Croatian wartime official Tomislav Mercep ordered into 30-day custody

Croatian wartime official Tomislav Mercep, suspected of the murder or disappearance of 43 people in 1991, has been placed in 30-day custody.

An investigation has been launched against Mercep, an assistant interior minister in Croatia during the war there, on suspicion of the murder and disappearance of people from the Zagreb, Kutina and Pakrac areas from October to mid-December 1991.

Mercep was ordered into custody on Sunday by the Zagreb County Court, in order to prevent the 58-year-old from tampering with witnesses and because of the gravity of the crimes he is suspected of committing.

The judge made the decision on detention and investigation after questioning Mercep in a prison hospital, where he was transferred in a poor state of health brought on by an earlier stroke.

Mercep was arrested and his home searched on December 10.

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