"Revision of acquittal of ex-Croat generals possible"

THE HAGUE -- Chief Hague Prosecutor Serge Brammertz has said that a revision of the verdict to two former Croatian generals was "theoretically possible".

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

However, for the war crimes case against Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač to be revised, he noted, it needs new evidence.

"As I said after the acquittal of Gotovina and Markač, a revision is theoretically possible, and we are considering it as we do in all cases," Brammertz told Tanjug.

However, this requires evidence which have never before been presented to the court, he said.

This means that there is a theoretical possibility, but little likelihood as we have no new evidence, the chief prosecutor said.

Director of Veritas Documentation and Information Center Savo Štrbac said in an earlier statement for Tanjug that it was still possible to legally change the shameful acquittal of the Croatian generals.

Štrbac explained that if within one year of the sentence prosecutors submitted any new evidence, there could be retrials.

According to Štrbac, the evidence could be the artillery logs that “Croatia has been hiding”.

Gotovina and Markač were first sentenced to 24 and 18 years in prison, respectively, for participation in a joint criminal enterprise, whose goal was ethnic cleansing of ethnic Serbs from Krajina, and crimes during and after the Croatian military and police Operation Storm in 1995.

On November 16, 2012, the Hague Appellate Chamber acquitted the Croatian generals on all points of the indictment.

Operation Storm left almost 2,000 Serbs killed and more than 220,000 Serbs expelled, and so far no one has been sentenced for these crimes.

During the 1991-95 civil war in Croatia, a total of 404,000 Serbs were expelled, Tanjug reported.

Life sentences sought for former Serbian officials

Also on Monday, the Prosecutor's Office of the Hague Tribunal called for life imprisonment of high level officials of the Serbian State Security Service Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, said the final version of the indictment.

The closing arguments in the case of Stanišić and Simatović will be held from Tuesday until Thursday.

Stanišić and Simatović are accused of having directed, organized, equipped, trained, armed and financed units of the Serbian State Security which are alleged to have murdered, persecuted and deported Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serb civilians from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia during the war between 1991 and 1995.