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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Croatian archbishop deplores ‘unjust verdicts’ after general’s suicide

The president of Croatia’s bishops’ conference condemned “unjust verdicts” at a United Nations war crimes trial, after a jailed general publicly committed suicide when his appeal was rejected.

“We have to live well with each other and co-operate, but we can’t build a future when lies are told about our history,” said Archbishop Zelimir Puljic of Zadar, Croatia.

“Unfortunately, this tribunal has acted from political motives and followed political goals in attempting to show everyone is equally guilty and responsible,” he said following the 29th November suicide of Bosnian Croat military chief Slobodan Praljak, who died of heart failure after drinking potassium cyanide during a hearing with five other Croatian-Bosnian military leaders in The Hague.

In a 1st December Croatian Radio interview, Archbishop Puljic said he believed the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia had not “taken account of historical facts” in accusing the officers of a “joint criminal enterprise,” and would not “contribute to reconciliation” with its “unjust verdicts.”

Picture: Bosnian nuns and others pray for former Bosnian Croat military chief Slobodan Praljak, who committed suicide on 29th November, seconds after the verdict in the UN war crimes tribunal in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Praljak, a former assistant defense minister of Croatia and commander of the Croatian Defense Council, was appealing a prison term of 20 years. (CNS photo/Dado Ruvic, Reuters).