Monday, 03 March 2014. PDF Print E-mail
Statement by Serbian Agent S. Obradovic Following the First Day of the Oral Hearings before the ICJ
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  • Today began the oral hearings in the long-running case Croatia v.s. Serbia before the International Court of Justice, in which the two states have filed charges against each other for genocidal acts committed in the territory of Croatia during the civil war of the 1990s.
  • Serbia has not been the first to bring this case before the Court, regardless of the fact that numerous crimes have been committed against the Serbian population in the civil war in the territory of Croatia.
  • In 1999, Croatia referred the case to the Court, precisely at the time of the bombing campaign against Serbia, estimating that Serbia was weak and vulnerable and that it was the right time to present to the world a twisted picture of what was going on in Croatia.
  • Ironically, Croatia – which started the avalanche of the horrible civil war in the former Yugoslavia by its separatist and unilateral decision to leave the common state by force – is accusing someone else of genocide. The statements made by the then Croatian highest ranking officials are clear proof that their intention was to do everything possible to have the Serbian people disappear from the Croatian territory.
  • Although this case only concerns mutual allegations of genocide in the war of the 1990s, the whole world is well aware that operation "Storm" and similar operations were not the only genocidal acts perpetrated in the last century against the Serbs who lived in the territory of today's Croatia. The most monstrous ways ever recorded of killing one nation – the Serbs of Croatia in the Second World War – are well known and have been well documented. In Jasenovac alone, the first concentration death camp in Europe, Croatian fascists brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma.
  • It is not possible to ignore the line of historical continuity and enduring identification of the position of the state of Croatia with respect to Serbs. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Serbs, who lived in the territory of today's Croatia and whose historical traumatic experience has been profound and ineffaceable, had reason to be afraid of the new Croatian independence. The outcome of the horrific civil war at the end of the last century forced population transfers of more than two thirds of Serbs from Croatia and their physical disappearance from large areas of the territories they have inhabited for centuries.
  • Facts clearly suggest that today there are three times less Serbs in Croatia in comparison with 1991, and that they disappeared due to the acts of the Croatian authorities, having all the legal characteristics of genocide.
  • Serbia has filed its counter-charges, the so-called Counter Memorial, solely with the aim of defending the truth and offering at least some kind of satisfaction to hundreds of thousands of expellees and victims that justice has been served.
  • The duty of the Serbian legal team is to prove - on the basis of superior legal arguments and irrefutable facts, in the interest of justice and truth – that the only genocide committed in the last war in Croatia was the one perpetrated by the authorities of the Croatian state against local Serbs.
  • Serbia approaches this stage of the case with calm and firmly convinced that truth, justice and facts are on our side. We are going to use incontestable legal arguments to prove that Serbia did not commit and could not have committed any acts of genocide in Croatia, and that the only victims of genocide are local Serbs, in whose interest we have filed our Counter-Memorial in the first place.
  • We are in possession of numerous and incontrovertible evidence supported by strong and valid legal arguments, and are confident that we will be successful in defending the dignity of the victims before the International Court of Justice.