Zagreb welcomes suspect’s arrest and expresses hopes that a future trial will shed light on the fate of victims of war who remain missing.
Croatia’s President, Ivo Josipovic, welcomed the arrest of the former president of self–proclaimed Republika Srpska Krajina, RSK, Goran Hadzic, saying that “justice is slow, but achievable”.
He said: “The arrest of Goran Hadzic is good for justice and good-neighbourly relations but also for Serbia itself, which has finally decided to cooperate with the ICTY,” Josipovic said.
Interior Minister Tomislav Karamarko said that the Hadzic case had specific significance for Croatia, in connection to the grave crimes he had allegedly committed in the country.
“I have to express satisfaction that this criminal is finally caught and that he will be prosecuted and tried. Of course, we in Croatia are particularly sensitive to this [case],” Karamarko said.
Croatian war victims and their families said that they hoped justice would be done.
About 380 people from the eastern town of Vukovar are still officially missing.
The ICTY indictment against Hadzic, issued in 2004, specifically names the massacre in 1991 of 250 people taken from Vukovar hospital after the town fell to Serbian and Yugoslav forces.
The mayor of Vukovar, Zeljko Sabo, said that because of this, the arrest was “big news”.
He said: “He is one of those most responsible for all that happened in Eastern Slavonia during the war.
“I expect that during this trial we may learn a lot about what happened during the [Serbian and Yugoslav army] occupation [of Croatia], especially the fate of missing people,” Sabo said.
A Croatian Serb leader, Milorad Popovic, a deputy in parliament, said Hadzic’s arrest should bring justice to those who suffered.
“However, when it comes to cooperation between Croatia and Serbia on all open issues … the job is yet to be done,” Pupovac added.
The Hague Prosecution charges Goran Hadzic, former President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, with crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war in Croatia in 1991 and 1992.
Timeline of events leading up to the arrest of Goran Hadzic.