Monday, 22. December 2014 - 08:12
19. 04. 11. - 16:00
First American ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith said that the guilty verdict delivered in The Hague for generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac does not bring into question the legitimacy of Operation Storm that reclaimed parts of Serb-occupied Croatia.
"I think Croatians have to keep in mind that they made an unprecedented move in international relations. They sent the generals to court after a war in which they won. That only shows how much Croatia has changed since the time of [first Croatian president Franjo] Tudjman, developing into a modern democratic state where the rule of law exists," Galbraith told Croatian Radio Television.
He said that there was no ethnic cleansing during Operation Storm (1995) because the army did not forcibly remove anyone. The population, Galbrith said, fled on its own. He added that he was certain that people left the territories even before the arrival of the Croatian army.
Galbraith commented that the prosecution relied on the transcripts from a meeting in Brijuni, intending to show that there was an intention to permanently remove Serbs from parts of Croatia (Krajina). The meeting was held between Tudjman and various associates, and included Gotovina and Markac.
He said that he himself had warned Tudjman to protect the civilians, but the former President turned a deaf ear, the daily 24 Sata writes.
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