19:14 / 12.08.2021.

Author: Katja Miličić

PM meets with generals to discuss Bosnian indictments

PM Plenković meets with retired generals

PM Plenković meets with retired generals

Foto: HTV / HRT

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met on Thursday with generals and other high-ranking Croatian military commanders who served in Operation Flash. 

The meeting comes after the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina asked Croatia to take over a case in which a dozen Croatian nationals are named as suspects for crimes allegedly committed during the 1995 operation which freed parts of Western Slavonia from rebel Serb control.

The Justice Ministry is considering what to do with this formal request. Speaking at a news conference today, the Prime Minister said there was no question operations Flash and Storm were legitimate. We also learned some details about the indictments including that they refer to crimes allegedly committed against civilians in Bosanska Gradiška and Kozarska Dubica. Both of these towns are on the Bosnian side of the border with Croatia. The indictments allege that the Croatian military shelled these areas indiscriminately during Operation Flash, killing civilians on the Bosnian side of the border in the process. It should be noted that, the territory in question is part of Republika Srpska.

"With this request for referral all activities pertaining to this case by the relevant bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been temporarily suspended. Croatia's Ministries of Justice and Administration are going to study these documents closely. The Ministry of Justice will report back as soon as they complete this task. We will make decisions after that,” the Prime Minister said.

Retired General Pavao Miljavac said this was an acceptable strategy.

"There is also another option and that is to simply reject the request. However, this would mean Croatia would rid itself of this problem but the generals would be indicted in Bonsnia and Herzegovina, where arrest warrants would be filed, and we would be unable to travel outside of Croatia for the rest of our lives," said Miljavac.

He also said no order was ever issued for the shelling of civilian targets.

Retired Admiral Domagoj Domazet Lošo, whose name is also on the list of suspects, said this was a politically motivated move on the part of Bosnian prosecutors.

"These are geopolitical games, being played on a broader, global level, coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina," said Domazet Lošo.

Government officials again pledged to protect Croatia's military leaders and the legitimacy of Operations Flash and Storm.

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