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(E) U.S. State Dept. letter
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  11/3/2003 | Letters to the Editors | Unrated
(E) U.S. State Dept. letter

 

U.S. State Dept. answer

ICTY-Gen Gotovina
Today I received the following letter from the U.S. State Dept. answering
my recent letter regarding the General Gotovina indictment and the U.S.
Administration's offer of millions for his apprehension, while in
contrast badgering Croatia's government to exempt the US military from
the ICC. Here is the letter:

Hilda M.. Foley
Southern California Chapter
American Croatian Association
Oct. 27, 2003

Dear Ms. Foley:

Thank you for your letter to Secretary Powell of Oct. 16 expressing
concern related to the ICTY indictment against Ante Gotovina.

The ICTY was created by the U.N. Security Council under Chapter VII of
the U.N. Charter and is charged with investigating and prosecuting war
crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and grave breaches of the
Geneva Convention committed after 1991 in the former Yugoslavia. ante
Gotovina has been charged under terms outlined in the Statute of the
Tribunal with individual criminal responsibility and superior criminal
responsibility for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and
customs of war. UN Security Coucil Resolution 1503 specifically calls on
Croatia to render all necessary assistance in bringing Ante Gotovina
before the ICTY, and Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan himself has
called upon Gotovina to address the indictment in the Hague. The best way
for Ante Gotovina to profess his innocence concerning the charges being
filed against him is to appear before the tribunal.

We see no contradictions between the need to assist ICTY in fulfilling
its mandate and our position on the International Criminal Court (ICC).
ICTY represents a particularized response of the international community,
endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, to a conflict which saw serious
violations of international humanitarian law and growing instability in
the region. The ICC, in contrast, creates an institution that purports to
have broad jurisdiction over citizens of the ICC parties and non-parties
alike. This assertion of jurisdiction over non-parties, absent a U.N.
Security Council mandate, is contrary to the most basic principles of
customary international law governing treaties.

Given this sweeping jurisdiction, the United States is concerned that
U.S. citizens, including military and civilian personnel, will be exposed
to politically motivated investigations and prosecutions.

Sincerely,
signed: Pierre-Richard Prosper

(My remarks: His last sentence is exactly my argument about the ICTY -
"politically motivated investigations and prosecutions" . As far as Racan
is concerned - a "reformed" communist most likely would not be too
concerned about a general who fought to free Croatia from communist
Yugoslavia.

Hilda

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