Former JNA Officers Accused of Targeting Croatian Government Building

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, December 30, 2018 – Former Yugoslav army JNA officers, accused in Croatia of shelling the Croatian leadership’s HQ in Zagreb in 1991, were heard, at Croatia’s request, by the Belgrade High Court’s war crimes chamber but did not testify, saying they were not free to reveal state secrets, their lawyer Dušan Bratić said on Sunday.

“They all cited the obligation to keep military secrets because at the time of the acts they are charged with, they were senior officials of the then JNA or were bound by oath as commissioned officers,” Bratić told Hina about last week’s hearing.

The hearing was held at Croatia’s request, based on the Croatian-Serbian agreement on international legal aid. It was attended by general Ljubomir Bajić and colonels Slobodan Jeremić, Đuro Miličević, Ratko Dopuđa and Čedo Knežević. The sixth accused, pilot Davor Lukić, is unavailable to both Serbian and Croatian authorities. He has both countries’ citizenship and lives in Johannesburg.

According to Croatian prosecutors, they shelled Banski Dvori, on Bajić’s order, during a meeting of Croatia’s then president Franjo Tuđman, the then chairman of the former Yugoslav presidency Stjepan Mesić, and former Yugoslav prime minister Ante Marković, with the objective to kill Tuđman, whereby they committed a war crime.

The defence says the investigation findings are incorrect, claiming, as reported by Belgrade media today, that the explosion at Banski Dvori was caused by former Yugoslav general Petar Stipetić on Tuđman’s orders.

In 2017, Croatian police pressed charges against the six former JNA members for planning, organising and carrying out the attack on Banski Dvori, accusing them of a war crime against civilians and attempted assassination of senior state officials.

In December 2017, Bajić told Serbian media that he ordered the targeting of Banski Dvori in 1991. He said he ordered the attack without consulting the state leadership of the then Yugoslavia.

More news on the Homeland War can be found in our Politics section.


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