Double standards of the international community
4 October 2002
Your report, "Croatia: General Unease," fails to mention the double standards of the international community and the real concerns over the Hague prosecutor.
Croatia being threatened with international sanctions for refusing to hand over General Janko Bobetko is the most appalling hypocrisy.
No such threats have been made against Serbia. At least 10 indictees roam free and the Serbian government refuses to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Indeed, Carla Del Ponte complained about this only recently. Why no threats against Serbia?
Furthermore, it seems the prosecutor is endorsing ethnic cleansing. The “Krajina” structure was part of a joint criminal enterprise--as pointed out in the Milosevic indictment--set up on the back of the invasion, occupation, and ethnic cleansing of one-third of Croatia. Remember Vukovar?
The prosecutor treats “Krajina” as a legitimate state in the Bobetko indictment by cleverly not mentioning how it was created and by refusing to accept that Croatia was occupied--contradicting the Milosevic indictment.
In the other indictments of Croat generals, those of Ante Gotovina and Rahim Ademi, the prosecutor goes further by saying that “Krajina” "officially declared independence.” Who gave the prosecutor the power to recognize “Krajina”? The prosecutor is defying the UN recognition of Croatia and legitimizing ethnic cleansing. Is it then really "extreme" to say the Croatian state's existence is under threat?
What is more, the prosecutor uses a former “Krajina” official, a Mr. Savo Strbac, as a top adviser. Mr. Strbac is a Greater Serbia enthusiast. He wishes to restore the “Krajina” state. Incredibly, the prosecutor has given him and his Veritas organization a "letter of endorsement" in order to help his group raise funds. The prosecutor has thus endorsed the concept of a Greater Serbia. The sad evidence is at www.veritas.org.yu, where Veritas proudly displays the letter (under references), along with “Krajina” imagery.
The prosecutor is compromised. Generals Bobetko, Gotovina, and Ademi would have their human rights infringed by being turned over to a tribunal whose prosecutor supports the “Krajina” structure, a structure based upon crimes against humanity perpetrated against Croats.
The indictments against all the Croat generals should be dropped and a full independent inquiry launched into a prosecutor that is clearly running amok.