The Montenegrin Association of 1990s war veterans has urged an investigation of war crimes against Montenegrins in Croatia in 1992 and called for the change of an agreement which would, they say, allow such an investigation to proceed.
Radan Nikolic, chairman of the Montenegrin Association of 1990s war veterans, expressed his dissatisfaction with the way that war crimes against Montenegrin nationals had been investigated at a press conference on Wednesday in Podgorica.
He claimed that the investigation into the crimes committed in 1992 in the Croatian military prison “Lora“ against Yugoslav People's Army, JNA, soldiers from the Montenegrin municipalities of Niksic and Savnik had made no progress.
In December 2011, the Croatian State Attorney's Office in Split stated that it was investigating the circumstances in which the prisoners from Montenegro, who had been brought to Lora, had allegedly died and been abused.
The investigation is publicly known under the name “Lora 3“, since the Split State Attorney's Office had already indicted two groups of people, all former members of the Croatian military police, for war crimes against predominantly Croatian Serb civilians and prisoners of war, which occurred in the same military prison.
On Tuesday, Lidija Vukcevic, the deputy special prosecutor, talked to the representatives of the Association and to the families of four victims of these crimes.
Nikolic, however, complained that his request that the supreme state prosecutors of Montenegro and Croatia, Ranka Carapic and Mladen Bajic, shouldexamine all fourteen victims' families had not been met.
He appealed to the families of soldiers who died in Lora, as well as all JNA soldiers from Montenegro, who had been tortured there, to give statements to Montenegro's Supreme State Prosecution.
Nikolic also urged a change to the 2006 agreement between the Montenegrin and Croatian supreme state prosecutors to cooperate over the prosecution of war crimes, and crimes against humanity and genocide.
For Nikolic, the chief problem with the agreement as it stands is that it is only applicable to those cases of war crimes which were committed on Croatian territory against Croatian citizens by people who had either Montenegrin citizenship or Montenegrin residence, he explained.
Nikolic concluded by saying that he would consider any attempts by Croatia and Montenegro to proceed with prosecutions for war crimes as a “manipulation“ of the facts as long as the war crimes committed in Croatia against Montenegrin citizens were excluded from the agreement.