In 1991 Croatia, formerly part of the Republic of Yugoslavia, declared its independence. This declaration prompted the first fighting between Croatian troops and the Yugoslav army. Heavy fighting took place from 1992 to May 1995, especially in the Croatian province of Krajina.
One case involving crimes committed in Croatia was tried in the Netherlands.
Case against Ranko Š.
Ranko Š. was chairman of the district council in Bapska, a Croatian town near the border with Serbia. In this capacity, Ranko Š. forced Croatian men to leave the town. On 10 December 2004, the District Court of Vukovar (Croatia) convicted Š., in absentia, of committing war crimes. On 26 March 2008, Croatia submitted a request to the Netherlands for his extradition. The request was assessed by the Leeuwarden District Court, which concluded that extradition was inadmissible because the extradition request did not include all the required documentation. The court also ruled that the acts for which Š. had been convicted were not criminal offences in the Netherlands. The Croatian authorities submitted a new request for extradition on 12 November 2008. On 22 April 2009, this request too was refused by Leeuwarden District Court, since the circumstances had not changed. In addition, the District Court held that it was inadmissible to relaunch a case that had been concluded, rather than appealing against the original judgment. On 25 October 2011, the case came before the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, which reached a different conclusion, on the basis that the circumstances had indeed changed. The District Court's judgment was overturned.
Leeuwarden District Court, 3 September 2008, LJN: BG2721
Groningen District Court, 22 April 2009, RK 09/108
Supreme Court of the Netherlands, 25 October 2011, LJN BT2515