Former Slovenian President Reported to Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor

By , 27 Jun 2019, 17:49 PM Politics
Milan Kučan, 2018 Milan Kučan, 2018 Wikimedia, Hladnikm, CC-by-0

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STA, 27 June 2019 - Serbian lawyer Dušan Bratić has reportedly filed a criminal complaint against former Slovenian President Milan Kučan, accusing him of responsibility for genocide and the breakup of Yugoslavia. Kučan said the claims, published in the Serbian daily paper Politika, do not warrant a serious comment.

According to the report by Politka, Bratić, who is researching alleged crimes against members of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, filed the criminal complaint against Kučan and five more individuals with Serbia's War Crimes Prosecutor's Office.

Bratić reportedly focuses on the deaths of JNA members on the Škofije border crossing with Italy during the ten-day independence war and other alleged crimes.

The list of individuals he says are responsible for violating the Geneva Convention, also includes the commander of the Territorial Defence Janez Slapar, the head of one of the defence's units Franc Anderlič and three more persons.

"Milan Kučan was the president of Slovenia then, the de facto commander in chief of all the armed formations and is among the main war criminals responsible for the shattering of Yugoslavia," Politika quotes Bratić.

Responding to the report, Kučan wrote that the claims completely ignore the historical context of the processes that caused the breakup of Yugoslavia and the tragedies they led to.

"My comment is not necessary, since I believe that Serbian politics and society will be capable of their own objective confrontation with Serbia's politics in the 1990s, which caused resistance from practically all the peoples of the former joint state.

"This was a retrograde politics that stopped the development, primarily of Serbia but also of other republics, for a long time...Levelling accusations at others means running away from ones own responsibility. As for my responsibility, history will be the judge of it," Kučan wrote.

Meanwhile, a response also came from the first director of the Defence Ministry intelligence service Andrej Lovšin, who said no crimes whatsoever had been committed by the Slovenian side in the war.

He argued that it was in fact the JNA that used excessive force and targeted civilian targets in several cases and that the International Red Cross confirmed no violations had taken place on the Slovenian side.

Referring to wars in Yugoslavia that followed Slovenia's, Lovšin added that "war crimes and genocide is what was characteristic of the continuation of the downfall of the former joint state".

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