Croatian Justice Minister Ante Šprlje confirmed on Saturday evening that there was a list with 43 Croatian citizens against whom Serbia is currently conducting an investigation according to the law by which it had declared itself to have jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes committed on the territory of the whole of former Yugoslavia, reports tportal.hr on July 24, 2016.
“What we know officially is that 43 people are on that list”, said Šprlje responding to reporters’ questions about how many Croatian citizens are on the Serbian list. Šprlje noted that these people knew that they were on the list and that they had been informed about it a few years ago by the Veterans’ Affairs Ministry. “These people are, as far as we know, under investigation, and they have not yet been indicted”, said Šprlje.
Asked what would the Croatian government do concerning the issue, the Minister said that the government would abide by the Constitution and laws and act within that framework. Asked by reporters whether Croatia would seek to stop Serbia’s accession negotiations with the European Union, Šprlje said that Croatia had made it clear that it wanted the “redefinition of the jurisdiction of Serbia”.
“No one country can impose its rights to another country. That will be our position and that is how we will negotiate with the Republic of Serbia. We hope that Serbia will fully understand our position and that we will be able to come to an agreement in this sense”, concluded Šprlje.
Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić responded to the journalists’ question whether Croatian veterans who were on the Serbia’s list would be arrested, and he said that Serbia must withdraw the law with which it had declared itself to have jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes in former Yugoslavia. “All this should be reviewed. Serbia cannot continue this story with that law. It must withdraw it if it intends to be a serious partner in the European Union”, said Orepić.