Serbia Confirms Indictment of Croatian Officers for Attacking Refugees

Belgrade Higher Court said on Wednesday that it has confirmed the indictment of four high-ranking Croatian Army members for committing war crimes against civilians during Operation Storm in August 1995.

The court said in a statement that "the evidence and data collected so far provide sufficient basis for concluding that there is a reasonable suspicion" that the suspects committed the crime.

Local media reported in mid-May that the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor's Office had indicted Vladimir Mikac, Zdenko Radulj, Zeljko Jelenic and Danijel Borovic, all former members of the Croatian Air Force.

They are reportedly accused of ordering an airborne attack on a column of refugees near the town of Bosanski Petrovac, as well as in the village of Svodna near Bosanski Novi on August 7 and 8, 1995, during the Croatian Army's Operation Storm. Both incidents happened in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor's Office said that 13 people were killed, six of whom were children, and 24 were injured.

All four suspects are Croatian citizens and it is expected that they will be tried in their absence.

The Croatian State Attorney's Office told BIRN that it is not familiar with the indictment and had no knowledge that it had been issued.

Tanjug news agency reported that the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor's Office suggested that the accused be tried in absentia because "the passage of time gives enough reason to doubt that Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina will initiate criminal proceedings against those responsible for the crime".

The Croatian and Serbian prosecutions have an agreement on cooperating in war crimes cases, but it only concerns the exchange of evidence. Extradition of suspects is not...

Continue reading on: