War crimes charges filed against former Slovenian president

War crimes charges filed against former Slovenian president

War crimes charges filed against former Slovenian president Izvor: Fena/Almir Razić

War crimes charges have been filed against the politician who took Slovenia out of the former Yugoslavia, Belgrade daily Politika said on Thursday.

Charges were filed with the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution against former Slovenian President Milan Kucan for war crimes against prisoners of war and genocide in the summer of 1991.  

The newspaper said that charges were also filed against Slovenian Territorial Defense chief of staff Janez Slapar, the former commander of the coastal area Territorial Defense Franc Anderlic and three others.  

Kucan, Slapar, Anderlic and the others are alleged to have violated the Geneva Conventions during the conflict in Slovenia between June 27 and July 7, 1991 between the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) and federal police and the Slovenian Territorial Defense and other para-military formations under the control of the Slovenian authorities.  

Lawyer Dusan Bratic, who filed the charges, said that Kucan had command over all armed formations as president of Slovenia which means he is one of the people responsible for the breakup of Yugoslavia. “Kucan did nothing to punish the perpetrators but also encouraged the commission of war crimes. A number of war crimes were committed against civilians, including the wives and children of JNA personnel, the wounded, medical staff, prisoners and soldiers who laid down their arms,” he said.  

The armed conflict in Slovenia broke out on June 27, 1991, marking the start of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, after Kucan read out a decree at a Slovenian Presidency session ordering armed operations, including artillery strikes, against JNA units. He also called the population to refuse any contact with JNA personnel and their families, including medical aid. A total of 44 JNA personnel were killed and 184 wounded in the war in Slovenia.

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