News in English     | 31.05.2023. 19:05 |

Bećirović: The Tribunal judgments proved that what happened in BiH was international armed conflict

FENA Hana Imamović, Photo: Hazim Aljović

SARAJEVO, May 31 (FENA) - A member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Bećirović in his address today said that this was an important day for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the region, Europe and the world when we are leaving behind 30 years of the history of the Hague Tribunal (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - ICTY and its legal successor International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Courts - IRMCT).

"Based on the judgments of this tribunal, we must continue our common journey towards justice and truth. With today's final verdict against the leaders of the State Security Service (SDB) of Serbia, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, we are closer to establishing the full truth about the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina," he pointed out.

He added that the Hague Tribunal also left a huge archive on the committed genocide, crimes against humanity and other crimes. Among other things, the legacy of The Hague consists of: 2.5 million transcripts of court proceedings, 422,000 documents and 30,000 videos. 10,800 days of trials were held, and more than 4,600 witnesses testified. Almost 1,500 years in prison and seven life sentences were handed down.

"The tribunal did not judge nations but determined individual responsibility. After this verdict, politicians from neighboring countries, as well as some from BiH, must understand that the policy of force, aggression and crime does not pay off and that there are always mechanisms that sanction such policies. The truth about the committed genocide and the legacy of the Hague Tribunal remain a permanent reminder to humanity," said Bećirović.

He pointed out that with decisions concerning the genocide committed against Bosniaks, crimes against humanity and other war crimes, the ICTY showed that the high position of an individual can no longer be a protection against criminal prosecution.

"The legally binding judgments of the Hague Tribunal, including the judgments on joint criminal enterprises, have proven that this is an international armed conflict. Neighboring states fought a war for territories with the aim of creating a greater Serbia, and in one period of the war, a greater Croatia. These facts were established in eight final judgments of the ICTY," Bećirović recalled.

He added that today's verdict against Stanišić and Simatović is important because the two former heads of the Serbian security service were sentenced with the final force of law, thus confirming Milošević's commanding role, considering that this verdict refers to the Serbian State Security Service (SDB) and its crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in Croatia. 

He noted that transcripts from the Hague Tribunal's trial, as well as documented digital evidence, provide much more detailed information about the role of former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević and Serbia than the verdict itself.

Therefore, Bećirović noted, the verdicts of the Hague Tribunal are of capital importance for the entire international law and order, and not only individual but also institutional responsibility of high-ranking political, military and police leaders of Serbia for crimes against humanity and violations of laws or customs of war has been established.

He believes that the international community and Bosnia and Herzegovina now have a legal, political, moral and historical obligation towards the victims and future generations to request a revision of history and other textbooks, a revision of the criminal legislation in the countries of the region, but also the prosecution and punishment of those responsible for the committed genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Hague Tribunal, he again requested that the United Nations pass a joint decision and that the complete original archive of the Hague Tribunal be stored in Sarajevo with millions of printed pages, audio recordings, videos, photographs, political agreements and classified information, which clearly depict and describe what had happened during the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"The international community should not allow final court verdicts to be archived and then forgotten, and in the interest of preserving peace, stability and good-neighborly cooperation, the highest authorities and officials of the Republic of Serbia should responsibly face the consequences of the actions of their highest officials and institutions in the 1990s," emphasized Bećirović.

He also called to stop denying the court-established genocide against Bosniaks, condemn the criminal project of Greater Serbia, stops the policy of undermining and disrespecting Bosnia and Herzegovina, condemn and single out the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and other crimes, and stop the practice of providing refuge to war criminals.

He believes that today's verdict is a new opportunity for Serbia to unequivocally distance itself from the architects, organizers and perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and other crimes, so that we can turn toward building a prosperous future together.

"Let's turn to the future, but with constant vigilance and caution because genocide can be repeated. Let's not forget, the planners, order-givers and perpetrators of genocide only have respect for those who are trained for defense and who show a strong willl to defend themselves," concluded Bećirović in today's address to the public.

(FENA) S. R.

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