War Crimes Prosecution State Maturity Test
ZAGREB, Aug. 25 (Hina) – Deputy Prime Minister Anja Šimpraga said Thursday, during a commemoration for civilians killed during and after the 1995 Operation Storm in the village of Plavno and the hamlet of Grubori near Knin , that war crimes prosecution was a test of Croatia’s maturity.
More than 30 civilians were killed during and after Operation Storm in the hamlets of Plavno, including infirm and elderly people, Šimpraga said, noting that the injustice and harm done to local Croats in the early 1990s does not can and should not be used. as justification for any crime.
“The prosecution of war crimes is not only a matter of truth, justice and satisfaction for the families of the victims, it is a test of maturity for us and our State which must show that it means it when it says there is no statute of limitations on war crimes, all victims are the same and all people are equal,” she said.
The pain of families who have lost loved ones grows with every unfair court ruling, every administrative hurdle to their return and every outburst of hatred towards Serbs, she said.
“Justice has yet to be served, and the vow of silence is stronger than honor and truth,” she warned, adding that 27 years after Operation Storm, crimes against civilians had still not been prosecuted.
Only a few indictments for war crimes against Serbs have been issued, and the trials have resulted in only two convictions, for the crimes of Prokljan and Mandići and for the crime of Kijane near Gračac, he said. she declared.
History cannot be changed and the dead cannot be brought back to life, but life can be brought back to abandoned villages, Šimpraga said, expressing hope that concrete work on revitalizing Grubori would begin soon .
In her address, the Deputy Prime Minister also referred to the Croatian civilians killed in Škabrnja and other villages in the early 1990s.
Deputy and Chairman of the Serbian National Council (SNV), Milorad Pupovac, said that the killing of Serb civilians during and after Operation Storm in Lika, Dalmacija, Kordun and Banija should not be used by anyone to spread hatred, but neither should he be denied and his moral responsibility denied.
Speaking of the Grubori atrocities, he said that despite promises made to the UN, local civilian and police authorities failed to investigate the case or secure the crime scene.
Croatian courts and the war crimes tribunal in The Hague determined that the crime was committed and that it was committed by members of Lučko’s counter-terrorism unit; however, the trial ended in an acquittal for lack of evidence, Pupovac said.
He noted that two years ago a significant step forward had been taken towards post-war reconciliation and improved Croatian-Serb relations, but that unsolved war crimes were seriously undermining the progress made. .
Šibenik-Knin County Head Marko Jelić and Knin Mayor Marijo Ćaćić also attended today’s commemoration in Grubori.