By the end of today, the Generals will be home in Croatia, home where they belong. Today In Split I witnessed masses of young students, singing and proudly waving the chequered flag, church bells were ringing, locals were teary eyed, and everyone had a smile on their face, ecstatic with the result, and as for tonight, the Riva in Split will be another Rio di Janiero.
    Emotions are spilling over, this is a massive relief to all Croatians who have an understanding of what the word ‘Homeland’ really means.
    Last night we attended Mass and prayed in Sveti Duje for the generals aquittal, today we returned to give thanks. This day has been of great importance not only for the Generals but for the national pride of the whole country.

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  9. I’m still in shock! Let’s bring our generals home and let them have the rest that they have rightfully earned.

    Like

  10. (Comment Imported from Facebook)
    Our hearts are lifted but we are not satisfied. Judges Agius and Pocar, voted against this decision. Which proves that the highest courts in the world are either corrupted or incompetent and one does not exclude the other. What will happen to Carla DelPonte? I suggest that prosecutors who fail to prove their accusations or wrongly accuse others and keep them in prison while trying to prove it, take the double punishment. In the case of Gotovina Markac it would be 30 years of imprisonment for Carla DelPonte. That kind of law would clear the courts quickly. The moral of the story is that you can not play with other people’s lives and bear no consequences. One point for Croatians around the world. General Gotovina and his attorney Luka Misetic, are both Diaspora. And ministry of Diaspora is nowhere to be seen on the horizon. Nenad Bach, New York Nov 16, 2012

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    • I agree, there should be consequences for DelPonte and the other prosecutors. It seems to me that they were engaged in what could be called a conspiracy to commit crimes jointly with the ICTY; perhaps we should call it a joint criminal enterprise? They conspired to deny the Croatian nation it’s dignity, rights and innocence…they knowingly prosecuted innocent people, slandered a nation and caused untold misery and grief through a planned operation of lies and deceit. I think there might be precedence for such a legal theory…what do you think?

      Like

    • Michael silovic says:

      (quote) And ministry of Diaspora is nowhere to be seen on the horizon.

      Hopefully soon we will have someone to assist the diaspora to come back home. The process of even finding documents are very difficult as I have been searching for many years. Every document I have is not good enough to get my citizenship but I am sure god will answer my prayers and fulfill my last wishes in life and the papers will be found that I need to complete the process.

      Like

  11. I didn’t think it would happen, but against all odds G and M were proclaimed innocent and set free. The judges especially Meron were brave and moral judges focused on the law and serving justice, not politics – thank you. Very emotional. The sun shines brighter from here on. But while we won this epic battle the war continues. We must not lose sight that Serbia will continue to covet Croatian territory and will take every opportunity to deny Croatia it’s dignity and sovereign rights. Keep defending Croatia, never let your guard down. Hvala Bog!

    Like

    • Too right Sunman – never let our guard down!

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      • Serbs are complaining that the Tribunal is biased against them and that only Serbs have been convicted; there must be a reason for this…because they committed the crimes; but what is truth and evidence to the Serbs…merely speed bumps on the road to a greater Serbia…hmmmm, let’s see the Serbs planned and executed a war of expansion in the cause a greater Serbia against Croatia and Bosnia; they commit atrocities not seen in Europe since WWII, create concentration camps, use rape as a weapon of war, create a system of rape camps, use the armaments and military superiority of then Europe’s 5th largest army against an unarmed population and newly democratic state legitimately created through a democratic process, indiscriminately bomb and destroy property and purposefully kill, destroy, torture, steal, murder, and rape civilians, churches, cultural sites, hospitals,destroy whole towns and cities, refuse to negotiate…in other words they freely and wantonly rape and pillage Croatia. And when we defend ourselves from being murdered and culturally wipe off the face of the earth we are the bad guys and they complain that only they are being treated unfairly – huh? This is perverse. The Serbs are lucky it is an unfair world, otherwise their situation might be dramatically different. And to Milanovic and Josipovic f’you…what leaders would tarnish the proclamation of the innocence of its Generals by saying that the Croatian state is responsible for some mistakes during the war – someone please recall these bozos from office. Are you kidding me…Serbia should be admitting they were wrong and responsible for the war and its consequences in Croatia and Bosnia and paying significant reparations….my blood boils.

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    • Sa Srbijom uvijek treba biti na oprezu.ali danas im je 12 godina propagande palo u vodu.Zivjela Hrvatska!

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      • Translation of comment by No: One always needs to be cautious with Serbia but today their 12 years of propaganda has fallen into the water. Long live Croatia!

        Like

  12. I love Croatia! Keep on moving forward, you have my support.

    A Slovenian friend

    Like

  13. Yesterday not only croatians celebrated, but bosnians and slovenians too. That must mean something.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. […] CROATIA: ANTE GOTOVINA and MLADEN MARKAC – ACQUITTED OF WAR CRIMES AND SET FREE AT ICTY. […]

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  2. […] CROATIA: ANTE GOTOVINA and MLADEN MARKAC – ACQUITTED … Go to this article […]

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  3. […] On 16 November 2012 the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) acquitted Ante Gotovina (and Mladen Markac) of war crimes. […]

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  4. […] generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac – Croatia, actually. His lies did not succeed and the Generals were acquitted in November 2012. But still to receive justice are the Herceg-Bosna Six at the Hague for Mesic lied when it comes to […]

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  5. […] generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac – Croatia, actually. His lies did not succeed and the Generals were acquitted in November 2012. But still to receive justice are the Herceg-Bosna Six at the Hague for Mesic lied when it comes to […]

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  6. […] Markac’s convictions for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war and entered verdicts of acquittal. On 15 April 2011, Trial Chamber found Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markac guilty of committing crimes […]

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  7. […] Appeals Chamber had in November 2012 (in the case against generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac) found that there had been no forced deportation of Serb population in Croatia, Serbia continues playing its malicious tune, branding the military operation Storm as one ethnic […]

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