Interior Ministry of the Republika Srpska, Serbian entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has reportedly filed criminal complaints against 16 Croatian generals for alleged crimes committed in 1995.
According to media reports, the Ministry of Interior of the Republika Srpska, Serbian entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has reportedly filed with a court in Bosnia and Herzegovina criminal complaints against 16 Croatian generals, including Ante Gotovina and current Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, reports Index.hr on November 11, 2016.
The complaints were reportedly filed due to alleged crimes committed in September and October 1995. If the generals enter the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they could be arrested. The generals are accused as immediate commanders of military operations “Mistral” and “South Move” in 1995, because they are allegedly responsible for persecution of 120,000 people and killing of 1,644 civilians and soldiers.
The first reports about possible changes were published in 2011. Current Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević was at the time advisor to then Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and said that his conscience was clear. “I know what kind of person I am. I did my job, I executed an order”, said Krstičević in 2011.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic said on Friday that she would not comment on media reports because she had still not received official confirmation, but said that “recent events” were an attempt to intimidate Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and force them to leave the country. She alluded to recent arrests of ten former member of HVO (forces of Bosnian Croats during the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina).
“Recently there are many new indictments appearing, which is not good, since Croatia is a friendly country to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We support it, not only on its Euro-Atlantic path, but also in its internal development. We provide a lot of help to local communities, from universities to hospitals, regardless of the nationality of people and we will continue to do so”, said the President. “This kind of blackmail that our Defence Minister cannot visit the neighbouring country which Croatia absolutely supports, it is absolutely unacceptable and intolerable”, said the President. We all respect the fact that judiciary must be independent, but the judiciary also should not be involved in politics and political manipulations, she added. “No one doubts that war crimes must be prosecuted, but we do not want it to become a tool of political blackmail”, she said.
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Davor Ivo Stier said on Friday that the government’s Committee for Cooperation with International Criminal Courts would soon publish information about alleged criminal charges against Croatian generals in Bosnia and Herzegovina.