"Hague has not fulfilled its goals, reconciliation slow"
Rasim Ljajić has said that the Hague Tribunal has not fulfilled any of the goals for which it was established 20 years ago.Source: Beta, Tanjug
It failed because not everyone responsible for crimes has been punished and many have not even been charged, noting that regional reconciliation has been a slow process, this cabinet minister said said.
In a statement for the press on the 20th anniversary of the Hague, Ljajić recalled that the goals of the Tribunal are, above all, that everyone who committed crimes be held accountable and be punished, and that justice be done for the victims.
Another goals is for the Tribunal to contribute to regional reconciliation, said Ljajić, noting that the process is still where it left off after the war, because ethnic distance still exists and "there is still animosity and antagonism among states and peoples of the former Yugoslavia."
Speaking about the Hague's failure to meet its basic goal, Ljajić mentioned the acquittals of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač, and ethnic Albanian KLA leader Ramush Haradinaj as cases "where the court determined that crimes were committed but these people were not responsible for them."
The Hague Tribunal celebrated its 20th anniversary on Monday.
Recalling that the UN Security Council founded the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)on May 25, 1993, court president Theodor Meron called the decision a "historic" one, after "50 years of inactivity" since the Nuremberg trials.
Meron said the creation of the court was a strong response to the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, not as retaliation, but because of the rule of law. The work of the Hague ushered in a new era of accountability, where the international community responds to heinous crimes in war and in peace, he concluded.
Panel discussions on the tribunal's work in the last two decades included judges Carmel Agius, O-gon Kwon and Christoph Flugge, chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz and others. Late on May 27, an exhibition opened at The Hague City Hall about the work of the Hague.