Friday, 06. March 2015 - 13:03
02. 11. 11. - 14:00
First Croatian Minister of Internal Affairs Josip Boljkovac has been arrested on suspicion of having committed war crimes against civilians in 1945.
At the time, Boljkovac was head of the Karlovac branch of the former Yugoslav secret police, OZNA. He is said to have been responsible for deaths of civilians found buried in mass graves in Kozjaca and Duga Resa in central Croatia.
Vecernji List writes that investigations against Boljkovac, Josip Manolic and Rade Bulata have been going on for years, and although indictments had been raised in the past, no trial has taken place so far.
In his defence, Boljkovac said he was not responsible for the execution of Dubovac concentration camp inmates. As the head of Gorski Kotar police, Boljkovac said he would investigate and bring suspects to the Ministry of Interior, who would then proceed with trials.
Boljkovac said earlier this year that the accusations against him were current Minister of Interior Karamarko's personal revenge because Boljkovac refused to appoint him to a high position at the beginning of the 1990s.
Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic had come to Boljkovac's defence back in August when it became clear he could be arrested.
Boljkovac, who is now 92, may be the first prominent figure to face prosecution for so-called "communist crimes" against fascist supporters committed in the aftermath of World War II.
Current Interior Minister Tomislav Karamarko has pledged to uncover and prosecute suspects believed to have been responsible for the execution of soldiers and civilians after the war had ended. Karamarko said there are as many as 672 mass graves in which close to 90,000 victims - Independent State of Croatia (NDH) soldiers, German and Italian soldiers and civilians - are buried.
Mesic has accused Karamarko however of starting a witch hunt in the hope of gaining right wing votes.
"The charges against Boljkovac are a sorry attempt to use political positions in order to settle accounts with people from the Yugoslav World War II resistance (Narodnooslobodilacka borba, NOB) who were fighting in Croatia's defence. All of this is done for the purpose of collecting cheap political points from the right in the upcoming parliamentary elections," Mesic said.
"If the rule of law functions properly, it is absolutely crazy to arrest Boljkovac. I hope that reason will prevail and that insitutions will not become Karamarko’s political farce," Mesic added. He said Boljkovac should be praised rather than arrested as he was forming the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) at the time when "those accusing him today hid in mice holes in fear of [Serbian leader Slobodan] Milosevic's hordes."
World's oldest Aga discovered in Croatia
Lead researcher Marcel Buric - from the Department of Prehistoric Archaeology at Zagreb's Faculty of Philosophy - said the find was significant because the kiln was covered to protect the rest of the building from fire.
Varazdin helps flood hit Gunja
The Northern Croatian town of Varazdin has collected donations worth over 50,000 Euro for the floods hit eastern village of Gunja.
Drunken and violent Poles arrested in Zadar
Two Polish tourists have been arrested in Croatian coastal town of Zadar.
Six arrested as Israeli football fans attacked in Split
Police in Croatia have arrested six people for an attack on Israeli football fans in a street in the centre of the Adriatic port of Split.
Great start for Croat clubs in Europa League
Croatian football clubs have started with maximum points in qualifications of the Europa League.
Blanka Vlasic delights with her football juggling skills
The world's high jump champion Blanka Vlasic has delighted her fans with her football skills.
Rainbow Warrior visits Adriatic
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior has arrived for a visit in Croatia.
World Academy of Arts and Science organizes courses in Dubrovnik
In Autumn 2014 The World Academy of Art & Science and The World University Consortium are organising graduate level courses at Inter University Centre, Dubrovnik in Croatia.
Eduardo joins Flamengo
The agreement between the forward and Flamengo will be signed on the morning of Thursday, at the clubhouse in Gávea. Just as was done with the Argentine Héctor Canteros, he should receive the shirt of Flamengo from a partner-supporter chosen by the club. It is likely that he will use the number 23 at least until the end of the season.
Rijeka to open concession contract for Tito's yacht Galeb
Officials in the western Croatian city of Rijeka have decided to put out a concession contract for the luxury yacht Galeb once owned by the former Yugoslav president Tito.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days