On the occasion of the judgment of the Appeals Chamber of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals reversing Vojislav Šešelj’s first-instance acquittal by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of March 2016, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs welcomes the fact that Vojislav Šešelj has been found to be responsible for crimes against humanity due to his speech in Hrtkovci on 6 May 1992, that resulted in deportation, persecution, forcible displacement and other inhumane acts against Croats (in Vojvodina). The Ministry also welcomes the important finding of the Mechanism regarding the existence of a systematic and widespread attack against the non-Serbian civilian population, in which Vojislav Šešelj also participated, as a confirmation of planned criminal activity aimed at creating “Greater Serbia”. At the same time, the Ministry considers the pronounced sentence to be far too mild with respect to the acts committed and their consequences.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, however, expresses its regret that the Appeals Chamber failed to find Vojislav Šešelj responsible for committing and being involved in committing the gravest crimes against humanity and war crimes during the aggression against the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through his criminal activity in their territory (especially Vukovar). The Ministry also expresses its regrets that the Appeals Chamber failed to find Vojislav Šešelj responsible for participating in the joint criminal enterprise aimed at permanently removing the non-Serbian population, primarily Croats and Bosniaks, from the areas that the then Serbian political and military leadership considered to be Serbian.
As one of the main advocates of the idea of “Greater Serbia“, with the western border Virovitica-Karlovac-Karlobag, Vojislav Šešelj, through his inflammatory and barbaric rhetoric, motivated and instigated his volunteers, as well as other Serbian troops to the persecution and killing of Croats and Bosniaks.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia especially sympathises with all the victims and families of victims of the crimes committed during and under the aegis of the Greater-Serbian aggression, who regretfully, after more than two decades of waiting, have not seen long-awaited justice being served today.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia will continue to promote the truth about the Homeland War and the role of all those who in any way participated in committing war crimes during the aggression against the Republic of Croatia and will persist in demanding their punishment.