Generals acquitted "for sake of Croatia’s EU accession”

BANJA LUKA -- Republic of Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik believes that acquittal of Croat Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač humiliates all victims.

Milorad Dodik (FoNet, file)
Milorad Dodik (FoNet, file)

He noted that the Hague Tribunal had made the decision under political influence due to Croatia’s EU pathway.

“Politics played the decisive role and Croatia, that should become an EU member, certainly would not have good references with a verdict on a joint criminal enterprise,” Dodik stressed.

According to him, the verdict shows that the international justice is selective.

“This is a humiliating decision for all the victims, for all Serbs… Everybody who believed that there was international justice can now rest assured that it is selective and political and that it is the only way it is practiced,” the RS president added.

Dodik said that the Tribunal’s decision was “shameful and practically unbelievable”.

“It is unbelievable that after the initial verdict for the Croat generals, the court now delivered the not guilty verdict. A reduced sentence could have been expected maybe, but not this,” he told reporters in Banja Luka.

Serb Democratic Party leader Mladen Bosić believes that the acquittal of Gotovina and Markač was expected but that it was humiliating for the Serbian people.

“Those who founded the court have in a way ‘washed off’ Croatia’s responsibility in the war bearing in mind that this is a country that will soon join the EU. The verdict is devastating for the Serbian people. The court has switched the responsibility for the war to Serbs with the verdict, just like it has before,” he explained.

Socialist Party of the RS leader and Labor Minister Petar Đokić says that the Hague Tribunal has confirmed that it is a political court.

“This is a shameful ruling and it is obvious that the court was formed only to try Serbs. There is no reason now not to request that Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić be released from prison, as well as all Serb generals,” he assessed.

Bosnia-Herzegovina media on Gotovina, Markač’s acquittal

The acquittal of Gotovina and Markač is the top news in all the media in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Electronic media in the Muslim-Croat Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina point out that the Hague Tribunal rejected the joint criminal enterprise charge while media in the RS say that the verdict is “shocking”.

Representatives of Croat political parties and association in Bosnia-Herzegovina have expressed their happiness with the Tribuna’s ruling.

“We are overwhelmed. I was in Zagreb last night. This is a fair decision,” said Association of Homeland War Volunteers and Veterans President Nikica Tomić.

According to him, the verdict represents a big encouragement to members of the Croat Defense Council and Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina who will mark the establishment of the Croat Herzeg-Bosnia along with the fall of Vukovar.

Croatian flags and pictures of the two generals have been put up around Croat towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina and media aired the delivery of the not guilty verdict live.