Saturday 29 September 2007

Premier`s Letter Distributed to U.N. Member States


Premier`s Letter Distributed to U.N. Member States

In his letter to Ban Ki-Moon, Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader expressed profound disappointment with the verdicts to the Vukovar three.

Ivona Barić - Hina M.P.

The letter that Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader sent to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, expressing profound disappointment with the verdict passed by the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) to the former officers of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) for war crimes committed in Vukovar in 1991, will be distributed to the United Nations and Security Council member states over the next few days as a document of the U.N. General Assembly, said Secretary-General's spokesman Farhan Haq on Friday.- When such letters are received, with a request that they be put incirculation as documents, this is promptly put into motion and circulation, so we expect that this will be done in the next few days- said spokesman Haq.- If a letter contains a request for it to be forwarded to the Security Council as a document, then this will be done. This is anaction taken by the U.N. Secretary-General - said Haq in response to the question if the Secretary-General's response to the letter was to be expected.

He added that the letter will be distributed as a General Assembly document early next week. Prime Minister Sanader's letter was delivered to the office of the U.N. Secretary-General in the afternoon on Friday through Croatia's Permanent Mission to the U.N., as the deputy of the Croatian representative at the U.N., ambassador Amir Muharemi, confirmed to news agency Hina.

Fahran Haq: Long prison sentences for the accused two

At the beginning of the press conference on Friday, Fahran said that ICTY had given 'long' prison sentences to the two men indicted for war crimes in Vukovar, while the third man had been acquitted.

When the press asked him on what grounds he assessed that the prison sentences were long and whether he knew that they had stirred bitterness among the Croatian public as exceptionally unjust, he said that there are always those who are not satisfied with verdicts, but that the Tribunal always heeds the rules of the process.- Obviously, whenever there is a verdict, either one or the other side can be dissatisfied with it, at the same time ICTY is trying to heed the process and pass verdicts in keeping with the basic rules - said Haq.- When there is a need to appeal a verdict, action needs to be taken in that direction - he said, adding that he could not speculate on the manner in which the ICTY judges had arrived to the verdict.

Asked to comment on ICTY prosecutors' dissatisfaction with the verdict, Haq said that the prosecutors tried to ensure as long sentences as possible for those charged with the crimes, but that the decision on the verdict was made by judges.

The rift between verdicts and historical facts

In his letter to Ban Ki-Moon, the Croatian Prime Minister expressed "profound disappointment and astonishment" with the verdicts to the former JNA officers, pointing out that there was an obvious rift between the verdicts and historical facts regarding their crimes.

He announced that Croatia would state its opinion on the issue during the debate at the General Assembly, under the item 77 of the agenda (report on ICTY's work), as well as before the Security Council.

Sanader asked that his letter be distributed among the U.N. member states as a General Assembly document under the item 77 of the agenda and as a Security Council document.

Published: September 28, 2007 22:17h
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