19:40 / 27.05.2022.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

PM vows to protect Croatian Air Force pilots from Serbian indictment

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Foto: Zeljko Hladika / Pixsell

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday that government officials had met with Croatian Air Force pilots who had taken part in the 1995 Operation Storm, stressing that all available mechanisms would be used to protect them from an indictment from Serbia.

“We discussed the latest developments following media reports that indictments are being prepared in Serbia, at the request of their prosecutor, against four pilots, Air Force commanders at the time of the military and police operation Storm,” Plenković, said at the start of a government session.


He said that they still did not have any concrete documents or requests for legal assistance but that they would do everything to protect the pilots.


“As before, the government will use all the available mechanisms to protect the Croatian pilots and the dignity of the Homeland War, thus sending a clear message about the fundamental values on which free Croatia is founded,” said Plenković.


He said that during the Homeland War no orders had been issued, especially not in the Air Force, that would in any way be directed against civilian targets, repeating that the Homeland War, notably its operations Storm and Flash, had been part of efforts to liberate, protect and reintegrate Croatian territory.


Plenković repeated that with the indictment Serbia “is making a step backwards in reconciliation”, stressing that he had conveyed his dissatisfaction with the indictment to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić at a meeting in Davos.


The Serbian war crimes prosecutor has issued an indictment charging four Croatian officers with having ordered, on 7 and 8 August 1995, a missile attack on a refugee convoy, but the prosecutor’s office has said that the indictment is not final and that the proceedings currently under way are not public.


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