Skip to main content

Republic Of Crotia

Republic Of Crotia

In November 2004, the OSCE organized an expert meeting at Palić Lake. Focusing on the enhancement of interstate cooperation in war crimes cases, the event was attended by representatives of the judiciaries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro. The meeting addressed the Draft Memorandum on Agreement, proposed by the Croatian State Prosecutor, intended to promote direct cooperation between the Offices of the Serbian Public Prosecutor and the War Crimes Prosecutor (OWCP) on one side, and the Office of the Croatian State Prosecutor on the other.

Cooperation of Serbia-Montenegro with the Republic of Croatia is regulated by the European Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, which was ratified by the FRY Assembly in 2001. A document that further regulates this matter is the Agreement on Legal Assistance in Civil and Criminal Matters, signed by the FRY and the Republic of Croatia. However, the OWCP practice highlighted the need for a more efficient, strictly professional form of cooperation, which generated the idea of the creation of a relevant agreement.

The need for such an agreement was clearly perceived in the course of proceedings in Ovčara, a case addressing the war crime against prisoners of war, committed at Ovčara farm outside Vukovar in 1992. Conducted before the Serbian judicial authorities, witness examinations in relation to the Ovčara massacre were strongly assisted by the Croatian Prosecutor's Office.

On 05 February 2005, the Agreement on the Realization and Enhancement of Cooperation in Fighting All Forms of Grave Crime was signed between the Offices of the Serbian Republic's Public Prosecutor and War Crimes Prosecutor on one side, and the Office of the Croatian Stae Prosecutor on the other.

Among other matters, this Agreement regulates the procedures governing the exchange of information between the two states' Prosecutor's Offices regarding the criminal offences recognized as war crimes. Pursuant to the Agreement, the two states undertook to exchange data, reports, documents and information that should facilitate the clarification of war crimes cases. One example of effective cooperation between the two national judiciaries was the clarification of the war crime committed in Lora, the port outside Split in 1992. 

On 13 October 2006, the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor and Croatian State Prosecutor signed the Agreement on Cooperation in Prosecuting Perpetrators of War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide, which set out the procedures governing the exchange of evidence, documents and information meant to facilitate the investigation, proving and sanctioning of war crimes.