The head of the Osijek-Baranja County Association of War Returnees, Branko Pek, said in Osijek on Saturday that Croatian returnees would not give up their demand for compensation of damage they had suffered in the 1991-1995 Homeland War, announcing a lawsuit against Serbia.
Pek said that their demand was based on two international documents that have the force of international treaties: the Basic Agreement on Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srijem, also known as the Erdut Agreement, and the Agreement on Normalisation of Relations between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, of which Serbia is the legal successor.
"Our second demand is that war criminals, who are still among us, whose names we know and who have been moving freely in Croatia for 20 years now, should finally be brought to justice. We want them brought to trial and punished accordingly, that much we owe our victims," Pek said at the association's conference.
The president of the Association of War Returnees of Croatia, Josip Kompanovic, citing a report by the War Damage Commission, said that the war damage was estimated at HRK 246 billion (€33.2 billion), including about HRK 45 billion (€6 billion) worth of damage suffered by private citizens, mostly displaced from previously war-affected and occupied areas.
Kompanovic said that because nothing had been done about this matter the association had submitted its bill on war reparations to the Ministry of Justice and had also started preparing a lawsuit to protect the collective rights and interests of people affected by the Homeland War. He said that no later than the end of this year the association would file the war reparations lawsuit against Serbia seeking compensation for the portion of the damage suffered by private citizens. He added that the lawsuit would most likely be filed with Osijek Municipal Court.