Croatia Charges Serb Paramilitary Ex-Fighter with War Crime

Croatian police said on Tuesday that they have charged an unnamed 62-year-old former Serb paramilitary with committing a war crime in the village of Petrovci in eastern Croatia in November 1991.

"On February 15, 2021, the police filed a criminal charge against the 62-year-old suspect at the relevant County State's Attorney's Office in Osijek," a police statement said.

The statement said that a criminal investigation established that the man, a member of a Serb paramilitary unit based in the nearby village of Negoslavci, "took advantage of the circumstances of the war and the temporary occupation of Petrovci" to illegally arrest and seize the 45-year-old civilian from his family home.

The victim was then severely physically abused and died from his injuries, it added.

According to the police, the suspect is currently unavailable to the Croatian authorities, suggesting that he lives outside the country.

Around a month before the fall of the nearby town of Vukovar in November 1991, the Yugoslav People's Army, together with paramilitary volunteers from Serbia, attacked and took control over Petrovci.

Vukovar and the surrounding villages were incorporated into a self-proclaimed Serb-run rebel statelet called the Republic of Serbian Krajina. The area was finally reintegrated into Croatia in January 1998.

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