Croatia

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ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz (Photo: Flickr/ICTY)
13 November 2017 by Boro Kontic

On the eve of the verdict in the case of Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz has given a lengthy interview to Serbian and Bosnian media. Here is shortened version of the interview conducted by Boro Kontic which has appeared in Novi magazine and Oslobodjenje newspaper. 

 

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Bosnian victims protesting outside the ICTY during the Karadzic judgement. The banner reads: 'Truth sometimes sleeps but never dies' (Photo: Joost van Egmond)
24 May 2016 by Joost van Egmond

“Finally, good news from The Hague!” famously cried the then Serbian prime minister Ivica Dacic at the acquittal on appeal of former Yugoslav army commander Momcilo Perisic by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. For him, and for the government he represented, this counted as vindication of Belgrade’s actions during the war. The fact that Serbia as a state had already been held partly responsible by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the very crimes this individual was tried for, was swept under the carpet [IJT-63].

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Poster supporting Croatian general Ante Gotovina
23 May 2016 by Iva Vukusic in The Hague (The Netherlands)

These days Croatia is going through a surge of nationalism and historical revisionism unseen since the worst days of the war of the 1990s. The polarization in society is between those who consider the regime, known as Independent State of Croatia, a source of pride, and those who perceive it as a source of shame. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) deals with another past, less distant, but equally painful. The population is no more open to honestly discuss it than it is the crimes of the 1940s.

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Serb ultra-nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj (Photo: Twitter/@seselj_vojislav)
31 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Serb ultra-nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj was acquitted Thursday of all nine charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes and is now a free man presiding judge Jean-Claude Antonetti of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled. Seselj, already provisionally released on health grounds, was not present in court.

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Serbian delegation interviewed by journalists inside the Peace Palace, which holds the seat of the ICJ (Photo: Sandra Milic)
11 February 2015 by Sandra Milic, The Hague (The Netherlands) and Stephanie van den Berg, Belgrade (Serbia)

Some hoped it would be the end of an era when the UN’s judicial branch last week ruled that neither side of the 1991-1995 war in Croatia committed genocide. After the International Court of Justice’s ruling on Bosnia in 2007, Belgrade could think this was the last ICJ lawsuit it would face. But now Kosovo is determined to have its day in court.

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The International Court of Justice (Wikipedia/Yeu Ninje)
27 January 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, Belgrade (Serbia)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will rule on 3 February in a case that saw wartime foes Croatia and Serbia accuse each other of committing genocide during the 1991-1995 war in Croatia [IJT-156].

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22 October 2007

Germain Katanga, second Congolese transfer to the ICC

Arrested by Congolese authorities in February 2005, former militia leader Germain Katanga, alias Simba ("lion" in Swahili), was transferred from Kinshasa to The Hague on October 18. The International Criminal Court (ICC) accuses him of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the February 23, 2003 attack on the Bogoro village in Ituri, eastern Congo. After more than three years of investigation, the ICC now has only two suspects in custody: Katanga and former militia leader Thomas Lubanga, who was transferred from Kinshasa to The Hague on March 17, 2006.

CDF: a “legitimate” cause

You committed horrible crimes, but your struggle was legitimate and that makes a difference. That is essentially what the judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone said on October 9 when they sentenced two leaders of the former Civil Defense Forces (CDF), high priest Allieu Kondewa and war director Moinina Fofana to 7 and 8 years in prison. They had been found guilty of war crimes on August 2. This delicate judgment, which was part of the debate during the presidential campaign, gave validity to the notion that fighting for the return to democracy is not the same as fighting against it.

Croatia proves itself

On October 15, Branimir Glavas, a retired Croatian general and long-time head of 1 of the 20 Croatian counties, entered the county court of Zagreb. He is accused of war crimes committed 16 years ago, during the war in former Yugoslavia. Leaning on a cane, this 51-year-old man, usually energetic, seemed weakened. His voice trembled as he greeted his peaceful supporters.

Brief news:

• EU-ICTY-Serbia: same carrot, same stick

• Rwanda: Double justice for Bagambiki

• Lebanon: A «panel» to select the judges

• Iraq: A judge's words

• USA-South Africa: lawsuit opened against 50 multinationals over apartheid

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04 April 2014 by Radosa Milutinovic, The Hague (The Netherlands)
During a month-long, high-powered legal clash Croatia and Serbia have each accused the other of genocide before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. 20 years after last artillery salvos announced the end of the former Yugoslavia's bloody breakdown, two of its principal republics continued to wage war, by judicial means. 
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ICTY 'Wanted' posters from 2000 and 2011 after Hadzic's arrest
24 September 2014 by Sandra Milic, The Hague (The Netherlands)

For more than a month, former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic has tried to convince judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that he had no actual clout during the war in Croatia and his fiery media appearances during the 1991-1995 conflict were just for show. The last ICTY fugitive to be caught in 2011, Hadzic was prime minister of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Eastern Slavonia and later president of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.

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04 April 2014

Links to articles and PDF of IJT 156