Judge Carmel Agius, President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), yesterday concluded a three-day official visit to Zagreb, Croatia.
During the visit, President Agius met with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Minister of Justice and Public Administration Ivan Malenica, and State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Andreja Metelko-Zgombić. The Croatian Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dubravka Plejić Marković, was also in attendance.
President Agius provided the officials with an update on the Mechanism’s current activities and discussed a number of other topics, including the importance of regional cooperation for domestic war crimes prosecutions, as well as cooperation of the countries of the former Yugoslavia with the Mechanism. The discussions also advanced progress on the establishment of an Information Centre on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in Zagreb, including in relation to its location.
In addition, President Agius met with representatives of the highest courts in Croatia, namely the President of the Supreme Court, Judge Radovan Dobronić and President of the Criminal Department of the Supreme Court, Judge Damir Kos, as well as the President of the recently-established High Criminal Court, Judge Željko Horvatović. During these meetings, the Judges discussed technical matters including the jurisdiction and current judicial activity of their respective courts.
As part of the official visit, President Agius also presented a lecture to students of the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb regarding the establishment and mandate of the Mechanism and the legacy of its predecessor Tribunals, the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Finally, the President attended an exhibition entitled “Sloboda se njegovim imenom zove” (“Freedom is called by its name”) at the National and University Library in Zagreb, which commemorates 30 years since the fall of Vukovar, and was shown part of the Library’s rare book collection.
This visit, originally scheduled to take place in April 2020, was the President’s first visit to the region of the former Yugoslavia since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.