Skip to comments.Hague war court acquits Croat Generals Gotovina and Markac
Posted on 11/16/2012 8:47:29 AM PST by BenLurkin
A war crimes court in The Hague has overturned the convictions of two Croatian generals charged with atrocities against Serbs in the 1990s.
Appeals judges ordered the release of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac.
In 2011 they were sentenced to 24 years and 18 years respectively over the killing of ethnic Serbs in an offensive to retake Croatia's Krajina region.
The men arrived in Zagreb later on Friday to a hero's welcome. But their release was condemned in Serbia.
Last year the two men were convicted of murder, persecution and plunder.
Judges at the time ruled that they were part of a criminal conspiracy led by late Croatian President Franjo Tudjman to "permanently and forcibly remove" the Serb civilian population from Krajina.
But on Friday, Judge Meron said there had been no such conspiracy.
The appeals judges also said the 2011 trial chamber had "erred in finding that artillery attacks" ordered by Gen Gotovina and Gen Markac on Krajina towns "were unlawful".
Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic condemned the verdict as "political", saying it "will open old wounds".
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajic said The Hague tribunal had "lost all its credibility", Serbia's Beta news agency reported.
Mr Ljajic said the appeals decision was "proof of selective justice which is worse than any injustice".
He added that it was "a move backwards and the public opinion of the tribunal (in Serbia) will be worse than it already is".
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Only Serbs were bad guys donchaknow./sarc