A UN appeals court has overturned the conviction of the most senior Croatian military officer charged with war crimes during the Balkan conflicts.
General Ante Gotovina the former commander of the Croatian army has been cleared of targeting civilian institutions during fighting against ethnic Serbs in 1995.
Gotovina who had been given a 24-year sentence will be released immediately along with Croatian police commander Mladen Marckac who had been sentenced to 18-years.
Defence lawyer, John Jones said:
“I think it’s a fantastic day for international criminal justice. A fantastic day for history. And the appeal chamber’s judgement shows the original conviction was completely wrong. A miscarriage of justice, unfair and so they have their innocence restored to them but of course they will never regain the five years they’ve spent in custody.”
At home Gotvina is hailed as a hero, and his supporters celebrated on hearing the news of his release.
But in neighbouring Serbia he is reviled and the country’s deputy Prime Minister, Rasim Ljajic, reacted with dismay, saying the UN war crimes tribunal had lost “all credibility” with this decision.
Latest world news
Forensic teams identify victims of Ataturk airport attack as relatives mourn
Black box confirms smoke on board doomed EgyptAir flight
Russia extends ban on Western food products
Atatürk Airport attack – why did it happen?
Nicola Sturgeon gets ‘sympathetic’ reception in Brussels over Brexit
Wires > News
- 04:38 CET North Korea’s Dear Respected Comrade leader gets a new title
- 03:12 CET At Pacific Alliance summit, Chile warns against isolationism
- 02:26 CET U.S. says Russian ship raised false signal in incident
- 02:22 CET U.S.-led strikes pound Islamic State in Iraq, kill 250 fighters
- 01:42 CET North America leaders mount strong defence of trade despite threats
- 01:34 CET Japan plans July fighter jet tender seen worth $40 billion as…
- 01:03 CET Home-grown militants and ex-major behind Bangladesh attacks…
- 00:48 CET Brazil could dismiss Rousseff the day before Olympics ends