On arrival in Belgrade after the Hague Tribunal acquitted him of war crimes, Yugoslav Army general Momcilo Perisic said he acted honourably during the 1990s conflicts.
|Photo by Beta|
“I defended the honour of my people and the lives of my comrades. After that I fought together with democrats against a totalitarian regime,” Perisic told a press conference shortly after flying home to Belgrade on a government plane on Friday.
“I went to The Hague to defend to defend my people, my honour and my state, and luckily I managed to do that,” he added.
Perisic was welcomed at the airport by state secretaries from Serbia’s defence and justice ministries as well as his family, friends and representatives of the National Council for Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
“I proved that I am a persistent, literate and unrelenting general who can be successful on all fronts,” Perisic continued.
He said that through his trial and acquittal, he had managed to remove the “curse of the Serbian people” – the idea that Serbs always violated the customs of war.
When asked by journalists about his plans for the future, Perisic said that for now, he just wanted to spend more time with his family.
The ICTY’s appeals chamber ruled on Thursday that Perisic was not responsible for the wartime crimes committed by the Bosnian Serb Army in Sarajevo and Srebrenica because it was not under the command of the Yugoslav Army.
It also found him not guilty of failing to punish his subordinates who participated in the shelling of the Croatian capital Zagreb.