Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Janko Bobetko Is Not A War Criminal

At least this all those who claim the opposite won't be able to back that claim with a court verdict. Former WW2 Partisan whose military career spawned for fifty years and brought him fame in two wars (1941-45 and 1991-95) has died today after being released from Zagreb hospital few days ago and few months after independent experts concluded that he wasn't fit to stand trial at the war crimes tribunal at Hague.

This is the best possible outcome for Račan's (Racan's) government. Instead of being caught between the hammer (Hague tribunal and Western government) and anvil (domestic public opinion, vehemently opposed to the handover of Croatian generals and other "war heroes" to foreign courts), Ivica Račan could exploit this sad affair to organize spectacular state funeral with all military honours and thus solidify his status of born-again Croatian nationalist few months before elections.

When the indictment leaked to Croatian public last year, it had created such virulent outburst that Račan had to promise that the General won't be handed over to Hague. This failed to prevent "spontaneously organized" groups of vigilantes patrolling streets around general's home to prevent General's arrest.


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