Prime Minister: We Have Not Changed Position Regarding War Crimes Verdict

Total Croatia News

The Croatian Prime Minister claims there was no change in government’s position on the recent war crimes verdict.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said today in Opatija that when it comes to respecting the Hague Tribunal’s verdicts, as a responsible member of the United Nations and the international communities, the Republic of Croatia has no dilemmas. He added that one of the five convicted Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina could demand a revision of the verdict, which would then open up an opportunity for the Croatian government to try to change those parts of the judgment with which it does not agree, reports Večernji List on December 6, 2017.

The Prime Minister said this while responding to reporters’ questions about the Hague verdict against six Bosnian Croats, including Slobodan Praljak who committed suicide by taking poison in the courtroom last week. The journalists claimed that the Prime Minister had changed his initial position regarding the verdict.

“You should go to the government’s website and listen to my statement and a statement from the government. You will see that you are claiming something which didn’t happen,” said Plenković, pointing out that Croatia, in the early 1990s, as a victim of aggression, urged the United Nations to establish the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Now, after more than 20 years, the tribunal is closing down. “When it comes to respecting the verdicts, we as the responsible member of the UN and the international community have no dilemmas. We are unhappy about certain parts and qualifications in the verdict, and that has been our consistent position,” said Plenković.

Prime Minister’s initial statements given immediately after the verdict was issued last week were much harsher, and they draw criticism from many in Croatia and abroad, including a part of international media which claimed that this was the first time that a prime minister from an EU country voiced his support for convicted war criminals.

Plenković was today also asked about his meeting with Croatian veterans in Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. He said that he visited Mostar to meet with representatives of the political leadership of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the verdict, which is relevant to the entire Croatian people, we discussed their reactions and everything which will follow, said Plenković, adding that they had achieved a high degree of mutual understanding, together with expressing condolences for victims, including the ones covered by the verdict, but also victims of other crimes committed in the country, including those committed against Croats.

Asked about the formal analysis of the Hague verdict, which has been announced by Justice Minister Bošnjaković, Plenković said there might be a revision of the judgment. “Revision can be initiated by one of the five convicted Croats, which might eventually open political space for the government to get involved,” the Prime Minister said. Of course, the Ministry of Justice, which is in charge of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court, has the authority to conduct this analysis with relevant experts, concluded Plenković.

Translated from Večernji List.


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