ante šprlje.jpg
Ante Sprlje, Croatian Justice Minister
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP/ ua

Justice Minister Ante Sprlje said on Wednesday that the ministry was not in possession of nor knew about a list of 300 Croatian war veterans accused or convicted in Serbia of war crimes and that the veterans who were on the list had been notified.

Sprlje made the statement on Facebook after Croatian member of the European Parliament Marijana Petir asked Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic to notify the Croatian veterans who are on Serbia's "black list" so that they are not arrested when crossing the Serbian border.

Sprlje said Croatia delivered to Serbia in 2010 a list of 1,534 persons accused and convicted in Croatia, and that Serbia reciprocated that same year with a list of 40 names. He said Serbia last delivered an updated list in January 2011 with 86 names, including 43 persons into whom the Croatian State Prosecutor's Office launched investigations and whose cases it transferred to Serbia, based on its agreement with the Serbian state prosecution, because the perpetrators were at large.

Sprlje said the War Veterans Ministry notified the veterans on that list. Since the Justice Ministry does not have more recent data, when a Croatian citizen asks if they are on the list, the ministry asks Serbia for an additional check. The Justice Ministry has received 170 such requests. Sprlje said his ministry regularly asked Serbia for an updated list, but to no avail.

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