Blaskic: repairing rather than retrying

04 October 2004 by Heikelina Verrijn

After arriving at The Hague in 1996, Tihomir Blaskic, a former colonel in the HVO (Croatian Defence Council), told his wife and son it would take three months to defend himself against charges that he had command responsibility for one of the war's most horrendous massacres: the Ahmici massacre in the Lasva Valley in April 1993. On 2 August this year, after a case with more than its share of twists and turns, Blaskic was released after being resentenced on appeal to nine years.

After arriving at The Hague in 1996, Tihomir Blaskic, a former colonel in the HVO (Croatian Defence Council), told his wife and son it would take three months to defend himself against charges that he had command responsibility for one of the war's most horrendous massacres: the Ahmici massacre in the Lasva Valley in April 1993. On 2 August this year, after a case with more than its share of twists and turns, Blaskic was released after being resentenced on appeal to nine years. The Blaskic case illustrates how the quality of justice at war crimes tribunals is a function of timing and state cooperation. Without its own police force, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is dependent on the evidence delivered by states and thus open to manipulation.

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