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Osijek, Zagreb, 18 April 2014 – Biweekly Report on War Crime Trials

Norac, Orešković and Grandić obliged to reimburse the State the money with which the State compensated victims of crime / By a non-final judgment of the Zagreb Municipal Civil Court dated 2 April 2014, Mirko Norac, Tihomir Orešković and Stjepan Grandić were ordered to jointly pay the Republic of Croatia the amount of HRK 107,536.00 and the costs of the proceedings in the amount of HRK 3,705.00, all increased by interest on arrears. Norac, Orešković and Grandić, sentenced in 2003 for the crimes against civilians in Gospić and its surroundings, are obliged to pay to the Republic of Croatia the amount of money with which the State compensated Stojanka and Đorđe Borić for damages suffered due to their forced removal and detention in barracks in Perušić in October of 1991.

Completed hearing in the trial by mutual genocide lawsuits between Croatia and Serbia / A one-month hearing in the proceedings conducted before the International Court of Justice in The Hague by mutual genocide lawsuits between Croatia and Serbia was concluded.
Although there were expectations, especially following the initiatives coming from the highest political level, to withdraw the lawsuits, that the parties would be guided by the principles of professionalism, objectivity and recognition of suffering of all and not just “one’s own” victims, the arguments that were presented before the Court showed that vast funds were unduly spent. An opportunity was missed to present and establish facts about the killings and suffering, as well as the scope and background of the committed crimes before a respectable international instance in a fair and honest manner. The hearing, which was followed by the public in both countries with a large interest and an even larger sensationalism in reporting, demonstrated that trust between the former warring sides has not yet been built, there is still present the rhetoric of exclusion from the early 90s which led to the armed conflict, there is bidding with the
number of victims, one’s own role in the crimes committed is minimized and negated. It goes so far as to manipulatively and tendentiously interpret the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Main hearings began in two proceedings

a) in the re-opened proceedings against the former JNA officer convicted for the shelling of Zadar and the
surrounding area

b) in the repeated trial against members of Serb formations charged with the killing of a Croat civilian and setting fire to two houses

Member of the Serb formations accused of committing a war crime by stealing a tractor arrested in the Netherlands / Milutin Graić, whom Croatia charges with committing a war crime against civilians in the region of Benkovac and Perušić, was arrested in the Netherlands on 30 March 2014. Several days after the arrest, the court in Amsterdam decided that Graić would await decision on possible extradition to Croatia at liberty, deeming that there is no danger that he would flee the Netherlands.

In the attachment below, there is the electronic version of the report.

Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past