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Croatia Charges 22 Ethnic Serbs For War Crimes

Croatian prosecutors announced that they have charged 22 ethnic Serbs with war crimes committed during the conflict in the 1990s.

The Zagreb Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement on March 10 that the 22 Croatian Serbs were accused of killing 20 civilians and two policemen being held prisoner in three areas in the east of the country in 1991.

The Serbs belonged to a paramilitary group operating in the east, during the 1991-95 war between Croat and Belgrade-backed Serb forces that claimed some 20,000 lives.

The prosecutor's office said eight of the suspects ordered the 14 others to “molest, beat, and murder” Croat civilians and to “illegally take [the civilians] hostage.”

The charges also claim that the eight ordered the others to “torture and kill prisoners of war” and burn and destroy their homes and businesses.

The charges claim that the suspects were also responsible for large-scale shelling that killed civilians and destroyed their property.

The alleged crimes were committed in the villages of Cetekovac, Balinci, and Cojlug in Croatia’s eastern region of Slavonia in September 1991.

Based on reporting by Balkan Insight and AFP