Gotovina: myth and demons

19 December 2005 by Massimo Moratti

The arrest on December 8 in Spain of Croatian General Ante Gotovina, one of the main suspects wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), sparked a wave of protests all over Croatia. Right wing leader Anto Djapic said that the arrest of Gotovina was a difficult day for Croatia, for all Croatian war veterans and for all those who respect Gotovina as a national hero. However, the Prime Minister and the Arch-Bishop of Makarska, south of Split, called upon citizens to try and understand why this moment was good for their country.

The charges against Gotovina are not insignificant. In an indictment amended in February 2004, Gotovina is accused, together with Generals Cermak and Markac and the late president Franjo Tudjman, of having participated in a "joint criminal enterprise, the common purpose of which was the forcible and permanent removal of the Serb population from the Krajina region, including by the plunder, damage or outright destruction of the property of the Serb population, so as to discourage or prevent members of that population from returning to their homes and resuming habitation."

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