Statement on the occasion of pronouncement of the final and conclusive ICTY verdict in respect of Momčilo Perišić, Chief of the General Staff of the VJ (Yugoslav Army)
Subsequent to the ICTY Appeals Chamber’s pronouncement of the verdict of acquittal in respect of Momčilo Perišić, the Documenta-Centre for Dealing with the Past, first of all, wishes to express its concern regarding the fact that the ICTY delivered another verdict which brings no justice to the families of victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed by members of the Army of Republika Srpska (in the period from 1993 and 1995) in the towns of Sarajevo and Srebrenica, and those committed by members of the Serb Krajina Army (in May 1995) during the mortar attack(s) on Zagreb.
Although a series of personal and material evidence, presented during the trial against General Perišić, only served to indicate the correctness of delivering a verdict of guilty by the first-instance court chamber, the verdicts passed by appeals chambers, both in this case and in several other verdicts previously passed by the same court, subsequently led to the radical changes being made to the non-final (first-instance court) verdicts.
We believe that the concept of the command responsibility (as a pertinent basis for proving the criminal responsibility of those who were supposed to prevent the crimes and punish their subordinate officers, the very concept which was created at the ICTY courtrooms in the first place) will not be abandoned.
We are witnessing a gradual decrease of public concern (both of the local public and the international community) regarding war crimes issues. Therefore, based on the above mentioned facts and following this latest verdict delivered by the ICTY, we express our sincere concern and fear over the fact that the perpetrators and the persons having the command responsibilities, especially those highest-ranking officials, will most likely remain unpunished.
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