Friday, March 19, 2004

Some Sort of Closure

Increased ICTY efforts to prosecute Croatian generals and other high-ranking officials for alleged ethnic cleansing of "Krajina" during Operation Storm in 1995 are overshadowing another, less spectacular trial. That trial is supposed to bring closure to the affair that used to be the most shameful and embarrassing episode both for Tudjman and Račan (Racan).

Vesna Levar and her son Leon are suing Croatian state for 750,000 HRK (cca. 100,000 €) of damages resulting from the death of their husband and father Milan Levar in 2000.

Milan Levar, veteran of 1991-95 war, was in the small group of Croatian officials trying to expose the truth about massacre of ethnic Serb civilians that had occurred in Croatian-controled town of Gospić (Gospic)in Autumn 1991. Their efforts, which would ultimately lead to the conviction of General Mirko Norac in 2003, brought attention of ICTY. Unlike most of his comrades that had taken shelter outside Croatian border, Levar decided to remain in his hometown of Gospić. ICTY gave status of witness to Levar and demanded that Croatian government provide security to Levar and his family. Tudjman's government did, while Račan's didn't – in 2000 Levar was killed by a bomb planted at his front yard. The perpetrators of the crime were never apprehended.

Levars are now suing the state, claiming that Croatian government failed in its obligation to protect ICTY witness. It is widely expected that the trial would end with settlement.


Post a Comment

<< Home