Croatian bloggers on GlavašSource: Southeast European Times
CROATIA -- The delay in arresting a powerful political figure is proof that not all citizens are equal before the law, a blogger suggests.
Croatian bloggers have had much to say about the controversy surrounding Branimir Glavaš, a former HDZ deputy who is under investigation in connection with war crimes in the town of Osijek. Glavaš commanded Osijek's defence during the 1991-1995 conflict, and authorities want to find out if he was involved in the torture and killing of Serb civilians.
Even after the state prosecutor demanded Glavaš be put into custody, it took some time. An investigative judge in Osijek, Mario Kovač, ruled that the case was not within his authority. Glavaš was finally arrested in late October, and promptly began a hunger strike to protest his detention.
For some, the delay suggested special treatment, afforded to an influential political figure in the region.
"All they did until now was to transfer responsibility from one court to the other" wrote Croatian.Nauseous.News. "Without even further discussing whether Glavaš is guilty or not -- that will be established at the trial -- we are able to see that, compared to any other citizen of this country, Glavaš gets different judicial treatment on a daily basis."
Meanwhile, Opinioiuris voiced concern that the turmoil accompanying the criminal proceedings against Glavaš could undermine Croatia's efforts to show it is able to handle war crimes cases.
The UN tribunal in The Hague wants to hand over such cases to Croatia as part of its exit strategy. But the legal and political shenanigans surrounding Glavaš do little to show Croatia is ready for that, he writes.
"If the Glavaš case represents an example of what the Croatian public can expect in the trials against individuals who committed crimes against Serbs, then even the basic requirements for transferring the cases from The Hague -- the independence of the judiciary and the right to a fair trial -- appear to be seriously jeopardised," opiniorusis concludes.
Another blogger, RAGE, however, thinks its more a matter of political retribution. "
Since last April, when Glavaš left HDZ, a negative campaign, as well as besmirching and conspiracy against the Osijek power player, has been going on," he writes. "These developments prove that pre-election games are gaining momentum, and everybody is trying to benefit."