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:
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 3Now is ‘right time’ for Catalonia independence vote, says Mas | euronews, world news
- 4Vatican rocked by another paedophilia scandal | euronews, world news
- 5Two container ships collide on Egypt’s Suez Canal | euronews, no comment
- 6British Muslims’ message to ISIL: Not in my name! | euronews, world news
- 7Ukraine: Donetsk rebel weapons factory blows up | euronews, world news
- 8Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel | euronews, world news
- 9Sweden becomes first European nation to recognise Palestine | euronews, world news
- 10Emma Watson threatened with naked photos leak after UN equality speech | euronews, world news
- 11Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’ | euronews, world news
- 12How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad | euronews, world news
- 13Learning through “serious games” | euronews, learning world
- 14euronews speaks to Ban Ki-moon ahead of key UN and climate change talks | euronews, the global conversation
- 15Thousands ‘evade’ Ebola lockdown in Sierra Leone | euronews, world news
- 16Mike Tyson: ‘You learn humbleness when you get older in life’ | euronews, the global conversation
- 17European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 18Ebola: Six new suspected cases in Spain | euronews, world news
- 19International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 20Global warming to ‘cause 250,000 extra deaths a year’ | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 14:41 CET Blast rocks Donetsk in east Ukraine, no deaths reported
- 14:05 CET Nigeria declared Ebola-free after containing virus
- 13:53 CET Ukraine, Russia gas deal may be just enough to get through winter
- 13:47 CET Thai rights body to probe torture claims over tourist murders
- 12:59 CET EU’s Ashton to stay on until end of Iran nuclear talks
- 12:54 CET Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to…
- 12:46 CET Bus accident kills 20 in Bangladesh, leaves 30 injured
- 12:08 CET Japanese PM Abe suffers setback as two ministers quit