ZAGREB – Croatia will not act on the request that the Ministry of Justice received from Serbia regarding the delivery of a summons to the hearing of four Croatian pilots accused of war crimes in August 1995, it was announced today in Zagreb.
The Ministry of Justice and Administration announced that it has received an application in which the High Court in Belgrade, through the Ministry of Justice, requests the delivery of a summons for a hearing on October 14, 2022, to four members of the Croatian Air Force, accused of shelling a column of refugees on the Petrovac road near Bosanski in August 1995. Petrovac.
In the statement, it is emphasized that the Croatian Ministry has not received the indictment or other information about the actions taken in the criminal proceedings, except for the information that Serbia is charging the pilots based on the indictment of the Prosecutor’s Office for War Crimes from March 31, 2022 for war crimes against the civilian population in complicity from Article 142, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the FRY in connection with Article 22 of the Criminal Code of the FRY.
The Croatian Ministry points out that the system of judicial cooperation must be based on the principle of mutual trust, i.e. the trust of one state that the legal order of another state is of sufficient quality to ensure impartial, fair and efficient conduct of criminal proceedings in that state, Beta reported.
“The current course of proceedings in Serbia indicates a gross disregard for the right to a fair trial established by international law,” the announcement states.
Croatia, as it is pointed out, cannot recognize such a procedure and the indictment brought in this way, since it is not based on international criminal law, but “on the distorted universal jurisdiction that Serbia introduced into the Law on the basis of which it initiated this procedure”.
Therefore, it is added, in accordance with the provisions of the European Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Law on International Legal Assistance and Article 9 of the Agreement between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on Legal Assistance in Civil and Criminal Matters, which was signed in Belgrade On September 15, 1997, Croatia will not act on the request received.
“The Republic of Croatia expects the Republic of Serbia to respect international standards and show a true will to solve open issues within the framework of interstate commissions.” Without that, a true will to resolve open issues, first of all the issue of our missing persons, it is not possible to establish a dialogue”, the announcement states.
While emphasizing that Serbia must face its past and the role it played in the aggression against Croatia, the statement reiterates that the Croatian government “will use all the mechanisms at its disposal to protect the Croatian pilots and the dignity of the Homeland War.” The Ministry concluded that “Croatian pilots can be calm and safe”.