Zagreb has “recognised its mistake” and given in to Brussels, which had been threatening Croatia with sanctions if it did not cancel the amendments the government made to Croatian law regarding the European Arrest Warrant, reports Večernji list on August 29.
In a letter sent on August 28 to the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding, Prime Minister Zoran Milanović stated that “Croatia will take necessary measures to bring the law on judicial cooperation in line with the European legislation it had accepted in accession talks” with the EU.
Milanović also proposed that the Commission proceed with an examination of the strict application of the EAW in all countries of the EU, and denounced the exceptions that Austria, France and Italy had granted themselves. Brussels for its part believes that if Croatia wanted to introduce an exception, it should have asked for one during accession negotiations and not afterwards, the daily explains.
Zagreb will repeal the law, passed just before Croatia’s accession on July 1, which restricted the application of the EAW to offences committed before August 7, 2002, the date on which the EAW entered into force in the EU. This amendment to the Constitution is suspected of having been pushed through to prevent the extradition of the former head of the Yugoslav secret service, Josip Perković, suspected of being involved in the murder of a Croatian dissident in 1983 near Munich, and wanted since then in Germany.
Večernji list specifies, however, that Milanović has not set out a timetable for the repeal of the “Perković Act", but believes that it could happen as early as September, at the start of the parliamentary year.