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.”
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 3[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 4[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 5Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 6Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 7[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 8Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 9Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 10Seven reasons why Yanis Varoufakis is now a political legend
- 11‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 12Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 13NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 14Greek debt: who will pay if Greece fails?
- 15Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 16Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 17Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 18Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 19Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 20Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
Latest world news
‘Last chance’ meeting for Greece as euro zone creditors gather
Tsakalotos reveals notes but no new proposals at Eurogroup
Greek people worry about their savings and their country’s future
Al Shabaab kills quarry workers in Kenya gun attack
Migrant dies in Channel Tunnel after jumping on UK-bound train
Wires > News
- 21:26 CET Two suicide bombers kill around 30 in northern Nigeria
- 21:02 CET Obama, Vietnam leader discuss South China Sea in landmark meeting
- 20:47 CET Eritrea sees U.N. scrutiny, migrant exodus as part of ‘conspiracy’
- 19:54 CET Gunmen storm national radio in Central African Republic
- 19:47 CET Homegrown jihadists with Libya ties target Tunisia’s democracy
- 19:29 CET Six powers and Iran to continue nuclear talks past deadline
- 19:22 CET Sierra Leone urged to ban FGM after backing women’s rights treaty
- 19:21 CET ‘Real risk’ of famine in Yemen as death toll passes 3,000