The special department for war crimes at the High Court in Belgrade has scheduled a preliminary hearing on October 14 in the trial against the four officers of the Croatian Air Force for the crimes committed in the military-police operation “Storm”, the Spokesperson for the Court Tatjana Matić confirmed to Tanjug.

The confirmed indictment named four members of the Croatian Air Force, Vladimir Mikac, 67, from Ptuj; Zdenko Radulj, 69, from Osijek; Željko Jelenić, 69, from Pula, and Danijel Borović, 64, from Varaždin for crimes committed during the operation “Storm”, which was arranged at the meeting of the military and political leaders of Croatia held in Brioni on July 31, 1995.

They are being charged with having committed the criminal offense of war crimes against the civilian population as co-perpetrators.

Per the indictment, the aim of the action was to force the Serbian population to permanently abandon the territory where it had lived in Croatia up to that point, with the stipulation that they be left with two travel directions to exit.

Per the indictment, the defendants then applied the Brioni decision and ordered airstrikes against the civilian population, the consequences of which caused the death and injuries of several civilians of the Serbian nationality, as well as a panicked escape of civilians towards Serbia, while cementing their decision to leave the territory where they had lived up to that point and never come back, which had also led to a change in the ethnic composition of Croatia.

The Office of the Prosecutor emphasized the importance of this case and proposed that the defendants be tried in absentia, even though they are not available to the judicial organs of Serbia, because, as the indictment elaborated, the passage of time leaves sufficient reason to doubt that Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina are going to begin felony proceedings against the those responsible for the crimes.