Minister of Defense of Croatia Damir Krstičević cancelled his visit to Sarajevo, where he was supposed to attend the meeting of ministers of defense of the countries members of the Central Europe Defense Cooperation (CEDC) with the Minister of BiH Marina Pendeš.
He will be substituted by his assistant for defense policy Nikola Brzica. According to the Croatian media, Krstičević was supposed to attend the meeting of CEDC in Vienna today, together with ministers from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. After that, they were all supposed to go to Sarajevo.
This cancellation happened only seven days after the arresting of ten former members of the Croatian Defense Council in Orašje and confirmed information that the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH opened an investigation of Krstičević due to alleged execution of war crimes during military operations in Mrkonjić Grad in 1995.
Croatian defense minister, however, claims that there is nothing alarming in his cancellation.
“At the moment we are discussing the budget for next year. I will go to Sarajevo and I am not afraid of going to BiH. I wasn’t afraid in the war and I am not afraid now. However, budget is my priority now and my assistant Brzica will do the job very well,” said Krstičević.
According to unofficial information, Krstičević was planning to travel to Vienna and Sarajevo, but then the intelligence services recommended him not to.
“Based on the events in Orašje and the information about the investigation launched against Krstičević by the BiH authorities, the Military Security-Intelligence Agency and Security-Intelligence Agency recommended the minister not to travel to Sarajevo because his safety cannot be guaranteed,” said a highly positioned source in the Government of Croatia.