Croatia Slowly Prosecuting People Responsible for War Crimes in Vukovar

Total Croatia News

In 25 years since the war crimes in Vukovar were committed, just 181 perpetrators have been convicted.

In the 25 years since war crimes were committed in Vukovar in 1991, Croatian prosecutors have launched criminal proceedings against 1,203 persons, of which so far only 181 persons have been convicted, and many proceedings are still ongoing, reports Večernji List on November 17, 2016.

The County Attorney’s Office in Vukovar has initiated criminal proceedings against 291 persons. Indictments have been filed against 232 persons, while 85 persons have been convicted. The County State Attorney’s Office in Osijek has initiated criminal proceedings against 912 persons. Indictments have been filed against 492 persons, and 96 persons have been convicted, according to the Ministry of Justice.

In addition to Croatian courts, proceedings for war crimes in the wider Vukovar area have been conducted at the Special Court for War Crimes in Belgrade and at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Due to grave violations of international war and humanitarian law, the county state attorney’s offices in Vukovar and Osijek have launched proceedings mainly against members of the former Yugoslav People’s Army, the Territorial Defence, and members of the military and paramilitary forces of the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina. The proceedings cover crimes committed on Croatian territory, as well as crimes committed outside of Croatia against its citizens, according to the Ministry.

In November 2011, legislative changes were adopted which made the County State Attorney’s Office in Osijek in charge of handling war crimes cases in the Vukovar area. In order to establish the identity of persons responsible for committing these crimes, the County State Attorney’s Office in Osijek has given instructions to police departments to identify the perpetrators and gather information on perpetrators and victims.

To the same end, data and evidence are being obtained on the basis of regional cooperation mechanisms with the use of provisions of special agreements about war crime cases that have been concluded with other prosecutorial offices in the region, as well as by using all the available archives and cooperation with numerous non-governmental organizations dealing with the issues connected with the Homeland War.


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