D.I.C. Veritas

serbia.postsen.com, 03.12.2022, Croatia is charging huge court costs to the families of murdered Serbs

Štrbac states that the cases of the sisters Radmila and Mirjana Vuković and Milan Smolić, which were mentioned in the Croatian Parliament by the representative of the Independent Democratic Serbian Party /SDSS/ Boris Milošević and called this practice of the Croatian courts shameful, are only the tip of the iceberg.

He says that the Vukovics have to pay 8,000 euros for the court costs of the dispute, which they initiated for the murder of their parents and sister, while Smolić is threatened with confiscation of his house due to the costs of the lawsuit for compensation for the murder of his father.

“Dismissed” 95 percent of lawsuits

Pointing out that there is no doubt that the Vukovićs, as well as Smolić, died in the war, Štrbac said that the epilogue was the same in 95 percent of the lawsuits filed by the Serbs against the Croatian state for compensation for war damages, regardless of the fact that their loved ones were killed, because they failed to prove that they were victims of war crimes committed by the Croatian armed forces.

That is, they failed to dispute that members of their families died in the combat zone, which indicates, as Štrbac says, that, according to the most common verdicts of Croatian courts, “they are to blame because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

– It sounds very ugly that you, for example, have to pay costs to someone who killed your son because you failed to prove who killed him. However, justice is one thing, and law is another, and here we are talking about the basic rule in the judiciary all over the world, according to which the one who lost the dispute pays the costs. Unfortunately, the Serbs cannot prove who killed their loved ones, because they have no living witnesses – explained Štrbac.

According to him, claims by Serbs for compensation for war damages in Croatia have turned into a nightmare for most of those who filed them, although for many it did not seem that way in 2003, when they were given the opportunity to do so after Croatia adopted a set of laws , among which was the law on the responsibility of the Croatian state for illegal actions of members of its armed forces.

Štrbac emphasized that this caused great bitterness, because among those who have to pay high court costs are families like Vuković from Medar, even though two brothers, their wives and three children from that family were killed in the “Bljesak” action.

However, this did not have any weight for the Croatian judiciary, since the plaintiffs were told that all those killed were in the war zone at an inconvenient time and that the state is not responsible for this war damage.

Abandoned Properties – “Proof of Welfare”

Strbac pointed out that in “Veritas” they also had a case where a family of four was killed – a father, mother and two children, whose family members filed lawsuits for damages with a high compensation claim, due to which the costs of the dispute increased to the value of one apartment.

– I know that one relative, when all those parents and relatives of those killed died, had to sell her apartment in Belgrade to pay the costs of the proceedings, and I think it was a sum between 35,000 and 40,000 euros – Štrbac testified.

The experiences of “Veritas”, which tries to help such families, show that things have not changed even when in the meantime Croatia passed a decree on the partial or complete exemption from payment of court costs for family members of war victims who lost claims for damages.

Strbac explains that this is possible in theory, but in practice it is not, because the regulation is very complicated, so applicants are required to fill out nine-page forms, in such a way that all family members, all their incomes and assets are entered, along with certificates of funds, the amount of salary or pension, cars and everything.

– Then it is decided whether to release them completely or partially. It goes very slowly. We have tried in dozens of cases to help those people fill out those forms. It is still being dragged through the courts and only a few cases have been decided, and everything else is dragging on indefinitely – stated Štrbac.

The family of a Serbian soldier killed after being captured felt the cruelty of the decree on their own skin, which “Veritas” helped to fill out a form for exemption from payment of court costs in a dispute that the victim’s parents, wife and son lost.

– When they filled out the form, they were asked for various papers and many other things. These are people who live in Serbia and have property in Croatia, which is of no use to anyone, because the land, forests and arable fields are abandoned. However, this creates a huge problem for them, because the big question is whether this will at least partially exempt them from paying court costs – Štrbac assesses.

Such cases, as he explained, were a signal that political representatives of Serbs in Croatia, together with domestic and international non-governmental organizations, demand that all people whose family members were killed, but cannot prove who the immediate perpetrators are, at least be exempted from paying court fees expenses.

It turned out that there is nothing to it, because Croatia resists and does not think of changing anything, even though SDSS representatives like Milorad Pupovac, Milošević and Anja Šimpraga, who took his place as Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Croatia for Human and Minority Rights, still they are looking for

End the agony!

Strbac believes that, despite everything, they should not give up that fight, because the government is controlled by their coalition partner HDZ, and apart from them, anyone else can hardly do anything, so the people from SDSS could be more agile and seek help from the world in solving this problem, since Croatia is a member of the EU and NATO.

– Serbia cannot help here, because it is in a big problem due to Croatia’s threat to block its path to the EU if it does not pay compensation for everything that was demolished and destroyed during the war in Croatia, and there are other issues such as the border on the Danube. of the missing and the jurisdiction of war crimes courts – reminded Štrbac.

He is convinced that, as difficult as it may be, a way must be found to end the agony of people who have lost their cases seeking compensation for the murders of their family members, as they have to pay high fees in addition to the costs of the litigation and expose themselves to the enormous exhaustion and stress of the tricks. of the Croatian courts, who support their country in such proceedings.

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