Croatian Pilots’ War Crimes Trial Starts on 14 Oct, Serbian Newspaper Says

Total Croatia News

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Serbia’s War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office has indicted Vladimir Mikac, Zdenko Radulj, Željko Jelenić, and Danijel Borović for war crimes against civilians.

Although prosecutors suggested that they be tried in absentia, the High Court has not made a decision on that, Politika said.

Mikac’s attorney Aleksandar Olenik has said it was clear a war crime was committed, and that there is plenty of evidence, witnesses, and victims confirming that on 7 and 8 August 1995 Croatian planes shelled the refugee column. However, he adds, in this case, “essentially there is no evidence against the four accused.”

The indictment for alleged war crimes committed during Croatia’s Operation Storm as a case “does not exist” for Croatia, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday, adding that this stand will not change.

“Serbia’s jurisdiction in cases concerning alleged crimes committed on the territory of other countries, by citizens of other countries, has been unacceptable to use for years, it is out of the question,” he added.

Belgrade’s Court of Appeals on 20 August upheld the High Court’s decision which upheld the indictment against the four Croatian pilots.

Plenković said the indictment was “politically rigged” and that Croatia had been a victim of aggression, that the Homeland War had been a liberation war and that the pilots would be under special state care.

Croatian President Zoran Milanović said last week that Serbia “has no right to file such indictments.”

The government has said it will use every mechanism available to effectively protect pilots from Serbia’s accusations.

Croatia has received no official information from the Serbian authorities about the filing or upholding of indictments against its Air Force pilots and war veterans.

The pilots in question have not been informed of the launching of criminal proceedings nor interrogated nor has their interrogation been requested via the Croatian authorities.


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