EU urged to ensure Croat war criminals brought to justice

EU urged to ensure Croat war criminals brought to justice

[JURIST] The European Union (EU) [official website] must do more to ensure that those responsible for war crimes committed during the 1991-1995 Croatian War of Independence are brought to justice, Amnesty International [advocacy website] said Tuesday. Amnesty called on the EU [press release] to use Croatia's status as an EU candidate country [Croatia materials; EU materials] to ensure that the Croatian government actively investigates and prosecutes suspected war criminals. Amnesty criticized the slow pace of war crimes investigations, and noted that Croatian courts have mostly focused on crimes allegedly committed by ethnic Serbs even though Croats have also been accused of ethnic-based war crimes.

Croatian trials of war crimes suspects are part of the country's bid to become a member of the EU. In March 2005, the EU suspended entry talks [JURIST report] on the grounds that Croatia was failing to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website; JURIST news archive] investigating war crimes in the area. The entry talks were resumed later in October 2005 after the ICTY declared that Croatia was fully cooperating with the ICTY [JURIST report]. EUobserver.com has more.