Missing and forcibly abducted Croatian war soldiers and civilians and the non-response of war crimes perpetrators are still, 30 years later, the most difficult issues of war consequences in Croatia, where, according to police data, there are still 1,853 unsolved cases of missing people from the Homeland War.
In the last three decades, the fate of most of the registered missing persons has been resolved, but the fate of 1,455 people is still unknown, as is the place of burial of the remains of 398 people.
This was said at a seminar on war crimes investigations held in Valbandon where participants discussed theoretical and practical aspects of war crimes investigations aimed at finding the last missing person and criminally reporting those responsible for war crimes, reported the Police Directorate.
They concluded that, despite all the difficulties in their work, mostly due to the passage of time and incomplete international cooperation, they continue to work equally devotedly out of gratitude to every victim of the Homeland War and feel a commitment to their families.
Participants were police officers working on war crimes, and lecturers were representatives of the War Crimes Police Service, the State Attorney's Office, the Directorate for Detainees and Missing Persons, the Ministry of Croatian Veterans and the Assistant Representative of the Republic of Croatia for the preparation of cases before the European Court of Human Rights.
Experiences were exchanged, the institute of command responsibility and criminal-tactical determinants of command responsibility were clarified, and emphasis was placed on the legal framework for searching for missing persons consisting of the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Victims of War and Additional Protocols as well as the Law on Missing Persons in the Homeland War and corresponding sub-legal acts, said the statement.
The law, adopted in July 2019, consolidates the regulation of all activities in the process of searching for missing persons - from reports of disappearances, collection and research of hidden graves, exhumations and identifications, cooperation with international organizations, other states and family associations, to competent authorities, for its implementation.
As the key problem in the search process is the lack of information on missing persons and hidden graves, the law prescribes misdemeanor provisions for withholding information to resolve cases of missing persons and the institute of rewarding information and documentation that can contribute to finding missing persons.