Croatia continues to support fight against impunity for war crimes in Ukraine

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Organised by the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration and the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA) for Ukraine, a second workshop on war crimes investigation and prosecution for the purpose of sharing experience with Ukraine was held in Split from 11 to 13 May.

Croatian experts from the State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Croatian Veterans’ Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Media shared their experiences in investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed in the Croatian War of Independence. A special focus of the workshop was on the exchange of experience in meeting the EU accession criteria.

In the opening address, Minister of Justice and Public Administration Ivan Malenica pointed out that the workshop was yet another sign of support for the Ukrainian people and the commitment of Croatia to the fight against impunity for war crimes in Ukraine.
He pointed out that Croatia was not only the first candidate country to meet the specific criteria for accession to the European Union, but was also the first country that, because of its struggle for independence and preservation of its territorial integrity, had as a key criterion for joining the European Union the investigation and prosecution of war crimes in accordance with the highest international standards.

“In this process, we never gave up on justice and truth, but we insisted on meeting high standards and strict and multidisciplinary criteria in the area of war crimes in order to become a member of the European Union” , he said, recalling that an extremely important segment of this process was the adoption of the War Crimes Investigation and Prosecution Strategy as an overarching strategic document. 
“The consequences of the war are multi-layered and complex. They necessarily include looking at one’s own side and investigating the crimes committed by it. Therefore, this Workshop testifies to our unreserved support to the Ukrainian people, experts and institutions on the European path”, the Minister concluded.

The workshop “Investigation and Prosecution of War Crime - Compliance with EU Accession Obligations and Standards under Chapter 23” was attended by some forty Ukrainian experts - prosecutors and police officers, headed by Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin. 

The workshop was attended by State Attorney General Zlata Hrvoj-Šipek, Lead Coordinator of the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group Clint Williamson, Ambassador of the United States to Croatia Nathalie Rayes and Ambassador of Ukraine to Croatia Vasyl Kyrylych.

The first workshop, titled “Workshop on War Crimes Investigation and Prosecution - Sharing the Knowledge and Experience of the Republic of Croatia” was held in June 2023 in Zagreb.