Thursday, 05. December 2013 - 20:12
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."
Kovac awaits World Cup draw in Brazil
Croatian national football team coach Niko Kovac and the rest of the delegation went to Brazil to await the draw for the World Cup 2014 scheduled for Friday.
French backed company takes over Zagreb Airport
French backed company International Airport Zagreb will take over Zagreb Airport this week, having paid the first two million Euro, one of the pre-conditions of the take over.
Croatian Motorways officials offer resignation
Two board members of Croatian Motorways (HAC) have offered their resignation after an accident that happened last weekend when three persons have died between junctions Sveti Rok and Maslenica.
Josipovic calls for more Italian investment in Croatia
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has called for more Italian investment in Croatia during this week's meeting with the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.
Interest in radiology is going up in Croatia
Young medical students in Croatia are becoming increasingly interested in specialising in radiology, Dr Vinko Vidjak, the president of the Section for Interventional Radiology (IR) of the Croatian Society of Radiologists has said.
Zdravko Logarusic to take over Tanzanian team Simba
Croatian football coach Zdravko Logarusic is set to sign for the Tanzanian side SIMBA Sports Club in capital Dar es Salaam.
Croatia launches a petition to ban all the politicians
Former TV star Hamed Bangoura initiated the petition by launching the website Pahulja.com, which translates into 'flake', a name Bangoura chose because he expects "people will team up like snowflakes to create an avalanche".
Rade Serbedzija to launch acting studies project in Lovran
Famous Croatian actor Rade Serbedzija may launch an acting studies project in the western town of Lovran
The Pixies to play in Zagreb
The band from Boston will perform at InMusic festival that will take place in capital Zagreb from 23 to 25 June 2014.
Retired priest launches action to get religious education out of schools in Croatia
A retired Catholic priest in Croatia has launched an action to pull the religious education from schools and to return it to church as it was in communism times in former Yugoslavia.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Croatia holds gay marriage referendum on Sunday|
|BBB and Torcida united against the Croatian Football Federation|
|Croat primary school boy writes in a test he would like to be a drug dealer|
|No offers for the purchase of 49 percent of Croatia Airlines|
|Croat stabs to death his friend over alleged SMS messages to his wife|