October 4, 1999
today welcomed the conviction and sentencing of Jasenovac commandant
Dinko Sakic to 20 years imprisonment by a Zagreb court.
In a statement issued in
Zagreb by Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who represented the Center at
the trial, the Center noted the unequivocal condemnation of the crimes of
the defendant by the court and the historic significance of the trial.
In his words:
"This is the first trial
ever of a Nazi war criminal in a post-Communist state and as such of unique
historical significance. The fact that Dinko Sakic received the maximum
sentence speaks for itself and should send a clear message that the passage
of time in no way diminishes the crimes of the Holocaust.
"This is also a uniquely
important verdict for Croatia, a county which has been extremely reluctant
to deal with the crimes its citizens committed during World War II when it
was independent. In that respect, the verdict is an opportunity for Croatia
to fully confront its Ustashe past and take steps to prevent such elements
which still exist today from undermining the future of Croatian democracy.
"This trial can also serve
as an example to other post-Communist states which face the same problem,
especially Lithuania and Latvia, which have hereto failed to bring any of
their Nazi collaborators to trial.
"This is a great day for
justice and for historical truth, and ultimately an opportunity for a better
future for Croatia."
For more information please call:
Mobile phone: 00-41-792-102817
or Sheraton Hotel : 00-385-1-455-3535