A Not Guilty plea is expected to be entered today by the former Croatian general Ante Gotovina when he appears before the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.
A lawyer acting for the 50-year-old says he is relaxed and convinced he will be able to defend himself against the charges. Yesterday thousands of Croatians took to the streets in support of Gotovina, who is charged with being responsible for the murders of at least 150 Serbs by troops under his command in 1995. “General Gotovina has done everything to defend the Croatian people,” said the former special police force head, Zeljko Sacic. “We have gathered in large numbers to defend the truth and not a lie.” The pro-Gotovina rallies were organised by the main association of war veterans. The group was behind big protests in 2001 and 2002 against cooperation with the world court. Gotovina was arrested in Spain’s Canary Islands on Wednesday night. The indictment against the former general alleges that troops subjected large numbers of Serbs to inhumane treatment, humiliation and degradation.