Crime in Tovarnik (defendant Aleksandar Trifunović)

Trial against Aleksandar Trifunović for war crime against civilians, as described and punishable stated in120 of the Basic Criminal Law Act of the Republic of Croatia (OKZRH).


On 1 February 2001, the Vukovar County State Attorney’s Office (here in after:ŽDO) issued the indictment against the 1st defendant Miloš Stanimirović and twenty three more persons including the 12th defendant AlekdandarTrifunović.

The indictment no. DO-K-34/00 of 1 February 2001 issued by the Vukovar ŽDO can be viewed (inCroatian) here.

During the trial, Trifunović was in custody and attended the trial, but the Vukovar County Court accepted registration of the defendant’s house to serve as a guarantee of his presence during the trial and thus it vacated his detention. The VSRH quashed the decision on guarantee and release from detention, but the defendant had already escaped from Croatia. An international arrest warrant was issued against him.

Based on the decision no.Kv-64/06 of 22 March 2006 issued by the County Court, the trial against Aleksandar Trifunović was separated from the trial against the other mentioned defendants, factual and legal description including the legal qualification of offences were modified.

According to the Vukovar ŽDO’s indictment issued on 29 March 2006, the defendant is charged with the following: after occupation of Tovarnik on 20 September 1991 by the so-called JNA and joined Serb paramilitary formations and extreme persons, the defendant joined the occupation forces in Tovarnik and together with others participated in the forming of local authority and tasks division on the basis of a mutual agreement with the purpose of making an ethnically clean area and preventing Croatian and other non-Serb population from furtherliving in the village; for that reason, they were expelling, killing, physically maltreating, arrogating property to them selves and destroying it; the defendant is also charged tha the participated in issuing decisions on carrying out activities subjecting entire civilian Croatian population to systematic physical and psychical abuse and that in his capacity as president of Mjesna zajednica (community office) he organised forced labour and was issuing passes for going out of the village, thus by violating international law rules at the time of armed conflict, the defendant was killing, and torturing civilians inflicting them great suffering and bodily injuries, carried out population displacement, plundered property, intimidated and terrorised them and treated them inhumanly, therefore, he committed criminal offences against humanity and international law – war crime against civilians, as described and punishable according to Article 120 of the OKZRH.

The Vukovar ŽDO’s indictment no. DO-K-34/00 of 29 March 2006 can be viewed (in Croatian) here.




WarCrimesCouncil(panel): judge Slavko Teofilović, President of the Council; we are not familiar with the names of Council Members.

Indictment: the Vukovar ŽDO’s indictment no. DO-K-34/00of1February2001; no. DO-K-34/00of29March2006following the separation of the proceedings amended in respect of defendant Aleksandar Trifunović.

Prosecution:MiroslavŠarić, Vukovar County Deputy State Attorney

Criminaloffence: war crime against civilians stated in Article 120 of the OKZRH

Defendant:AleksandarTrifunović, unavailable to Croatian judiciary

Defencecounsel:IgorPlavšić, lawyer practicing in Vukovar


killed:Đuro Grgić, Mato Živić, Željko Vrančić, Đuro Miklošević, Marko Šijaković, Đuka Došen, Ivan Zelić, Josip Šarčević, Miroslav Zelenika, Ruža Ivković, Stepan Kovačić, Jelka Krnić, Jozo Šišić, Ivan Adamović, Danijel Perković,Karlo Grbešić