European Commission Hot On The Heels Of Croatia’s Rushed Law Preventing Extradition For Communist Crimes

Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for justice, fundamental rights  and citizenship   Photo: Reuters

Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for justice, fundamental rights
and citizenship Photo: Reuters

It was on June 28 this year when The Croatian Parliament led by Social Democrats rushed to pass the law dubbed as “Lex Perkovic” in accordance with which an EU arrest/extradition warrant will not be applicable to crimes committed before 7 August 2002.

The rush to pass such a law was evidently exacerbated in Croatia by the fact that Germany could at 1 July, when Croatia became an EU member state, without delay serve its warrant for extradition of Josip Perkovic wanted for participation in Communist Crimes (political murder of Croatian nationals/ 1980’s) committed on German soil.

European Commission has acted swiftly in this matter and it’s safe to conclude that its swiftness has surprised Croatian government. Croatia must by 23 August submit to the European Union the exact deadline by which it will adjust its national legislature on the European Arrest Warrant to that of the European Union, Mina Andreeva – the spokeswoman for the European commissioner responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship Viviane Reding – told Croatian news agency Hina on Tuesday August 6.

Sources report that a member of German Bundestag sent Viviane Reding a memo alerting her to the fact that Croatia was avoiding to act in accordance with the European arrest warrant and subsequently Reding’s cabinet forward a warning letter to Croatia’s justice minister Orsat Miljenic.

Croatian government has kept silent on the matter, apart from confirming that Reding’s letter has arrived, reports Croatian TV news HRT.

Commissioner Reding sent a letter to Croatian Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic in late July saying that what Croatia had done on 28 June by adopting amendments to the law on the European Arrest Warrant was not in line with the European legislation and that it must be corrected, Andreeva told Hina Tuesday August 6.
Commissioner Reding told Miljenic in the letter that Croatia must determine the exact deadlines by which it would implement changes to the law so as to adjust to the European Union acquis communautaire, Andreeva said. We expect an answer by 23 August, she added.

Sadly, twenty years after the fall of Yugoslav communist regime Croatia, to my knowledge, remains the only post-communist country that has not processed or convicted a single communist criminal; and there are plenty of such suspects walking the streets. While it can be understood that while the first steps in the transition from communism into democracy, while the war of aggression raged against Croatia, even a handful of suspected communist criminals and agents of former Yugoslav secret police slipped into high positions in both government and government advisory bodies, it is unacceptable that there have been no serious prosecutions of communist crimes suspects during the past ten years. The obvious explanation for this evasion in processing suspected communist criminals in Croatia lies in the fact that pro-Communists and the so-called antifascists have managed to obstruct justice. Multitudes of Croats are well aware of this, frustrated and appalled – also seeking lustration.

In post-communist countries of Eastern Europe lustration became the term used to signify governments’ policies and practices in checking and scrutinising (vetting) individuals who had served as agents of Communist secret police and services and excluding them from important positions in newly democratically developed governments and public services.  While several former communist countries of Europe have adopted the practices of lustration, lustration as government policy/law still evades Croatia. During the years of Franjo Tudjman’s era (1990’s) lustration stood on the back burner as the war raged in the country and as Tudjman pursued his goal of pan-Croatian reconciliation. Tudjman stood his ground: he wanted the WWII enemies Ustashe and Partisans and their descendants to reconcile, to bury their differences and create a unified Croatia, without the divisive burdens of past political differences and intolerance. The way things were going up till about 1993 Tudjman’s plan of reconciliation worked wonders – it was a brilliant success story in action; almost a miracle given the historical political divide. Then, the die-hard communists headed by Stjepan Mesic started a new trail of destruction and division, labelling Tudjman as Croatian nationalist, sowing seeds of vilification wherever they could it seems – including labelling the whole of Croatian diaspora as nationalistic and fascist despite the fact that the majority of Croatian diaspora had never belonged to nor subscribed to any fascist ideology past or present – they simply did not want to live under communist totalitarian regime and sought a free life abroad.

Some in Croatia have associated lustration with the case of Josip Perkovic and argue that lustration should not start with him, that he also served as one of Franjo Tudjman’s advisors in early 1990’s.  They’re merely trying to confuse the issue, to divert public attention and opinion away from the fact that Josip Perkovic is a criminal suspect under German criminal law. It’s not far fetched to say that the die-hard communists of Croatia do not want Josip Perkovic to face a German court for communist crimes perpetrated under the banner of Yugoslav secret police because if he does this also means that the door to processing communist crimes will finally be opened as far as Croatia is concerned. They do not want that. They still pretend that communists were righteous in everything they did including murder of innocent people.

Croatian government has 16 days to respond to the European Commission demand for action in the case of Josip Perkovic arrest warrant sought by Germany. I, for one, will be watching the developments very closely – I, for one, want justice for the innocent victims of communist crimes because they, more than any other victims of Croatian history, have been almost forgotten, trodden upon and almost dehumanised through the vitriol of antifascist/communist propaganda. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. therealamericro says:

    This is the beginning of the end of the ruling castes’ / Yugoslav primitives’ oliagarchial cleptocratic idiocracy. Perkovic is the string that, when pulled, will be their unraveling.

  2. Will I or Wont I says:

    Lex Perkovic is averting the course of justice.

  3. What interests me, though, is exactly – why – is it the case that Croatia (and the rest of former Yugoslavia maybe) are so different in this respect to other ex-Communist countries….

    • Thanks David Christopher Somers Bartlett – my belief is that former Yugoslavia (incl Croatia) had built the cult of Tito/communism (which included political elitism) and allowed itself to be “taken care of” instead of developing citizens rights and responsibilities that it becomes difficult to shake such psyche. Also the country had during WWII been bitterly divided between two major forces and this too I believe contributes heavily to a certain “competition” still as to who was right and who wrong etc. I am personally as trained psychologist (graduate & post graduate) looking at this phenomenon as it becomes more and more noticeable that former communists do really largely believe that those murdered (even women and children) because they did not want communism during and after WWII deserved to be murdered! This of course is a sure tell-sign of cultism and communist indoctrination that is still very palpable in Croatia

      • Palpable is much too strong Ina. Of course there are the “life was better under Tito” brigade but most of us think they merely hanker for their own youth and this little soundbite helps the beer go down in the krcma that little bit easier. I see very little communist sentiment these days unless you view the army of strutting peacocks who inhabit our institutions as part of that. Sure we have a very authoritarian political and official elite but I don’t believe politics of either direction has much to do with it.
        However, I do admit to being perplexed as to why this Perkovic thing should be risked. Do “they” think there are votes in it I wonder?

      • Pavao – there are only votes in it under the “recruitment” rule/practice. As to our youth – days were better for most across the globe. Perhaps you don’t see much communist sentiment there but I do and many do – from arresting persons who booed/whistled at Prime Minister, through lashing out at critics of government to justifying communist crimes and doing much to avoiding suspects being processed etc.

  4. Signing

  5. Branko Kramaric says:

    And this is why Croatia rushed so fast to join the EU, wasn’t it bad enough that for some 46 yrs the communists were in control of Croatia, now our country has allowed itself to be controlled by Socialists in the EU. Why did so many brave men and women fall in vain for this?.

    • Thank you on your comment Branko Kramaric, the days are young for Croatia in EU and the best way Croatians can make “good” use of it is to learn how to use the development funds it offers to start business and open up new opportunities. Certainly the government seems quite useless in this. As far as Socialists are concerned I know what you mean – it’s a political minefield that could easily blow up.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing you knowledge, your site has always given my reason to come back for more. And…thank you for following my blog. AJM

  7. therealamericro says:

    Pavao: I think that the forced fed “antifascist” (read: horribly directed, horribly acted and horribly historically inaccurate) films on HRT proves otherwise, at least with the degenerate SDP elites (with post-Tudman HDZ silence on this attempt at Pavlovian re-conditioning).

  8. Ovo su stihovi zbog kojih je mlada aktivistica Kristina spremna i na zatvor:

    Stijeg što drži
    ta smrznuta ruka
    i za njega gine,
    po tome stijegu danas gaze,
    i tuđe boje izdajnici viju,
    umjesto da Trobojnicu paze.
    Dok čekaju dan sudnji
    ona pokriva junake
    koji su za bližnjeg krv dali
    i Hrvatima se zvali.
    A tebi što slušaš ovu zbilju
    razmisli o istini ovoj
    dok slobode imaš u izobilju:
    tko je za tebe borio boj?
    Za tvoj jezik i za tvoje boje,
    tvoj narod je štitom srcem stao,
    da bi danas ovo bilo tvoje,
    da bi se i ti Hrvatom zvao.

    • Translation of Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources:
      These are the verses for which the young activist Kristina is prepared to go to prison:

      Banner which holds
      the frozen hand
      and for it dies,
      over that flag today they trample
      and others’ colors traitors fly,
      instead of watching over tricolor.
      While waiting for judgment day
      it covers heroes
      who gave blood for neighbor
      and Croats they were called.
      And to you who listens to this reality
      Think about this truth
      While freedom you have in abundance:
      who fought the battle for you?
      For your language and for your colors,
      Your people with shield-heart stood
      so that today this could be yours,
      so that you could also be called a Croat.

  9. dougstuber says:


    Bunch the usual
    ne’er-do-wells into
    an alternative
    Franklin Street, Chapel
    Hill art café, and

    presto! For
    that brief period
    she brought/gave
    us the chance to let
    it fly, hang it out in the

    breeze for all to see,
    some to comment on,
    few, very few, to
    purchase. That marble
    effect you gave me

    lingers, though
    myself far flung to
    just under
    missile range on this
    mountainous peninsula.

    Carolina life seems so
    happy, yet
    only pictures tell
    a story that must be

    as complex
    as you always were back when
    we had time
    to wander free, be
    ourselves, love each other.


  1. […] to Viviane Reding, and associated matter (communist crimes) , in one of my previous posts I wrote about the EC’s demand that Croatia amend it’s rushed law regarding extradition of […]

  2. […] hardly possible that anything could draw attention away from the “Lex Perkovic” case as European Commission is on fire to get Croatia to comply with European arrests warrants – threats of sanctions are real and so is […]

  3. […] that only crimes committed after 2002 could be subject to EU arrest warrants/extraditions. Under EU and German pressure,  Croatia amended its laws in line with the EU standards only a couple of months ago, and still […]

  4. […] of former communist Yugoslavia secret police/UDBA operators, Josip Perkovic and Zdravko Mustac. They even passed a law in July 2013 (known as Lex Perkovic) three days before Croatia joined the EU, that prevented the extradition of […]

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