Purging Croatia Of Darkness Of Tito And Communism

Zagreb, Croatia 31 October 2015 President of Croatian National Ethics Tribunal Dr Zvonimir Separovic Opens the proceedings against communist Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Zagreb, Croatia 31 October 2015
President of Croatian National Ethics Tribunal
Dr Zvonimir Separovic
Opens the proceedings against communist Yugoslavia’s
Josip Broz Tito
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

It does not need to be pointed out that a country cannot step into a democratic political system from a communist dictatorship overnight, or without dedicated resources that would draw up and act on plans to help rid the country of a remnant communist mindset. It’s been over 25 years since Croatian people voted overwhelmingly in April 1990 for a multi-party parliament based on campaign for a greater sovereignty and eventual independence of Croatia from communist Yugoslavia. At the first sitting of the parliament on 30 May 1990 President Franjo Tuđman announced his manifesto for a new Constitution (ratified at the end of the year) and a multitude of political, economic, and social changes, and how best to achieve them, that would be the backbone of the independent and democratic Croatia. The war of Serb aggression quickly ensued against Croatia and did not completely end until 1998. This of course meant that much of Tudjman’s prescriptive manifesto for how best to achieve democracy and shed communism could not be implemented. And, of course, after his death in December 1999, former and die-hard communists came to government as well as the office of president and this saw a most damaging period for democracy in which de-Tudmanisation occurred based on lies and falsehoods especially regarding the Homeland War whereby victim was being equated with the aggressor; a period in which those in power sought to feed nostalgia for communist Yugoslavia and Josip Broz Tito even though Tito (who died in 1980) and Yugoslavia were much hated by much of the Croatian population. One could say that the powers that be in Croatia at this time after Tudjman’s death worked against the sentiments and political moral fiber of much of the Croatian population.

Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall Zagreb Croatia 31 October 2015 Judgment Day for crimes against Croatian people perpetrated by Josip Broz Tito and his followers Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall
Zagreb Croatia 31 October 2015
Judgment Day for crimes against Croatian people
perpetrated by Josip Broz Tito
and his followers
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

It goes without saying that to move truly into a democracy Croatia must confront and condemn the dark side of the communist era under Tito and his followers and this has been difficult as opposition and sabotage are very active. When faced with a government that proclaims Tito’s righteousness even though it is undeserving then a huge problem and perpetual division among people exist. But, every once in a while we come across a positive and notable step towards ridding Croatia of the dark ghost of Tito that continues stifling democratic progress in many subtle and not so subtle ways.

31 October 2015 Zagreb, Croatia Dr Zvonimir Separovic (middle) confers with members of Croatian National Ethical Tribunal (dr Zdravko Tomac - left and Zvonimir Hodak - right) regartding proceedings of the day condemnation oif crimes of Josip Broz Tito Photo: Oskar Sarunic

31 October 2015 Zagreb, Croatia
Dr Zvonimir Separovic (middle) confers
with members of Croatian National Ethical Tribunal
(dr Zdravko Tomac – left and Zvonimir Hodak – right)
regartding proceedings of the day
condemnation oif crimes of Josip Broz Tito
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Thousands filled the Vatroslav Lisinski Conert Hall in Zagreb on Saturday 31 October 2015 to witness and be present at the posthumous judgment against Josip Broz Tito, the President, the Marshall, the Judge, the Jury and the Executioner, the Dictator of the former communist Yugoslavia delivered by the Croatian National Ethical Tribunal for his crimes against the Croatian people. As these things go in a country like Croatia where communists and former communists control the mainstream media one did not find out about this most important event via that media. Many distinguished guests, academics, former Croatian parliamentarians and government ministers spoke but perhaps at this point it is most significant to note the words of the last speaker of the day – Franc Breznik, member of parliament of Slovenia (Slovenian Democratic Party):

 

Today in Croatia, with the ethical condemnation of Tito, Croatian Nurenberg occurred. After the Nuremberg trials, which commenced on 20 November 1945 began the process of De-Notification of Germany. Today’s ethical condemnation of Tito and his ideological followers will start the DE-comunisation of Croatia, Slovenia and other parts of other states that were once part of communist Yugoslavia. Now it is up to us in Slovenia to follow your example Croatia,”said the Slovenian parliamentarian, earning thunderous applause.

 

Thousands came to witness the hearing of testimonies of victims of communist crimes in Croatia Zagreb, Croatia - 31 October 2015 Croatian National Ethical Tribunal Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Thousands came to witness
the hearing of testimonies of
victims of communist crimes in Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia – 31 October 2015
Croatian National Ethical Tribunal
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

People came from all over Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and from around the world – especially representatives of the Croatian diaspora. Also present were representatives of many major veterans associations, from those who have stood in protest for veterans’ rights for almost a year now at Savska 66 in Zagreb to members of the Committee for the defense of Croatian Vukovar.

Prior to the judgment being delivered Dr Marko Veselica – a former dissident and a former political prisoner in Tito’s prisons – and Mr Nikola Stedul, who survived an assassination attempt (five bullet hits) by UDBA’s (Tito’s Communist Yugoslavia Secret Police) agent Vinko Sindicic in Kirkcaldy, Scotland in 1988, spoke. Then Anto Kovacevic, who spent seven years in hard-labour prison for telling a joke about Tito, also gave witness as to the criminal acts and depraved revenge Tito effectuated against all who dared think differently. Kovacevic’s clearly articulated and unequivocally adopted position that without lustration, democracy or economic recovery were not possible for Croatia was met with resounding applause. Other, speakers among many included Eva Kirchmayer Bilic, Dzemaludin Latic and Mladen Pavkovic.

Nikola Stedul A victim of and witness to communist crimes by Tito and his followers Zagreb, Croatia 31 October 2015 Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Nikola Stedul
A victim of and witness to
communist crimes by
Tito and his followers
Zagreb, Croatia 31 October 2015
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Ante Glibota, vice president of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and Literature spoke about lustration as intercession for a democratic future. For ethical condemnation criminal Tito and his ideological followers came to a large number of Slovenians, which present very strongly welcomed by long applause. Roman Ljeljak, a well-known Slovenian public advocate for the disclosure of Tito’s Partisan army’s post-WWII perpetration of genocide and war crimes and the UDBA assassinations of Croatian political emigrants in Europe, especially in Austria, spoke about the Huda pit (mass grave of innocent 2,000 Croats, 700 Slovenians and 300 German nationals) and the murder of Croatian emigrant Stjepan Crnogorac by UDBA.

Sister Bernardina Crnogorac spoke of her brother Stjepan's murder in 1972 and that the communists still hold secret the place where his remains were left after his murder in Salzburg by communist secret police Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Sister Bernardina Crnogorac
spoke of her brother Stjepan’s murder in 1972
and that the communists still
hold secret the place where his remains were left
after his murder in Salzburg by communist secret police
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Dr Zvonimir Separovic, the president of the Croatian National Ethical Tribunal (and Croatian Victimology Society), then moved that the Tribunal attends to the main point on the day’s agenda.
The Croatian National Ethical Tribunal in this its Fifth Judicial sitting, deliberated in this trial against Josip Broz Tito and the Yugoslav Communist totalitarianism on the ethical charges brought on 25 June 2015 for genocide and other serious crimes committed against Croatian people. The tribunal comprised of thefollowing members: Zvonimir Separovic – President of the Tribunal and members Nikola Debelić, Zdravko Tomac, Josip Jurcevic, Zdravko Vladanovic, Zvonimir Hodak, John Kozlic, Bozidar Alic, Ante Beljo, Nevenka Nekic and Tomislav Josic. Josip Broz Tito and the Yugoslav communist totalitarianism were convicted of these criminal charges by the Tribunal.

 

Furthermore, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was also condemned and convicted for being Tito’s and his ideology’s follower. “ In the past year the Ethical Tribunal has delivered convictions against Ivo Josipovic, Stjepan Mesic, Vesna Pusic, Milorad Pupovac, Budimir Loncar, Vesna Terselic and now the turn has come for Zoran Milanovic,” said dr Zdravko Tomac.

Hence, it’s by pure chance that Zoran Milanovic’s case as one of the remaining Tito’s followers has come up at this time. He is judged on two bases: as a follower, a man who even after the discovery of 1700 mass graves and Huda pits he had the audacity to repeat that Tito was the best thing that Croats ever had”. The Ethical Tribunal thus convicted Milanovic.

JUDGED AND CONDEMNED FOR COMMUNIST CRIMES Portrait of Josip Broz Tito President of former Communist Yugoslavia Portrait in oil: Charles Billich

JUDGED AND CONDEMNED FOR COMMUNIST CRIMES
Portrait of Josip Broz Tito
President of former Communist Yugoslavia
Portrait in oil: Charles Billich

Croatian National Ethical Tribunal is a great thing that has happened to the Croatian social conscience scene since 1990 as it gathers large crowds that deal head-on with the dark past of communist crimes that must be dealt with – it is a great pity that government authorities in Croatia look past this as if it had to do with some other people not their own descendants or those victims still living.  It is by no measure an easy thing to do what the Ethics Tribunal is doing for these champions of democracy are quickly and maliciously and above all undeservedly labeled by communist nostalgics as fascists or Ustase. It goes without saying that much of the opposition to the process of condemning the Yugoslav communist regime for its crimes is ingrained in the resistance for such in descendants of communists or former communists themselves. Purging itself of communist past with decisive condemnation of its crimes continues to be a most difficult task for Croatia but – not an impossible. Persistence is the key to success! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

Croatia Raises First Ever Public Place Monument To Victims Of Communist Yugoslavia

Click to enlarge and read the wonderful dedication to love and truth engraved on monument

Click picture to enlarge and read
the wonderful dedication
to love and truth engraved on the monument in Vodice

Sunday 23 August marked European Day of Remembrance for Victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and of particular interest are the events marking remembrance for victims of Communist crimes as victims of Nazi and Fascist regimes have duly been and are rightfully always remembered at all time and regular events ever since WWII. While there were numerous events held at various mass graves, pits and communist jails in Croatia, the citizen action group “Circle for the Square” (Square referring to Marshal Tito Square in capital Zagreb people want renamed as Tito is placed among top ten mass murderers of the 20th century world), a civil initiative for a Croatia without totalitarian symbols in public spaces, said on Sunday that Croatia showed no determination to condemn communist crimes but glorified those most responsible for committing them.

"Remove the criminal from the opera square" Say placards at Zagreb protests 23 August 2015

Remove the criminal from
the opera square”
Say placards at Zagreb protests 23 August 2015

A a good number of people from the public and about a dozen members of the initiative, carrying banners against Tito, rallied in Marshall Tito Square in downtown Zagreb for the ninth straight year, unsuccessfully urging the City Assembly to rename the square.

 

Ante Beljo

Ante Beljo

Activist Ante Beljo said the European Parliament Resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism was adopted six years ago and the one by the Council of Europe condemning communist crimes even before.
The European declarations say that political parties and institutions cannot decide on the victims and the remembrance for them, but their descendants and those who were endangered during communism, fascism or Nazism, he said.
He said the Croatian budget financed institutions such as the Documenta Centre for Dealing with the Past, which he said spread untruths about the Croatian people.
Recently, since the Operation Storm anniversary, we have been witness to so much pressure on Croatia and the spreading of untruths created over 70 years of the Yugoslav totalitarian system. This is happening again so that our country could remain under the complex of guilt and lies which have been spread around the world for years – that the Croatian people is genocidal and that it should not have its state. The victims are the best proof of what Croats fought for,” Beljo said.
He said Marshall Tito Square, with this name, glorified the communist and Yugoslav system because Tito had nothing positive associated the Croatian people. “He was a communist dictator and today Croatia is a democratic state. With his movement, he fought for Yugoslavia, which inflicted so much evil to the Croatian people, and he has nothing to do with the Croatian state. Yet some continue pushing for symbols of Yugoslavia’s totalitarian system to remain.”

Protests in Zagreb in front of the Opera House 'Seeking removal of Marshall Tito name to the city square the building stands on

Protests in Zagreb in front of the Opera House
‘Seeking removal of Marshall Tito name to the city square
the building stands on

Croatia’s former communists who wrongfully call themselves antifascists are the ones who keep symbols of the Yugoslav communist regime alive in the positive light and have not contributed anything towards the condemnation of communist crimes or to prosecuting those held responsible; indeed they try and cover up the crimes at every turn.

Branka Juricev Martincev Mayor of Vodice Speaks at the unveiling of Monument to Victims of Communist Yugoslavia Photo: TRIS/ H.Pavic

Branka Juricev Martincev
Mayor of Vodice
Speaks at the unveiling of
Monument to Victims of
Communist Yugoslavia
Photo: TRIS/ H.Pavic

The European Day of Remembrance for Victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes this year saw a large number of commemorative ceremonies at multitudes of mass graves and pits across Croatia filled with the remains of thousands of innocent people murdered and tortured by the communist regime but the one that caught my eye the most was the one in the town of Vodice (north of Split and Sibenik coast) because the first monument to victims of Yugoslav communism in a public place ever raised and unveiled in Croatia actually occurred there last Sunday! The monument was raised under the auspices of the Town of Vodice and association Croatian Home Guard of the Sibenik-Knin county.

Vodice - Croatia Monument to victims of Communist Yugoslavia August 2015 Photo:Hrvoje Jelavic

Vodice – Croatia
Monument to victims of
Communist Yugoslavia
August 2015
Photo:Hrvoje Jelavic

This event heralds a positive future for Croatian democracy based on condemnation and rejection of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes of the past. This was what Croatia fought for in the 1990’s and communism just wouldn’t die; it needed and still needs a strong push into extinction.

The monument at Vodice is artwork by the distinguished academic Croatian artist Kazimir Hraste, the unveiling mass and prayer were offered by Bishop Ante Ivas of Sibenik and the honour of the unveiling this very important monument was given to Dr. Zvonimir Separivic, president of the Croatian Victimology Society.

Dr Zvonimir Separovic unveils the monument to Victims of Communist Yugoslavia Photo: Hrvoje Jelavic

Dr Zvonimir Separovic unveils the monument to
Victims of Communist Yugoslavia
Photo: Hrvoje Jelavic

Calling upon Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac’s words, Dr. Separovic reminded us all how Croatia had been a victim of big evils.

As Branimir Luksic once said: today’s man has interests, and not ideals. We think that we need to act ethically towards those who act unethically and treasonously. Here we have a monument that represents a great refreshment for the circumstances we find ourselves in, it is one of the paths to the truth,”Dr. Zvonimir Separovic emphasised in his speech at the unveiling. “That monument sends the message that the truth must be shown, that according to identifications done so far, 153 victims from the Golubinka pit and other places around Vodice, mainly civilians brutally murdered by the communist authorities during the last two years of WW but also after it … We hold that this is not a path of hatred but of love, it’s a positive, a warm treatment of the victims, concerned with preserving the victims’ dignity. This is not politicising but a path towards the truth which releases, especially the people who are here, who survived, for the families of those that perished there is consolation in knowing that at least someone is talking about their loved ones. You had to keep quiet for 5o years, you had to go to prison if you mentioned Golubinka or Jazovka pit or a third one or any place where people were killed.”

 

Nikola Spanja Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

Nikola Spanja
Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

At the unveiling, Nikola Spanja, president of the Home Guard Association of Sibenik-Knin County said that the town of Vodice has given its permanent contribution to eternal remembrance of victims of communism and that according to known data there were 153 persons murdered by the regime from Vodice area in post-WWII years.

Lasting is that remembrance of victims of Golubinka, Hudina pit, Bleiburg and all other known and unknown places of mass murder. This monument is dedicated to the victims from Vodice whose basic human rights were denied – the right to life and human dignity – and victims over whom terrible crimes and sins were committed,” said Spanja.

 

 

 

Vodice - Croatia Monument to Victims of Communist Yugoslavia in its night glory Photo: TRIS/ H.Pavic

Vodice – Croatia
Monument to Victims of
Communist Yugoslavia
in its night glory
Photo: TRIS/ H.Pavic

It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the Croatian antifascist riffraff started protesting against this monument in Vodice, seeking it comes down. They are very afraid that new ones might start coming up in other towns and they want to bury the criminal communist history.
If I were the deciding authority in Croatia I would rename the Marshall Tito Square in capital Zagreb into Victims Of Communist Crimes Square. And certainly, many more public monuments to victims of communist crimes are needed, not just markings or plaques on mass graves and pits. Communist Yugoslavia with Josip Broz Tito at its helm built many colossal monuments for what they called Peoples’ Freedom Fight and yet that freedom was not for Croatian freedom but for keeping Croatia with the Yugoslav federation (geographically concocted by the Serbian King after WWI) where it would continue to be oppressed especially by the Serb component of the multi-ethnic federation. If these cannot be torn down for historic reasons then I would build an equally colossal monument for victims of communist crimes right next to each one of them. More than a million innocent victims deserve nothing less! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia Vs Serbia ICJ Genocide Trial Begins

Genocide in Croatia Photo: Marko Mrkonjic/Pixsell

Genocide in Croatia
Photo: Marko Mrkonjic/Pixsell

Finally – it begins! One of the most important international court cases addressing the 1990’s war of aggression against Croatia will today 3rd March 2014 begin with hearing of evidence at the trial in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague. The trial is said to end on 1st April 2014 and there is a total ban on publishing any details from the hearing until the trial ends, which include specific evidence and testimonies.

Croatia had filed a suit in 1999 against the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the remnants of former communist Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, which disintegrated into two separate independent states in 2006/ into Serbia and Montenegro ) for genocide at the highest UN court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.  As Serbia and Montenegro went their separate ways in 2006, Croatia’s lawsuit at the ICJ stayed as against Serbia, and not Montenegro. In 2010 Serbia filed a counterclaim against Croatia.

Croatia aims to prove that units commanded by Serbia committed genocide in the war between 1991 and 1995.
Croatian Application to the court states, among other matters: “The Genocide Convention prohibits the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, including the elimination or displacement of members of that group from a particular territory. Between 1991 and 1995, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ( read Serbia) repeatedly violated the Genocide Convention. By directly controlling the activity of its armed forces, intelligence agents, and various paramilitary detachments, on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, in the Knin region’, eastern and western Slavonia, and Dalmatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (read Serbia) is liable for the “ethnic cleansing” of Croatian citizens from these areas – a form of genocide which resulted in large numbers of Croatian citizens being displaced, killed, tortured, or illegally detained, as well as extensive property destruction – and is required to provide reparation for the resulting damages. In addition, by directing, encouraging, and urging Croatian citizens of Serb ethnicity in the Knin region to evacuate the area in 1995, as the Republic of Croatia reasserted its legitimate governmental authority (and in the face of clear reassurance emanating from the highest level of the Croatian Government, including the President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, that the local Serbs had nothing to fear and should stay), the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (read Serbia) engaged in conduct amounting to a second round of “ethnic cleansing”, in violation of the Genocide Convention…

In July 1991, there were already 30,000 registered displaced persons in Croatia. The long list of displaced persons started with the persecution of the Croats from Lika in the spring of 1991, and intensified in the summer with the persecution of the Croats from the territory of Banovina, Kordun, eastern Slavonia, western Slavonia, west Syrmium, Baranja, Dalmatian hinterland, Drnis, and Knin. The peak of the refugee crisis occurred in November 1991, when 600,000 displaced persons were registered in Croatia, including 15,000 survivors of a massacre in Vukovar. The atrocities inflicted by the Serbs on Vukovar’s people were brutal, and the resulting humanitarian crisis among displaced persons was unprecedented. In fact, the city of Vukovar, including countless historic buildings, and cultural and sacral artefacts, was completely destroyed
by the so-called JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army).

By 1999, in the period of time following 1995, Croatia has discovered and registered at least 120 mass graves, mostly in the eastern Slavonia, Banovina, Dalmatia, and Knin regions. To date, the exhumation process has registered 2,989 bodies in both mass and individual graves. For example, in Ovchara,
near Vukovar, a mass grave was discovered, from which some 200 bodies were exhumed. These were the bodies of wounded persons and patients who had been taken from the Vukovar hospital. At the mass grave at the New Grave yard of Vukovar, 938 bodies were found, and in Bakin, 56 bodies, mostly of elderly victims, were discovered in a mass grave. In Skabrnja, near Zadar, another mass grave was recently discovered to contain 27 bodies. Also, in Vila Gavrilovik, near Petrinja, a mass grave was found that contained 17 bodies…

As a result of the aggression waged by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (read Serbia), its agents, officials, and surrogates, Croatia and its citizens suffered the following damages :
In Croatia, there were 20,000 dead and 55,000 wounded, with over 3,000 people still unaccounted for.
Out of the total number of victims, 303 children died, 35 children were taken prisoner and disappeared, and 1,276 children were wounded.1,700 people were killed in Vukovar alone (1,100 of them were civilians), more than 4,000 people were wounded, between 3,000 and 5,000 taken prisoner, and 1,000 people are still unaccounted for.

In 1992, the humanitarian crisis in Croatia was at its peak, with approximately 800,000 displaced persons and refugees, which constituted more than 15 per cent of the total population of Croatia. Several thousand Croat civilians were taken prisoner and forcibly transferred to Serbia and other areas of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Of the 7,000 people later released, 60 per cent had spent time in prisons or detention facilities in Serbia.

According to estimates by the National Commission for the Registration and Assessment of War Damages, 590 towns and villages suffered damage, 35 were razed to the ground, with another 34 suffering significant damage. 1,821 cultural monuments were destroyed or damaged, including about 651 in the area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and about 356 in the area of Osijek-Baranja County.

Three national parks, five natural parks, 19 special reservations, 10 parks, and 19 park cultural monuments were damaged. 323 historical sites and settlements were destroyed or damaged. 171,000 housing units (constituting approximately 10 per cent of the housing capacity of Croatia) were destroyed, often by arson.
Approximately 450 Croatian Catholic churches were destroyed or severely damaged, with lesser damage to over 250 others. In addition, approximately 151 rectories, 31 monasteries, and 57 cemeteries were destroyed or severely damaged. 210 libraries were destroyed or damaged (from school libraries to such famous libraries as those in Dubrovnik).

22 journalists were killed, many of whom were trying to reveal the truth about the aggression against Croatia.

Estimates indicate that upwards of 3 million various explosive devices were planted within Croatia, mostly anti-personnel and anti-tank devices. These mines are, for the most part, uncharted, and block about 300,000 hectares of arable land. About 25 per cent of Croatia’s total economic capacity, including such large facilities as the Adriatic Pipeline, was damaged or destroyed during 199 1 – 1992. Approximately 10 per cent of Croatia’s tourist facilities were damaged or destroyed by the FRY-backed forces and agents…

In this genocide ICJ case Croatia wants to be clearly identified as the victim of the war and that would surely stop the equating of the victim and aggressor that had been a prolific and evilly twisted political push, clearly originating from Serbia and its supporters.
The suit calls on Serbia to have all Serbian war criminals put on trial, all cultural assets seized during the war to be given back to Croatia, and calls for the payment of reparations to Croatia. Additionally, Croatia wants an explanation of what happened to the more than 1,400 Croatians who have been missing since the war.

The genocide counterclaim against Croatia, Serbia filed in 2010, will see claims of Serbs killed during that war in Croatia, it’s 2010 claim that 200,000 Serbs were expelled from Croatia in 1995 after the Croatian military Operation Storm, which liberated Croatian sovereign territory from Serb occupation, is surely not to hold any water at the ICJ given that the ICTY had in November 2012 in its acquittal of Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac found that there had been no forced deportations of Serbs from Croatia.

Serbia, however, seems to introduce into this case WWII killings of Serbs in Croatia!

Well, well, well! If such is permitted then I do hope that Croatia will have the opportunity to insert another claim to its Application – that of murdered Croats under the tyranny and dictatorship of the Serb-led Kingdom of Yugoslavia prior to WWII!

Lately, there has been much thrashing about in the media by legal professionals that neither Croatia nor Serbia have a chance of winning this case. Most refer to the case when in 2007 ICJ judges acquitted Serbia (in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina Vs Serbia) of direct responsibility for the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, finding it guilty only of failing to prevent and punish the perpetrators of this crime. However, in the same breath, ICJ ruled that genocide took place in mid-1995 at Srebrenica when almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb troops after they overran a UN-protected enclave.
These legal professionals who thrash about saying that the case of genocide at the ICJ has no prospects are fools for rushing out so, to my view. From many articles I have read in the past couple of weeks none of these legal professionals have mentioned that Bosnia’s lawyers were unable to access transcripts from meetings of Serbia’s Supreme Defence Council, SDC, which they believed were crucial to proving the case.
Although minutes from these meetings are widely believed to contain vital information about Belgrade’s involvement in the wars in Bosnia and Croatia, their most relevant parts had been granted confidential status by the judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY and it would be a miserable day for justice if these documents do not appear as evidence in 2014 at ICJ!

So far there have at the ICTY been both charges and convictions of Croatian Serb Krajina individuals for crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing …, e.g. Milan Babic, Milan Martic, Mile Mrksic, Veselin Sljivancanin, Pavle Strugar and cases still on ICTY Trial: Goran Hadzic and Vojislav Seselj. Links to Serbia, Yugoslav People’s Army and Serbia’s government including president Slobodan Milosevic have been established. This, I believe is most significant for Croatia’s claim against Serbia, let alone the mountains of evidence that’s surely to land in the ICJ courtroom during the coming month – aspects of genocide are many and the totality of the various horrors that included mass killings surely equate to genocide in moral and legal sense.

Zvonimir SeparovicThe 1999 lawsuit of Croatia against Serbia for genocide was a major contribution to seeking justice for the victims of Serb aggression under the then minister of justice dr Zvonimir Separovic, a legal scholar and politician. His dedication to justice for victims of war and other mass crimes is a permanent co-traveler in his life – he is a pioneer of victimology and today, despite his advanced age, still heads with great vigour and determination the Croatian Victimology Society, whose goals include justice for victims of communist crimes.

I join the multitudes of Croats and victims of war crimes in wishing the Croatian legal team in the ICJ the victory Croatia truly deserves. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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