REACTIONS TO THE BLASKIC JUDGEMENT
Applause for the judgment of the Appeals Chamber in the public gallery. Blaskic "happy and grateful to the court". The judgment is a "reasonable interpretation of command responsibility"
Ante Nobilo, defense counsel of Tihomir Blaskic
There was applause in the public gallery when the Appeals Chamber judgment acquitting Tihomir Blaskic on most of the counts of the indictment and imposing a new sentence of 9 years in prison, was read. Many Blaskic's friends and relatives sat there.
“I am happy for the children, for Tihomir, because we will be able to continue our lives together. I don't know whether this matters – but I am happy too," said Blaskic's wife Ratka after the judgment was delivered.
“Blaskic is happy and grateful to the court. He has got his self-confidence and faith in his own innocence back, because after so many years in prison, one begins to have doubts about oneself and starts asking: What have I done wrong," said Blaskic's counsel Russell Hayman.
Commenting the judgment, he said that some of the findings made by the Trial Chamber have been reversed because of the new evidence presented by the defense in the course of the appeals, while some findings "were legally and factually untenable from the start" as is "clearly visible from a careful analysis of the Appeals Chamber decision."
The judgment rendered by the Appeals Chamber is a "powerful criticism of the first-instance judgment," in the view of Hayman's co-counsel Anto Nobilo. "My colleague Hayman and I have always fought for a reasonable interpretation of command responsibility… I believe that things are falling into place, that this is a mark of the maturity of the Tribunal and a real contribution to international justice."
The prosecution has not commented on the Appeals Chamber yet.