Why the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia acquitted Gotovina and Markac in spite of the iron-clad evidence against them?
by Andy Wilcoxson
On November 16th the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague acquitted and ordered the immediate release of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac.
Markac was the Assistant Minister of the Interior and Operation Commander of the Special Police in Croatia. Gotovina was a Colonel General of the Croatian Army. In 1995, he was commander of a military offensive known as “Operation Storm”.
The military operation, which took place during August of 1995, lasted 84 hours and was the largest European land offensive since World War II and resulted in the largest single movement of refugees in Europe since the USSR crushed the Hungarian uprising in 1956. According to the UNHCR, 200,000 Serbs were displaced from the Krajina region of Croatia and hundreds of civilians were killed during the operation.
According to the press release issued by the Tribunal, the appeals chamber ruled that the original trial chamber had “erred in finding the existence of a joint criminal enterprise whose purpose was the permanent and forcible removal of Serb civilians from the Krajina region. Accordingly, the majority reversed all of Mr. Gotovina’s and Mr. Markac’s convictions” and “ordered the immediate release of Mr. Gotovina and Mr. Markac.”