Croatia Rejects Unequivocally The Hatred Originating Once Again From Serbia

Croatian Member of EU Parliament Andrej Plenkovic Who tabled the critical EUP resolution  on the Serbian nationalist Vojislav Seselj

Croatian Member of EU Parliament
Andrej Plenkovic
Who tabled the critical EUP resolution
on the Serbian nationalist Vojislav Seselj

 

Significant moves outside Serbia have occurred since my last post on Vojislav Seselj on 23 November and his hate speeches that attempt justifying Serb war crimes across Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990’s. These significant moves do not include an inkling of condemnation of Seselj’s dangerously hateful public outbursts by Serbia’s government. If anything, Serbia’s government can be seen as condoning Seselj’s actions even though they try very hard to convince the world that Seselj has nothing to do with Serbia’s government but find no words to condemn the man and his disturbing ethnic hatred speeches. He continues, freely, with the same rhetoric he served upon Serbs in the early 1990’s, which served as fuel to the despicable atrocities and war crimes against Croats, Bosniaks and other non-Serbs in former Yugoslavia.

The European Parliament resolution on 27 November instigated by Croatian MEPs and backed by all the main political groups has slammed the recent activities of accused Serbian war criminal Vojislav Seselj.
The EP resolution – declaration – condemns “Seselj’s warmongering, incitement to hatred and encouragement of territorial claims and his attempts to derail Serbia from its European path” and adds that his rhetoric “has reopened the victims’ psychological wounds” from the war and the atrocities of the early 1990s.
The resolution also calls on the International Crime Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to “take measures to re-examine the existence of requirements for provisional release under new circumstances.”

Seselj, the vicious madman of Serbia’s Greater Serbia political cauldron, responded to the EP declaration by saying that he would not return to The Hague voluntarily, stressing that he was very proud of the declaration adopted by the Croatian Parliament and the resolution passed by the European Parliament, especially because the latter was initiated by Croatian MEPs. Serbia’s government, of course, instead of condemning Seselj’s hate speech and sanctioning, or at least limiting, the content for any public speeches to be made by Seselj in order to curb hate speech that easily stirs many an ultranationalist into criminal activities has gone on the defensive without actually addressing the hate rhetoric stirring up unrest in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as deep concern in most EU countries.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has tried to play down the significance of Seselj’s comments.
There is nothing in today’s Serbia that connects this government and Vojislav Seselj, about whom I don’t even want to talk,” Vucic said on Thursday.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that the EUP declaration was offensive for Serbia as well as annoying and disappointing for its citizens!

Croatia’s Prime Minister said on Friday 28 November (source HRT TV news) he had scrapped a planned trip to Serbia next month due to Belgrade’s failure to distance itself from comments made by the Serbian ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj recently temporarily freed from a U.N. war crimes tribunal pending judgment.
Zoran Milanovic’s cancellation highlights a new chill in ties between Croatia and Serbia. To my view “closer” ties should not have been cemented without Serbia’s acknowledgement of the crucial part it played in the war crimes and aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990’s. But Serbia has a disturbing knack at playing the victim, when in fact it represents the perpetrator of aggression.

Seselj continues to be hailed in Serbia as a hero by many supporters. He has said he still believes in the ‘Greater Serbia’ ideology that fuelled the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo two decades ago. It would seem he has solid support for this devastating disposition within Serbia’s government. The lack of Serbian government’s condemnation of Seselj’s rabble rousing can, to my view, only be interpreted as support for him.
Addressing the Serbian authorities, Milanovic added on Friday:
All I am asking is that you say ‘this (Seselj’s comments) is not good, this is evil and I am distancing myself from this’. For some reason this government won’t say that and in these circumstances it would be ridiculous for me to go there“.

While Croatia plans to bring the issue of Seselj’s temporary release from The Hague, pending judgment, to the UN Security Council in the coming days it’s most prudent to consider the view on the matter presented by Luka Misetic, the defense attorney in the ICTY case against Croatian general Ante Gotovina who was acquitted by the Tribunal of war crimes contained in the indictment against

Justice Requires that Seselj’s Judgment Be Delivered Orally First

After eleven years of trial, the ICTY owes a final judgment to the victims, to the many witnesses who took the risk to testify against Seselj, and to Seselj himself. The ICTY cannot simply sit back and hope that Seselj survives his liver cancer for another year and half, long enough for Judge Niang to become familiar with the evidence and to deliver a written Trial Judgment in 2016.

The Trial Chamber can possibly avoid this doomsday scenario of Seselj dying before judgment can be delivered. It can deliver the Judgment orally, without a written judgment, almost as soon as a majority of the judges agree on the ultimate issue of the guilt or innocence of Mr. Seselj. Rule 98(C) ter of the ICTY’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence states:

The judgement shall be rendered by a majority of the Judges. It shall be accompanied or followed as soon as possible by a reasoned opinion in writing, to which separate or dissenting opinions may be appended. [5]

The phrase ‘or followed as soon as possible’ clearly implies that the Trial Chamber has the power to deliver an oral Judgement first, if it is in the interests of justice to do so, and provide a written Judgement as soon as practicable thereafter. Indeed, this procedure was followed in Aleksovski, where the Judges of the Trial Chamber first delivered an oral Judgement after finding that “at this stage of their deliberations it is important to convene a hearing in the presence of the accused, the Prosecution and Defence counsel as quickly as possible so that they may pronounce their Judgment.

In explaining the Trial Chamber’s decision to pronounce Judgement orally, the Presiding Judge in Aleksovski stated as follows:

Your trial proper started before this Trial Chamber on January 6th, 1998, and ended on March 23rd, 1999. Since that date, my colleagues and I have been deliberating, assessing, and reviewing all the evidence, briefs, and written documents of the trial. The conclusions which we have reached have seemed of such a nature that they justify amply the fact that the hearing be organised in the shortest of delays, without waiting for the final judgement to be put down in writing. This judgement will be made public as early as possible, but the urgency seems to be such that we have not waited for the return of the senior trial attorney of this trial, Mr. Grant Niemann, to which I would like to pay homage. May he be made aware that we are very sorry that he is not present today for we have always been very pleased with his work. I would like to say the same for Mr. Mikulicic: We are very sorry not to see them here today.

The Aleksovski Trial Chamber sentenced the Accused to two years and six months imprisonment. However, because the Accused had already been in detention for a period of time longer than the imposed sentence, the Trial Chamber ordered his immediate release on 7 May 1999. The written Judgement was not delivered until 25 June 1999.

The Seselj Trial Chamber should follow the precedent of the Aleksovski Trial Chamber and use its powers under Rule 98(C) ter to deliver a judgment as soon as a majority has reached a decision. If Judges Antonetti and Lattanzi have already reached a majority decision even without Judge Niang’s vote, then nothing precludes them from rendering their oral decision right now, because Rule 98(C) ter expressly states that the Judgement shall be rendered ‘by a majority of the Judges,’ not necessarily by all of the Judges. They do not have to wait for Judge Niang if they have already reached a majority Judgment. Indeed, even if Judges Antonetti and Lattanzi have reached a majority Judgment on certain counts but not others, Rule 98 (C) ter does not prevent them from issuing a partial oral judgment on those counts.

If Judges Antonetti and Lattanzi are deadlocked and have differing judgments on Seselj’s guilt, then the proceedings indeed will have to wait for Judge Niang to complete his review of the evidence, begin deliberations, and cast his tiebreaking vote. Even under this scenario, however, the Trial Chamber should not wait for a written Judgement to be prepared before pronouncing on Seselj’s guilt. As soon as Judge Niang has cast his vote, the Trial Chamber should immediately schedule an oral Judgment (hopefully in the summer of 2015), and render its decision on guilt or innocence orally. If Seselj dies thereafter, the Trial Chamber will nevertheless retain jurisdiction to deliver the written Judgement explaining its already delivered oral Judgment.

The ICTY will have to utilize some creative thinking and little known rules (like Rule 98(C) ter) in order to avoid the situation where Seselj dies and no judgment is ever delivered. That result would render the Seselj case a complete farce. Seselj has already been allowed to turn the ICTY proceedings against him into a circus during his lifetime. He should not be allowed to cement that legacy by escaping judgment through his death.”

Victims’ groups and human rights activists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia as well as some in Serbia have throughout the past week issued statements approving of the EU Parliament’s resolution regarding Seselj’s inflammatory rhetoric. But all that seems futile, for at the root stands the fact that nothing human or humane moves Seselj or those who think like him. The added suffering victims of war crimes are forced to endure because of his latest spree of cruelty on the public stage in Serbia means nothing to him or to the Serbian government that chooses not to ban his public gatherings. Perhaps the UN Security Council will bring a dose of peace and humanity and cut Seselj’s hatred from spreading further. Let’s watch and wait to see what develops even if one did expect, albeit in futility, the current Serbian government to promptly nip in the bud the regurgitation of 1990’s ethnic hatred it used to occupy parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Psychological Operations And Information Warfare Against Croatia and Croats – Part V

Click on Banner image to enlarge

Click on Banner image to enlarge

Guest Post
By Ante Horvat

The former Yugoslav regime elements and their children spearheaded subversive activities against the facts, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Croats from the 1990s, through to today.

While overtly Yugoslav nationalist in their rhetoric, still to today expending taxpayer resources celebrating the Communist “liberation” and 1945 Partisan (private property) “liberators” of Croatia, they were the first to declare any opponents of their sham anti-war agenda as “nationalist,” “primitive nationalists,” etc. – blaming “nationalists” on “both sides” for the war, and not the marriage of greater Serbian fascism and retrograde Yugoslav Communist Titoism and the detailed Serbian General Officers plan for aggression, beginning with the reorganization of Territorial Defense in the mid 1980s, through to the ‘Yogurt Revolution,’ trampling of the SFRY Constitution, quasi-legal attempt at Kosovizing Croatia and the rest of then Yugoslavia, and of course the Rampart (RAM) Plan, with the explicit order to target civilians to demoralize ‘enemies,’ and overtly stated goal of creating a Greater Serbia at the expense of most of Croatia and the whole of B&H, with access to Croatia’s coastline.

Among the more vocal propagandists in the front of the charge was none other than Croatia’s current Minister of Foreign Affairs, and unofficial Shadow Foreign Minister of Serbia, Vesna Pusic, sister of UJDI (Association for Yugoslav Democratic Initiative) co-founder and current GOLJP head (Citizens Committee for Human Rights), Zoran Pusic.

Vesna Pusic helped form Erasmus Gilda in 1993, a declaratively pro-European organization, along with Slavko Goldstein, and other post-1990 self-styled “human rights” activists (the systematic violations of human rights before 1990 was apparently not a problem to them as they were silent and remain silent about them) and disinformation luminaries who all just happened to be against Yugoslavia joining the European Community prior to the first free elections in 1990, because the EC was a free market economy.

Along with the previously mentioned outlets like Arkazin, Feral Tribune and others regurgitating Belgrade’s propaganda on a weekly basis, Erasmus gatherings, published articles and their eventual failed magazine that generous USAID funds could not save, touted the line and gave the anti-fact agenda political legitimacy as they included many academics who rose to prominence within Tito’s Yugoslavia.

Here was yet another case of foreign aid subsidizing another controlled opposition – who foreign governments would openly put into power in 2000, and again in 2011.

The main propaganda agendas of these foreign-subsidized controlled opposition fronts, and foreign-financed controlled opposition political actors, as well as Belgrade’s propaganda, was during the war and remains the following, in no particular order:

  •  Push the “all sides are guilty” and “civil war” lie to spin Serbia’s aggression and the moral responsibility of the Western powers that overtly and tacitly supported Serbia’s aggression diplomatically and through domestic media filters and planted stories;
  • Equate Croatia’s defensive war effort with Serbia’s offensive aggression;
  • Equate Croatia’s defense of B&H in 1992 and the HVO’s defense of B&H Croats in the face of Serbian and later Muslim aggression with Serbia’s aggression against Croatia;
  • Push the Karadjordjevo fable and “Tudman divided B&H” myth;
  • Criminalize any and all symbols of Croatian statehood (the Kuna currency, Croatia’s Grb, etc.) by tying them to the Independent State of Croatia (WWII NDH);
  • Look for “Ustashe,” if you can’t find them, make them up;
  • Blow any Croatian backlash or isolated criminal act during wartime out of proportion and tie it to the highest levels of power while entirely ignoring the top-down, bottom-up systematic war crimes by the YPA/Yugoslav Peoples Army and VRSK/Army of Serbian Republic of Krajina (see the Zec family politicization since 1991, with the recent street naming ruse);
  • Lobby for “Krajina” political legitimacy at Western embassies and in Western capitals while domestically attack the government for being weak for not defeating “Krajina” while simultaneously claiming the “Krajina” is too strong to fall and Serbia will get involved if Croatia operationally engages it, implication being that it is better to leave it alone and recognize it;
  • Criminalize the Homeland War, all Generals, and all Veterans, with phrases like “turbo-Generals,” “Oluja/Storm was ethnic cleansing, “fake veterans,” “drunk veterans,” “gambling veterans,” etc. – anything to do with the Homeland War, the men who led it or the men who fought in it must be all negative, all the time with qualifiers regarding “our crimes” at any opportunity, all under the banner of “de-Tudmanization”;
  • Sack competent wartime and intelligence commanders whenever possible;
  • Legitimize ICTY political prosecutions and show trials of Croats from Croatia and B&H and applaud all politically-charged, logical acrobatic convictions based off of cherry-picked misquotes out of context, evidence suppression, and constructing events entirely out of chronological order;
  • Stay silent on Momcilo Perisic, Franko Simatovic and Jovica Stanisic’s acquittals, as well as no ICTY convictions of any Army of B&H commanders for the systematic war crimes and gunpoint ethnic cleansing of Croats in Central Bosnia and North Herzegovina between October 1992 and the1994 Split Agreement;
  • Paint Franjo Tudjman as a warmonger and authoritarian; compare to Ante Pavelic and Adolf Hitler when possible;
  • Push anything and everything Serbian in social and cultural spheres, no matter how low-brow (Baja Mali Knindza, Ceca, Cajke, how to be a Sponzorusa program on RTL, etc.);
  • Rehabilitate the cult of Tito and Communist Partisan “liberation” and infallibility myth at every corner, with if not daily then weekly stories referencing the “glories” of Tito and the Partisans, and make sure to have a weekly Yugonostalgia session on HRT by airing second rate, low-budget Yugoslav Communist political cinema;
  • Continually push WWII debates as if it was ongoing to cover up for failed policies and collapsing economy and no actual long-term political or economic strategy;
  • Frame all political and economic discourse about independent Croatia, especially the Homeland War, in a negative context while simultaneously framing any discussions about Tito’s Yugoslavia in a positive, at a minimum, neutral context;
  • Demand Croatia “come to terms with its crimes” of the 1990s while savagely denouncing any suggestion of the same in regards to the Communists’ crimes during and after WWII, or that the Serbian community in Croatia do the same in regards to both the 1990s, WWII, and the first Yugoslavia;
  • Ridicule the very idea of lustration laws being passed; label it “nationalist” to nip it in the bud;
  • Do everything possible to drive a wedge between Croatia’s diaspora and the Homeland;
  • Demand that Croatia abide by every single UN, EU, or ICTY demand, no matter how idiotic or how much of a double-standard, especially when they negatively affect Croatia’s sovereignty, national interests, and national security while simultaneously using all means available in defending the CCP (KPH/Communist Party of Croatia) and UDBa Octopus (Yugoslav Secret Police) at the expense of diplomatic relations with Germany and the EU;
  • Criminalize the very thought of Herceg Bosna or any Croatian legal or political equality, economic freedom, local self rule, or even following the Dayton Agreement as was agreed upon, and always support Sarajevo’s line, or remain silent on the burning Croat question;
  • Push a pro-London, anti-Berlin and anti-Vienna policy – sign a strategic partnership with the one state that comes in second to Serbia only in terms of damaging Croatia politically and diplomatically (UK) once foreign subsidies and foreign subsidized (and facilitated in foreign media) propaganda bring you to power;
  • Ignore Central Europe, never speak of the Visegrad Four (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary), and speak only of the “region” to Croatia’s south, not to its north, northeast or west – never even entertain the idea of making the Visegrad Four the Visegrad five, and never demand Serbia meet the same criteria and extra criteria Croatia had to fulfill for EU entry;
  • Accept money from anyone, including those “capitalist pig” governments who were supposed to submit to the superiority of Yugoslav Socialist Self-Management;
  • Denounce, decry and try to legally bar the right of Croatia’s Diaspora and Croats in Herceg Bosna to vote while not demanding the same for Croatian citizens of Serbian origin in RS (Serbian Republic) and Serbia, who do not pay Croatian taxes – organize bus transport for them to vote in Croatia;
  • Thwart any meaningful investment with bizarre regulations, a monstrous tax code, bureaucracy, and torpedo any business investment, including sweet-heart deals, at the strategic and state level through incompetence if they conflict with Anglo-American business or geopolitical interests (see the Qatar debacle).
———————————

About the author: Ante Horvat was born in the USA in 1970′s. He has recently moved to live permanently in Croatia and although spending most of his life in the USA he had made several temporary residence visits to Croatia during that time. His education and professional development in history and international relations also spans across the two continents. He is an active observer of and participant in the development of democracy in Croatia since the early 1990’s and its correlation with the developed Western democracies.

———————————

Part VI – The next installment will look the new and subtle English-language information warfare against Croatia, subsidized by allies no less.

 

 

Related Posts:

PART IV:  http://inavukic.com/2014/04/08/psychological-operations-and-information-warfare-against-croatia-and-croats-part-iv/
PART III: http://inavukic.com/2014/04/05/psychological-operations-and-information-warfare-against-croatia-and-croats-part-iii/
PART II: http://inavukic.com/2014/04/02/psychological-operations-and-information-warfare-against-croatia-and-croats-part-ii/
PART I: http://inavukic.com/2014/03/30/psychological-operations-and-information-warfare-against-croatia-and-croats-part-i/

Croatia vs. Serbia ICJ Genocide Case – A Door To Future Success Or Failure Of Genocide Claims?

Vukovar cemetery - Photo politikaplus.com

Vukovar cemetery – Photo politikaplus.com

By Vesna Skare-Ozbolt

First published in Politikaplus.com
Translated into English by Ina Vukic

When a respectable British Weekly such as The Economist in its article from 11 March regarding the ICJ genocide trial between Croatia and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) pronounces (promotes)  that case as “utterly idiotic” in advance, that, in the least, must cause a decent reader to raise his or her eyebrows.

That is, this trial opens up several controversial questions upon which the international and the domestic professional circles are bound to debate; from the standards of proof of genocide, questions associated with the continuity and succession in the dissolution of a state, questions of state responsibility as well as the retroactive application of the Convention on Genocide. Court practice – even the one associate with genocide – has developed significantly during the past several years and this court could perhaps offer new interpretations, at least for some of these questions.

The Croatian legal team submitted its presentation properly and it’s worth emphasising the submissions made by James Crawford, Professor of International Law at Cambridge University, Philippe Sands, Professor of Law at London University and Davorin Lapas, Professor of International Law at the Law Faculty of University of Zagreb.

It’s difficult to give a serious assessment of Serbia’s legal team’s strategy because the extraction of evidence contained in the ICTY Trial Chamber judgments when it’s favourable for Serbia, bargaining with ICTY Appeal Chamber judgments when they are in favour of Croatia, appealing to the judges to study the ICTY Trial and Appeal judgments in an individual case and then to decide which one of these they like best, etc., does not constitute a serious strategy.

The biggest surprise from the trial is the British professional and professor of International Law, William Schabas. Although it was known in advance that Serbia had weak arguments one expected that he would, nevertheless, pluck something strong out of that material. The fact that even he was not successful at that speaks volumes of the quality of Serbia’s counter-claim in the proceedings. Regardless, Professor Schabas has appeared as a master in evading matters that did not benefit Serbia and, hence, when he rejects the key point Serbia relies on – that FRY did not exist as a state before 27 April 1992 and that in accordance with the Convention on Prevention of Genocide it is not responsible for events that occurred before that date – he omits to mention the fact that the very wording of the Convention does not seek nor exclude retroactive application or UN Convention regarding the application of statute of limitations for war crimes and crimes against humanity from 1968, where, it says in Article 1 that “statute of limitations will not be applied for crimes … regardless of the date of their perpetration … and for the crime of genocide under the definition in the 1948 Convention”. Also, even though this is a matter of a trial against a state it is worth reminding ourselves of the judgment in the Eichmann case where it says: “… that the crime with which he is charged has always carried the stamp of an international crime” and this adds to the weight favouring the retrospective application of the Convention. Or, as the renowned Serbian lawyer, the late Srdja Popovic, said in relation to the genocide lawsuit Bosnia and Herzegovina Vs. Serbia: “ … no one can call upon the dissolution and anarchy, because it is exactly in such situations when genocides occur …” (interview in BH Dani, 2006)

The charming Professor Schabas suggests to the court “not to enter into some new areas” but to keep firmly to the restrictive standard for proof of genocide contained in article 373 in the Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Serbia 2007 judgment and not the lower one from the Karadzic case. While on the one hand he is right, because the Kardazic judgment has not passed the Appeal stage, I think that this trial is the moment when the court must and should “enter into some new areas”, that is, open the debate around the question as to whether the standard from article 373 is the best standard for the finding of responsibility of some state for genocide? If it is, that would mean that future proof of genocide will become an impossible mission.

Schabas claims that there was no genocide anywhere in the former Yugoslavia (except in Srebrenica which he characterised as a mini-genocide) because “ … there was no uniform pattern nor plan nor defined state politics on implementing genocide …” and, as an example of the existence of such a plan he gave Adolf Hitler’s stay at the Landsberg prison in 1924 where he began writing Mein Kampf. On the other hand, he does not mention the existence of the mid-19th century onwards plans for the formation of Greater Serbia to Croatia’s detriment (Nacertanije by Ilija Garasanin, as the first Greater Serbia political Memorandum SANU, etc.). (SANU – Serbian Academy of Science and Arts)

The fact that the Serbian academics Dobrica Cosic and Antonije Isakovic had as early as 1989 offered Istria and Dalmatia to the Italian neo-fascists (Alleanza nazionale Gianfranca Finija) serves as one more example of the Serbia’s leadership’s plans directed at the “annulment” of the Croatian state, not as a whole but within the frame of the rattling Virovitica-Karlovac-Ogulin border against which the HDZ of the day had protested publicly on 29 September 1989, labeling the “academic matters” of these two Serbian academics as “Greater Serbian customisation of Croatia”.

Also, the data from dr Andrija Hebrang’s book “Crimes in the Serb-Montenegrin aggression against the Republic of Croatia” which shows that more civilians than solders were killed on battlefields on the Croatian side contributes to genocidal intentions. The killing of 400 children, all of whom were not “collateral victims” of say bombing but were intentionally murdered, often in the most cruel of manners in front of or together with the whole of their families, needs to be emphasised.

Serbia’s legal team, in fact, did not attempt to deny the crimes perpetrated on Croatia’s territory in the 1991-1995 period, but it kept exhausting itself in the attempts to accomplish a win-win situation, according to which Milosevic was guilty for 1991 and Tudjman for 1995, that is, maintaining an eternal balance of responsibility for the war. The introduction of events from NDH (WWII Independent State of Croatia) into the whole story, as supposedly the exclusive reason for the rebellion of the Krajina Serbs in 1991 against the independent Croatia and the attempts to prove the so-called genocidal character of the Operation Storm had the placing of a connection Jasenovac 1941 – Storm 1995 as their aim in order to continue ad nauseam perpetuation of the concocted genocidal stigma of Croatia.

This court will mainly rely on ICTY judgments – confirmation of this can be found in the separate deliberation by the presiding judge Peter Tomka from 2008 when decisions were being made regarding the court’s jurisdiction in the case of Croatia’s genocide lawsuit against Serbia: “…it remains to be seen how Croatia will succeed in proving that the crime of genocide has been committed and that FRY is responsible for it …” although ICTY “…has not passed its judgment against the persons who carry the greatest responsibility for genocide in Croatia” – and one could conclude that a judgment of genocide has no chance.

Regretfully the court does not have a fact-finding mission capacity and it’s difficult to expect that the judges will “comb” through all the documents (from the Croatian as well as from the Serbian sources), which are archived in the Croatian Homeland War Memorial-Documentary Centre and which were collected by dr. Ante Nazor and his team through to this year, or that they will read every book written by Serbian academics or war leaders of the day that could significantly contribute to a judgment about the intent to commit genocide within a limited time span and within specific areas, especially in Eastern Slavonia.

One also should not exclude the option to dismiss both claims. If it comes to that, this court case will nevertheless represent a victory for Croatia – or, a useful defeat – as the renowned professor Mirijan Damaska said (interview, Nacional, 2007) because it will, once again, remind the international public that the ICTY has not convicted a single Croat, that Croatia is not responsible for the War and that its defence was legitimate. On the other hand, Serbia has come out from the ICTY with 13 final convictions so far, and with a conviction from this court for failing to prevent genocide in Srebrenica.

One thing is for certain: this court has a very difficult task before it and it’s distasteful to enter into prognoses because, as Luka Misetic, a member of Croatia’s legal team said: “all options are on the table”.

Vesna Skare-Ozbolt Photo: Politikaplus.com

Vesna Skare-Ozbolt
Photo: Politikaplus.com

 

 

 

About the author: Vesna Skare-Ozbolt is a Lawyer with post-graduate studies in Criminal law. She served as legal advisor to the late President Franjo Tudjman for ten years. She led the process of Peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia in the late 1990’s. She was Minister of Justice of the Republic of Croatia (2003-2006) and author and initiator of many legislative proposals in Croatia. She served as elected member of Croatian Parliament over three mandates from year 2000. She is also President of Democratic Centre party. Honorary citizen of Vukovar, Ilok and Brela. 1998 Woman of the Year. Decorated with the Order of Croatian Interlace, Order of Croatian Trefoil and Order of Katarina Zrinski and Vukovar Medal. Source: http://www.vesna.com.hr

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: