22:10 / 08.06.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Belgrade court confirms indictments against Croatian pilots

Zoran Milanović  and Andrej Pleknović

Zoran Milanović and Andrej Pleknović

Foto: Sanjin Strukic /Srecko Niketic / PIXSELL

A high court in Belgrade confirmed an indictment on Wednesday against four Croatian military pilots accusing them of committing war crimes during Operation Storm in 1995. 

Serbian prosecutors claim Croatian MIGs targeted a convoy of Serb civilians fleeing southern Lika and northern Dalmatia on Bosnian territory. The court said 13 victims had been identified, including six children. Another 24 people were wounded, the court said. 

Croatia is challenging the jurisdiction of the Serbia's courts, including the right to initiate the proceedings. Croatian officials argue, among several points, that these events have already been investigated by the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague Tribunal.

President Zoran Milanović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković commented on the court’s decision on Wednesday.

Croatia cannot accept Serbian prosecutors bringing charges against non-Serb citizens outside of Serbia, Plenković said and also rejected Serbia’s regional jurisdiction.

“Serbia, which was the aggressor against Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. That country now wants to play judge and jury? That’s not going to fly,” said Plenković.

He also said that Croatia had wanted to solve the problem by agreement, but the Serbian side chose to ignore the offers.

President Milanović said Serbia must make a choice about who it wants to align itself with in the future.

“They want to be like Turkey but Turkey doesn’t want to join the EU. Serbia needs to decide where it wants to go. If it wants to join the EU and adopt the euro - I don’t know how they think they are going to survive and move forward without this – then they will have to behave by certain standards,” Milanović said.

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