Investigations into Operation Storm crimes not completed 23 years later, says Documenta
ZAGREB, Aug 3 (Hina) - The head of Documenta, the Centre for Dealing with the Past, Vesna Terselic, and former Croatian Helsinki Committee (HHO) activist Drago Pilsel warned on Friday that even after 23 years investigations into crimes committed by Croatian soldiers during Operation Storm in August 1995 in Komic and Poljice, near the town of Udbina, have not been completed.
Noting the fact that only a few war crimes have been tried by Croatian courts, Terselic said that althought the crimes committed in Komic and Poljice were reported to the police immediately after they were committed, the investigation is still continuing. She added that based on HHO data, about 20 residents remained in Komic after Operation Storm and that a group of Croatian soldiers entered the village with tanks and armoured vehicles, shooting and burning houses.
Immediately before the Croatian army entered the village some of the residents managed to escape to a nearby forest, while the elderly and disabled who were left behind were shot dead or burnt in their homes.
She added that the precise number of victims has not been determined but it is assumed that at least six people were killed, and according to some sources as many as nine.
Terselic added that the incident was reported to the police and the State Prosecutor's Office (DORH), but this did not help the case being expedited.
Pilsel, who had visited the villages after Operation Storm as a reporter, said that it would be easy to determine which units were in that area at the time and added that it was concerning that Croatian authorities had not shown any interest to visit these villages.
He said it was absolutely inconceivable to him that the bodies of a mother and son, 93-year-old Sava Lavrnic and 65-year-old Petar Lavrnic, were left lying in the driveway covered in snow for nearly six months, only several kilometres away from Udbina.
Croatian news agency HINA