Crime in Škabrnja (defendant Renato Petrov)


Repeated trial against defendant Renato Petrov for a war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the Basic Criminal Law Act of the Republic of Croatia (OKZRH).

The indictment issued on 22 August 1994 is in force against defendant Renato Petrov. He is charged that, together with several other persons, he committed a war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH.

Since there is a separate trial in respect of Petrov, the Zadar ŽDO amended the indictment on 20 September 2011. It can be viewed (in Croatian) here.

The Zadar County Court rendered the verdict No. K-25/94 of 11 November 1995 and sentenced Renato Petrov in his absence to 20 years in prison. The trial was also conducted against Goran Opačić and another 25 defendants, and Renato Petrov was the 14th defendant among them. The mentioned verdict can be viewed (in Croatian) here.
On the basis of the arrest warrant issued by Interpol, Petrov was arrested in Dusseldorf at the beginning of April 2011, and Germany extradited him to Croatia in July 2011.

The Zadar County court issued a decision on 22 July 2011 in which it permitted the reopening of criminal proceedings.

Zadar County Court

Case file number: K-40/11

War Crimes Council:

judge Boris Balić, President of the Council; judges Vladimir Mikolčević and Boris Radman, Council Members

Indictment: issued by the Zadar ŽDO, No. KT-41/92 of 22 August 1994; amended on 20 September 2011 after separation of proceedings

Prosecution: Sobodan Denona, Zadar County Deputy State Attorney

Criminal offence: war crime against civilians, Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OK ZRH

Defendant: Renato Petrov

Defence: Dragan Jovanić, a lawyer practising in Rijeka

– 43 persons killed by firearms; one female person was ran over by a tank
– defendant Petrov is charged that he killed an elderly male person by firing one shot from a handgun


ŠKABRNJA izvještaji s rasprave (available in Croatian)

On 28 September 2012, the Zadar County Court’s War Crimes Council pronounced a verdict according to which the defendant, because of the lack of evidence, is acquitted. The previous verdict on the basis of which he had been sentenced to 20 years in prison was abolished. Detention order against the defendant is vacated.