European Arrest Warrant: EU issues law reform ultimatum to Croatia
22 August 2013
“EU tells Croatia to change law or face sanctions,” headlines the EUobserver after the European Commission issued the ultimatum to Zagreb to overturn a series of amendments to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).
The controversial legal changes, which were rushed into law three days before Croatia joined the EU on July 1, effectively block extradition of people from one member state to another. Croatia now has until midnight on August 23 to submit a deadline for when it will abandon the changes.
The amendments, which forbid extraditions related to crimes committed before 2002, have infuriated Germany, which believes they are designed simply to stop the extradition of Josip Perković, a former director of the Yugoslav secret police who is wanted by Germany over the assassination of Croat defector Stjepan Đureković in Wolfratshausen, Bavaria in 1983.
The federal prosecutor in Germany issued an EAW to extradite Perković but has yet to receive any response from Croatian authorities. If Zagreb fails to comply, the EU could suspend funding to its newest member.