EAW law

No new conflict with EC, says justice minister

  • Autor: Radio.net
  • Zadnja izmjena 01.10.2013 22:16
  • Objavljeno 01.10.2013 u 18:30
Orsat Miljenić

Orsat Miljenić

Izvor: Pixsell / Autor: Patrik Macek

Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic on Tuesday dismissed criticisms from the parliamentary opposition that Croatia, despite lifting a time limit on the application of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), would again come into conflict with the European Commission because the statute of limitations, instead of an optional, would become an obligatory reason to refuse extradition.

The Commission did not set any other condition except the time limit. The Commission never raised the issue of the statute of limitations, Miljenic said during a discussion on amendments to the law on judicial cooperation with European Union countries.

He reiterated that the statute of limitations was being introduced to the law as an obligatory reason to increase legal security.

"Thirteen other countries have an obligatory statute of limitations, starting from Germany, and the European Commission doesn't mind. We feel that legal security is greater if we stipulate the conditions when someone is to be extradited, instead of leaving it up to the courts to decide whether to extradite someone or not. This is important for the rule of law."

The minister reiterated that 1 January 2014 was agreed with the Commission as the date to start applying the EAW without a time limit, adding that the courts would solely "decide if the statute of limitations has expired in a case."

He was responding to accusations that an obligatory statute of limitations additionally protected Josip Perkovic, a former intelligence officer, from extradition to Germany, where he is wanted for the 1983 murder of Croatian political emigrant Stjepan Djurekovic.

Ante Babic of the opposition Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) reminded Miljenic that Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said last week that Perkovic could not be extradited unless the Constitution was changed because the statute of limitations in the case had expired.

Independent MP Jadranka Kosor asked Miljenic if Croatia had agreed with the European Commission that the procedure to initiate sanctions against Croatia, which the Commission recently launched because its EAW law was not aligned with the acquis, would stop on Friday, when parliament amended the extradition law, or only in January, when the law would go into force.

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