Croatia annuls war crimes verdict against Branimir Glavas

The Croatian Supreme Court has overturned the verdict against Branimir Glavas, who was convicted of war crimes against Serb civilians in Croatia.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
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Glavas, who was found guilty in 2009 on charges of torturing and murdering Serb civilians in the town of Osijek in 1991 and sentenced to ten years in prison, will now have a retrial.

He is a former Croatian Interior Ministry official, army general, and member of parliament. In 2009 he fled to Bosnia, where he was eventually jailed for several years before being released in 2015 and returning to Croatia.

Reacting to the news late on Thursday, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said the decision "demonstrates a clear policy of Croatia, which is rehabilitating not only the fascist Ustasha Independent State of Croatia (NDH), but also criminals from the last war."

"The message of this disgraceful act is that unpunished crimes against Serbs are permitted and normal, and this, in addition to constant hate speech, has opened a hunting season on Serbs. This policy has also resulted in an increase of incidents and violence against Serbs from Croatia and citizens of Serbia, and a protest note was today sent to Croatia over this," Dacic said in the statement.

The Supreme Court of Croatia explained its ruling by saying on its website that the appeals of Glavas and the other accused in the case had been accepted, that the first-instance ruling was overturned and a retrial ordered before the Zagreb District Court.

The verdict was annulled "because of significant violations of criminal proceedings, among others, because of the statement of the Zagreb court that Croatia was not in an international armed conflict when the crimes were committed."

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