Release of Glavas "insult to Serb victims"

Miodrag Linta believes that the release of war criminal Branimir Glavas constitutes another insult and humiliation for Serb victims.

Source: Tanjug
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The president of the Coalition of Refugee Associations in Serbia believes this is true not only of those who perished Croatia's town of Osijek, but throughout that country as well.

"We expect the Supreme Court of Cassation of Croatia to reconsider the arguments against Glavas within a reasonable period of time in connection to the murder of Serb civilians in Osijek and pronounce a maximum sentence envisaged in the law which totals 20 years," Linta said, adding that "anything else would constitute a mockery of justice and would be another proof that Croatia is protecting war criminals."

He said that five Glavas's accessories who committed crimes against Serb civilians in Osijek received "ridiculous sentences" ranging from five to seven years and were released on parole in the period 2010-2012 after they've served two thirds of their sentence.

Linta called on the EU to demand that Croatia should meet special obligations it agreed to take on during the accession talks as listed in Article 36, paragraph 1 of the Accession Agreement.

In the Accession Agreement signed in November 2011, Croatia took on the obligation to pursue improvement of independence, impartiality, professionalism and efficiency of the judiciary and procedures in local war crimes cases, Linta recalls.

"Unfortunately, Croatia did not launch a single investigation in 2013 and 2014 and it did not raise any indictment against individuals who committed a number of crimes against Serbs prior to and during war campaign," he said.

"This clearly shows that Croatia still lacks the political will to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes and ensure justice for the victims," the president of the Coalition of Refugee Associations in Serbia said in a statement.

Branimir Glavas - a former Croatian Interior Ministry official, army general, and member of parliament, who holds dual Croatian-Bosnian citizenship, was released on Tuesday from a prison in Mostar, Bosnia, where he served his sentence for war crimes committed against Serb civilians in Osijek in 1991.

The Croatian Constitutional Court overturned on January 12 the sentence by the Supreme Court, whereby Glavas was found guilty of war crimes in the so-called Garage and Duct Tape cases. The Constitutional Court ordered an investigation into whether the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms had been violated in the case against Glavas and the other six indictees.

Glavas was convicted of imprisoning and torturing five Serbs, of whom two died after being forced to drink acid in the garage of the Osijek National Defense Secretariat, which Glavas ran in 1991.

The "duct tape" case refers to Galvas's orders to the local military unit to arrest, torture and kill seven Serb civilians who were later thrown into the river Drava with their hands tied and with duct tape placed over their mouths.

Glavas was serving his sentence in Mostar, where he fled in 2009 just before the verdict against him was delivered in Croatia. Since he has served three fifths of his sentence, he has been using "prison benefits" since January 4 and is already working at a local company.

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