Prime Minister Plenković Defends Defence Minister from Latest War Crimes Allegations

Total Croatia News

Nacional weekly reported on Tuesday new allegations about war crimes for which Defence Minister Damir Krstičević is allegedly being investigated.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday that he strongly supported Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, after the latest issue of the Nacional weekly published a story that Krstičević, as a wartime commander of the 4th Guards Brigade, had been reported for war crimes allegedly committed against Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, reports Večernji List on November 22, 2016.

Plenković reiterated that he stood firmly behind Krstičević and his actions, and the Defense Minister said that on 13 September 1995, when according to Nacional the alleged crime took place in a village not far from Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 4th Guards Brigade was not even in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but was at in its headquarters in Split in Croatia.

“This is one of the news stories in the media which, I suppose, are aimed to politically discredit him. I think that in the end it will all come to nothing”, said Plenković to reporters at an international security conference in Zagreb. “The position of the government is very clear – all crimes, all possible crimes, should be investigated. There should be prosecution of those responsible for them, within the framework of appropriate legal proceedings, but as the Prime Minister I will not accept manipulation of information which is aimed at political destabilization”, said Plenković.

Krstičević also said it was an attempt at destabilization and added that a “special war” was being led against the 4th Guards Brigade, against him as the commander, but also against Croatia.

“On that day, on 13 September 1995, the 4th Guards Brigade was not in Bosnia and Herzegovina at all. It is 300 kilometres away, at its headquarters in Split. As you can see, this government has launched major initiatives. You know that with the selection of my associates and advisers I have formed a good team, and we have started the process of improving our security system so that Croatia can deal better with all the threats and risks. As you can also see, we have launched the process of drafting the national security strategy, and well as the law on homeland security, which is also necessary. I wonder why this weekly is leading a special war against the 4th Guards Brigade, against me as the commander, and against Croatia. Why are they trying to destabilize us, whose interests are they working for, I do not know. But I just want to tell them they will not succeed”, said Krstičević.


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