On Tuesday, the ICTY Appeals Chamber dismissed a motion for the admission of additional evidence in the continuing saga of the Gotovina et al. trial. What you won’t read in the news reports is that the Appeals Chamber agreed that the additional evidence in question was both credible and relevant. The basis for its dismissal was the judges’ conclusion that, even if it had been included in the original trial, the new evidence would not have “affected the Trial Chamber’s verdict”.
For once, I agree. The blatant selectivity of the Trial Chamber’s verdict was such that it is highly doubtful that this additional evidence would have made any difference. The evidence supporting the innocence of Generals Gotovina and Markac was overwhelming, while the evidence alleging their guilt was paltry, tenuous, and conjectural. I am forced to conclude that if the judges of the Trial Chamber were party to such fundamental blunders in the first place it is highly unlikely that any additional evidence would have made any difference. The verdict wasn’t just a miscarriage of justice, it was the antithesis of justice, the vilification of two humanitarian heroes as war criminals.
This additional evidence, which has been dismissed, is wholly unnecessary. All it does is expose the flimsiness of the Prosecution’s case and the legal ‘games’ that take place in our courts every day. What infuriates me is that these games are being played with innocent men’s lives, and this should infuriate us all.