Croatian judiciary trains for war crimes

A TRAINING programme for Croatian judges and prosecutors has been launched to ease the burden on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The ICTY has been given until 2010 to wind up, although 2008 is the target. It is hoped that the training programme will enable some of its war crimes cases to be heard in Croatia.

However, with complex prosecutions struggling to move forward (former Serbia president Slobodan Milosovic’s case has already been running since July 2001) and notorious fugitives still at large, such as ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, this timetable is under pressure.

The ICTY said it wanted to help Croatia handle war crimes cases based on information supplied by The Hague. The programme is being organised by Croatia’s justice ministry and is supported by the ICTY Outreach Programme under an existing mandate to help local judiciaries try war crimes cases involving intermediary and lower-level accused.
The training covers crime definitions, criminal responsibility, investigation, proof, witness protection, penal policy and other issues.