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Timeless European Arrest Warrant Law Comes into Effect in Croatia

Croatia29 Croatian nationals will be looking over their shoulders today after the European Arrest Warrant (EWA)without time restrictions legislation came into force today..

Croatia’s Justice Minister Orsat Miljenić confirmed that he had received EWA’s for 29 nationals, most of whom were residing in Croatia. It was not clear whether the arrest warrants would be executed on New Year’s day or not. Among the 29 warrants is one for the highly publicised case of Josip Perković, a former Yugoslav intelligence agent, wanted in Germany for his role in the murder of dissident Stjepan Djureković in 1983. Perković was taken in for questioning in Zagreb on Wednesday morning.

European Arrest Warrant legislation was a bone of contention in the country, and just a few days before Croatia’s entry into the European Union on 1 July 2013, external pressure from the EU saw the Croatian parliament adopt amendments to the legislation on Croatia’s judicial cooperation with other EU members, which made it impossible for Croatia to apply EAW for crimes perpetrated before August 2002. The amendments drew severe criticism from the leading opposition party and the public in Croatia.

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