After the UN tribunal in The Hague did not accept Croatia's request for leave to appear as amicus curiae in the appeal proceedings against six former Bosnian Croat senior officials, the country's Justice Ministry stated that Zagreb filed the request with the aim to prove exactly what the Appeals Chamber in that case concluded saying the trial chamber's ruling referred to the six indictees and that Croatia was not responsible for that case.
If it had been allowed to appear as amicus curiae in the case against Jadranko Prilic, Bruno Stojic, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoj Petkovic, Valentin Coric and Berislav Pusic, "Croatia would prove that Croatia's leadership (President Franjo Tudjman, Defence Minister Gojko Susak and General Janko Bobetko) had not been engaged in the joint criminal enterprise."
In its decision which it released on Tuesday, the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) "observes that the Three Croatian Officials were not indicted or charged in the present case. Furthermore the Trial Chamber made no explicit findings concerning their participation in the JCE and did not find them guilty of any crimes (...)the Trial Judgement is binding only on the Six Accused, and the presumption of innocence of the Three Croatian Officials is not impacted,"
"The Appeals Chamber emphasises that findings of criminal responsibility made in a case before the Tribunal are binding only on the accused in a specific case," according to the tribunal.
"The Appeals Chamber further observes that the Tribunal's jurisdiction is restricted to 'natural persons' and the Tribunal does not have the competency to make findings on state responsibility,"
In the first instance the trial chamber convicted and sentenced the six Bosnian Croats to a total of 111 years imprisonment for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period from 1992 to 1994.