Community — 30 May 2013

Press release regarding the ICTY verdict: The Institute for Research of Genocide Canada (IGC), the Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB) and the Bosnian American Institute for Genocide and Education (BAGI) welcome the verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which condemned the six former leaders of the self-proclaimed “Herceg-Bosna” for crimes against the Bosniak population and found that these crimes were orchestrated by a joint criminal enterprise headed by the first Croatian president Franjo Tudjman.

The objective of this joint criminal enterprise was to politically and militarily subjugate, permanently remove and ethnically cleanse Bosniaks from parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina which have been declared “Herceg-Bosna”, and that these areas were to be a part of the Croatian state, or to be declared a state within Bosnia and Herzegovina (based on the Republic of Srpska model).

It is particularly important that the Trial Chamber of the ICTY ruled that the conflict between the Croat Defence Council (HVO) and the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international conflict – part of the aggression against the internationally recognized state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that the six high-ranking officials of the former so-called “Croat Republic of Herceg -Bosna ” and members of state and military leadership of Croatia were participants in a joint criminal enterprise.

The former Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and President of “Herceg-Bosna” Mate Boban decided that the establishment of “Herceg-Bosna” was necessary to change the ethnic composition of the population. Crimes against the Bosniak population were part of a joint criminal enterprise. The Council ruled that President Tudjman, the first officer of the Croatian Army Janko Bobetko and Defense Minister Gojko Susak, and six officials of “Herceg-Bosna” – used the structure of the Croatian Defense Council (HVO)  for different aspects of a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of creating the so-called Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.

We believe that this verdict is an important step to firmly establish the truth about the aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was , in addition to Serbia and Montenegro, also conducted by Croatia. At the same time the judgment is important for the truth about the crimes committed against the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The judgment is also an important contribution to justice for victims of crimes of aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina and crimes against its citizens.

Emir Ramic,

Director of the Institute for Research of Genocide Canada

Hamdija Custovic,

President of the Congress of North American Bosniaks

Sanja Drnovsek,

Chairman of the Bosnian American Institute for Genocide and Education

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