ZAGREB, November 15, 2019 – The Documenta nongovernmental organisation on Thursday called on the Justice Ministry to ensure that war crimes trials, including those of Branimir Glavaš and Dragan Perenčević, are completed before judges presiding over those trials take office at the High Criminal Court.
Documenta proposed the adoption of a regulation whereby future High Criminal Court judges Tanja Pavelin and Tomislav Juriša would be obligated to complete the war crimes trials they are currently conducting before assuming their new posts.
Documenta recalled in a statement that under the amended Courts Act, the High Criminal Court was to be established by 1 January, 2020.
“Considering the date specified by the law in question, the question arises of what will happen with the trials currently conducted by the judges who have been appointed to the High Criminal Court,” Documenta said in the statement.
The NGO was referring to a trial for war crimes against Serb civilians in Osijek which is being conducted against member of parliament Branimir Glavaš, a trial for crimes against Croat civilians in Petrinja against a member of Croatian Serb rebel forces, Dragan Perenčević, and others, and trials for crimes committed at the Manjača prison camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for the shelling of Zagreb and Jastrebarsko, which are presided over by Judge Tomislav Juriša.
Completing the trials would be a step forward in dealing with the burden of unresolved and unpunished war crimes and prevent having to again call witnesses whose condition is not good and incurring additional costs for the state budget, as well as avoid new rulings by the European Court of Human Rights against Croatia, the NGO said.
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