by Tony Iozzo
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe
THE HAGUE – Croatia told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday that it will present its case during a hearing which will include new evidence to support their claim that Serbia committed genocide in Croatian territory from 1991 to 1995.
Vesna Crnic-Grotic, the head of the Croatian legal team, stated to the Court that Serbian leaders are “in denial” over a genocide carried out in the early 90’s. Croatia is bringing charges against the former president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, of leading the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) to commit genocidal crimes, though they were originally supposed to protect the Yugoslavian people.
Crnic-Grotic stated that the Serbian government in Belgrade turned a blind eye to genocidal acts, and though Croatia did not accuse anyone specific for genocide, Crotia decided to formally bring charges before the ICJ.
On Monday before the Court, the Croatian legal team presented a video that depicted the 1991 violence in Vukovar, as they accused Serbia of using the JNA to eliminate Croatian people. The team stated that they will present evidence of genocidal crimes in both Lovas and Vukovar.
The President of the ICJ, Peter Tomka, summarized the history of the dispute between Croatia and Serbia for the Court. Croatia pressed genocide charges on Serbia in 1999, and Serbia filed a counter-suit in 2010. Now that the hearing has finally begun, President Tomka informed both parties which witness statements will be kept private until the end of the hearing- which April 1st.
In its counter-suit, Serbia is requesting that Croatia provide full indemnity for Serbian people from Krajina for all economic losses and damages inflicted by the genocide. The counter-suit also seeks to create legal conditions and protections for Serbs living in Croatia. The Serbian legal team will present case on March 10th.
For more information, please see:
ABC News – Croatia Accuses Serbia of Genocide at UN Court – 3 March 2014
BBC News – Croatia Accuses Serbia of 1990s Genocide – 3 March 2014
inSerbia – Croatia to Present New Evidence Before ICJ – 3 March 2014
Radio Free Liberty, Radio Europe – Croatia Accuses Serbia of Genocide at ICJ – 3 March 2014