Croatia seeks warcrimes charges for Dubrovnik

ZAGREB, Jun 28, 2000 -- (Reuters) Croatia said on Tuesday it had given documents on the Yugoslav bombardment of Dubrovnik in 1991 to the international war crimes tribunal to speed up indictments of the army and paramilitaries.

Justice Minister Stjepan Ivanisevic told a news conference that Croatia's new reformist government had given several documents and video tapes related to the 1991 siege and bombing of the Adriatic city to the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

He said these were given to the ICTY's chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte during her recent visit.

"By doing this we wanted to speed up the process of investigating and indicting (the Yugoslav army and paramilitaries). We intend to provide more material so that indictments are raised and Madam del Ponte has publicly pledged to do so in near future," he said.

The area south of Dubrovnik was overrun by Yugoslav army and Montenegrin reservists in autumn 1991. The city itself, a key tourist destination on the Adriatic coast, was shelled from overlooking mountains held by Bosnian Serbs.

Montenegro's pro-Western President Milo Djukanovic apologized at the weekend to the Croatian people, particularly to those living in Dubrovnik, for the "pain and damage" they suffered at the hands of his compatriots.

Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Montenegro is still a member of the Yugoslav federation, together with Serbia, but has increasingly sought more independence from Belgrade.

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