The acquittals of General Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac for war crimes by a UN appeals court were greeted with jubilation in the streets of the Croatian capital, Zagreb, on Friday.
The successful appeal marks the biggest reversal for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia during its two decades of hearing cases involving the bloody breakup of the country.
Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic welcomed the decision, but conceded that there had been wrongdoing on his side:
“Obviously these are two innocent men but that does not mean that the war was not difficult, bloody and just as far as Croatia is concerned.
There were mistakes in that war, mistakes that the Croatian state is ultimately responsible for, not Markac and Gotovina. And for those, and to those, who were wronged by the Croatian state, Croatia will fulfil its debt to justice,” he said.
But, Savo Strbac, the director of Serbian NGO “Veritas”, echoed the feelings of many of his countrymen.
“We are shocked by the verdict. I can freely say that it is shameful because I am a judge myself and I know how things work. This verdict is the result of a majority vote,” he said.
The Serbian President was also vocal in his opposition to the courts decision.
In a written statement Tomislav Nikolic said: “It is now quite clear the tribunal made a political decision and not a legal ruling. Today’s ruling will not contribute to the stabilisation of the situation in the region and will open old wounds.
If we had reasons to believe that the tribunal is neutral, fair and more than a court only for Serbia and its people, these reasons are now annulled with the acquittal of war criminals.”
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Scotland referendum results live: the ‘Aye’ road or the ‘No’ road?
- 2UN warns over Ebola as Sierra Leone lockdown begins
- 3Which celebrities are backing Scottish independence?
- 4Scottish Highlands a spectacular battleground in the independence vote
- 5Obama meets Poroshenko in Washington pledging more support for Ukraine
- 1Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin
- 2Russia: new EU sanctions look ‘strange’ says Putin
- 3Putin takes control of Russia’s defence industries and calls for new weapons
- 4Young American sentenced to six-years hard labour in North Korea
- 5US and NATO troops begin military exercises in Ukraine
- 1Podemos: Spanish indignation in Brussels’ corridors of power | euronews, reporter
- 2Israel announces it will seize 400 acres in West Bank | euronews, world news
- 3Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin | euronews, world news
- 4Japan sounds bluefin warning, calls for 50% catch cut | euronews, world news
- 5Hoverbike on the horizon | euronews, hi-tech
- 6China executes eight Muslims convicted of terrorism | euronews, world news
- 73D printing: a driving force in design and engineering | euronews, hi-tech
- 8Ukraine accuses Russian aid convoy of stealing factory equipment | euronews, world news
- 9New car offers freedom for disabled drivers | euronews, hi-tech
- 10Young Yazidi girl escapes Islamic State kidnappers | euronews, world news
- 11Rise of the machines | euronews, futuris
- 12#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians | euronews, world news
- 13EU leaders name Donald Tusk European Council president | euronews, world news
- 14The business benefits of EU chemical regulation | euronews, business planet
- 15Turkish ferry makes high-speed final landing | euronews, no comment
- 16Risk of fresh ash cloud threatens European air travel | euronews, world news
- 17Canada sends hilarious barb to Russia over Ukraine ‘incursions’ | euronews, world news
- 18Iceland warns Europe’s airlines of possible volcanic eruption | euronews, world news
- 19Thousands of Catalans call for choice on split from Spain | euronews, world news
- 20Iceland puts on a show as two of its volcanoes spew out lava | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 04:43 CET Australian PM cites ‘chatter’ of attacks on government, parliament
- 02:53 CET U.N. to deploy Ebola mission as death toll reaches 2,630
- 00:57 CET Arab Bank never backed Hamas, lawyer tells U.S. jury
- 00:51 CET Armed Shi’ite rebels push into Yemen’s capital
- 22:49 CET Greek police, protesters clash during rally to mark rapper killing
- 22:10 CET Kurds issue call to arms as Islamic State gains in Syria
- 21:35 CET Three car bombs, mortars kill 23 in Shi’ite Baghdad districts
- 21:07 CET U.N. says five peacekeepers killed, three wounded in Mali blast