By Luka Misetic
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
More Disinformation from Milorad Pupovac & Co.
As Croatia celebrated the 18th anniversary of its liberation in Operation Storm, the Serbian National Council in Croatia issued a press release through its leader, Milorad Pupovac, in which it declared that to date, “none of the direct perpetrators was held responsible” for murders of Serb civilians committed during and after Operation Storm. Vesna Terselic of the Documenta center and Mladen Stojanovic from the Center for Peace in Osijek made similar claims.
These claims are incorrect. Several people–members of the Croatian Army–have been convicted for murder of Serb civilians after Operation Storm. Here are just a few examples (there are more, but I will not list them all here):
1. Mario Dukic, member of the Croatian Army’s 134th Homeguard Regiment, was sentenced to six years imprisonment on 10 January 1997 for the murder of Petar Bota committed on 28 September 1995;
2. Ivica Petric, member of the Croatian Army’s 15th Homeguard Regiment, was convicted on 27 May 1997 for the murder of Djurad Čanak in mid-August 1995, and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment;
3. Zeljko Sunjerga, member of the 15th Homeguard Regiment, was convicted on 29 November 2002 for the murder of Manda Tisma sometime in the first half of August 1995. He was sentenced to four years and eleven months in prison;
4. Veselko Bilic, member of the 15th Homeguard Regiment, was convicted on 2 December 1996 for the murder of Dara Milosevic in September 1995 and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.
I have provided only a sample of the criminal prosecutions. There are many other examples. There is no question that many other murders committed after Operation Storm have still gone unpunished, but there are many reasons why this is the case. Milorad Pupovac continues to make gross misstatements of fact in an effort to perpetuate the myth that the Croatian State intentionally refused to prosecute crimes committed after Operation Storm. Even the Trial Chamber that initially convicted Generals Gotovina and Markac rejected this claim (See Gotovina Trial Chamber Judgement, paragraph 2203).
It is time that Mr. Pupovac and others stop distorting the historical record.
About Luka Misetic: Lawyer, based in the United States of America. Luka Misetic represents clients in state, federal and international litigation, including commercial, civil, white-collar criminal and international criminal cases. In business litigation, Mr. Misetic represents corporations and partnerships, as well as their directors, officers and partners in breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims, regulatory matters, trade secrets claims, fraud and negligence suits, and a variety of other claims. Mr. Misetic represented Croatian General Ante Gotovina before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, The Netherlands
Serbian National Council (SNV) in Croatia is elected political, consulting and coordinating body acting as a self government of Serbs in the Republic of Croatia concerning the issues of their human, civil and national rights, as well the issues of their identity, participation and integration in the Croatian society. It is an institution of the minority ethnic self-government of Serbs in Croatia, and finally by virtue of the Constitutional Law on the rights of national minorities in the Republic of Croatia. As such it enjoys the funds from Croatian taxpayers, i.e. the government budget.
Documenta (Center dealing with the past) is also an NGO in Croatia that enjoys financial support from Croatian taxpayers (via government budget/ Ministry of culture etc.); it also enjoys financial support from the EU, among other international bodies.
It’s time that the EU and Croatian government assess the work these two organisations do and appraise their support of their work, for, I am confident, no public institution that releases funds to NGOs should tolerate its name being associated with deliberately misleading political grandstanding and blatant distortions of truth and historical records these particular NGOs evidently promote. I say this in the hope that the world has moved forward and away from the days after WWII and totalitarian regimes (such as communism) when history was written with exclusions of important facts. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps (Syd)