The Croatian Supreme court on Monday revoked the ruling convicting Glavas, who was found guilty in two cases of war crimes against Serb civilians in the city of Osijek in 1991-92, and ordered new proceedings against him.
The constitutional court found that “both the supreme and county courts had used the wrong legal conventions in the cases against him. It also ordered the supreme court to check if his human rights and fundamental freedoms had been breached.” (quote)
He is a former politician and high-ranking member of the neonazi Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ party who served as a member of parliament and as the Osijek-Baranja County mayor.
Ready to fight for the new Independent state of Croatia (NDH) by any means – Glavas 1991.
During the 1990s war, he was a commander of the Osijek defence force in 1991-92 and attained the rank of general.
After he left the HDZ in 2005, he founded his own party, the Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja, HDSSB, putting a strong political grip on the Osijek and Baranja regions.
An indictment was issued and Glavas arrested in October 2006 over the ‘Garage’ case, in which he was accused of having command responsibility for the torture and killing of a civilian in front of a garage in 1991.
Traces of Branimir Glavas : The photo above is of a three-year old Serbian boy who was shot dead while hiding in the cellar at 72 Nikola Demonja Street, Vukovar, Croatia. His mother and father, Sladjana and Miroslav Cecavac, were also brutally killed by Tudjman’s neo-Ustashe Nazi troops. This 3 year old Serbian child was labelled a “Serbian aggressor” by Tudjman’s HDZ neo-Ustashe Croatian government and the Western corporate- controlled media. In order to stop his so-called ”aggression”, the so-called ”brave” Croatian neo-Ustashe soldiers put a bullet in the back of his head, which exited from the front of his skull. In the war in Croatia and Bosnia, by mid-1994, 7,000 Serbian children were killed: twice as many as Croatian and Muslim children combined. If, God forbid, this was your child, what would you do to his killers? (From: “The Suppressed Serbian Voice And The Free Press In America” By William Dorich, 1994 – p 30)
An additional indictment was raised in April 2007 in the ‘Duct Tape’ case, named because the victims were tied up with duct tape and executed on the Drava riverbank in Osijek in 1991-92.
After being convicted, he was arrested in Bosnia under a cooperation agreement between the two countries, and sent to serve his sentence in Mostar.
Serb refugees slam shameful ruling
The Croatian constitutional court on Monday revoked the ruling convicting Glavas, who was found guilty in two cases of war crimes against Serb civilians in the city of Osijek in 1991-92, and ordered new proceedings against him.
The constitutional court found that both the supreme and county courts had used the wrong legal conventions in the cases against him. It also ordered the supreme court to check if his human rights and fundamental freedoms had been breached.
Miodrag Linta, head of the Coalition of Refugee Associations in Serbia, said that the court’s decision to quash the Glavas verdict was “shameful” and “scandalous”.
“Croatia’s constitutional court is not a guardian of the constitution, but rather an institution that is using procedural justifications to free war criminals who committed crimes against Serb civilians and prisoners,” Linta said in a statement on Tuesday.
Shortly after the fighting in the Slavonija area ended, in mid-1992, and UN peacekeepers arrived, stories about the crimes committed by members of the Croatian armed forces during the ‘defence’ (ethnic cleansing of Serbs) of Osijek started spreading.
Two of those crimes were particularly cruel. Later, during the investigation and Glavas’s trial, they would be dubbed the ‘Garage Case’ and the ‘Duct Tape Case’ in the media. The ‘Duct Tape Case’ case was about series of executions, mainly of Serbs from Osijek, including prominent oncologist Milutin Kutlic and the director of the Osijek post office, Branko Lovric.
The victims were taken from their homes and questioned in the basement of a house in Dubrovacka Street. After interrogation and physical abuse, their hands were tied with duct tape. They were later taken to the banks of the Drava River and shot in the back of the head.
It was established by the court judgment in the ‘Garage Case’ that Serb civilians were being brought to garages next to building where Glavas’s command post was. They were questioned, tortured, beaten with rifle butts and some of them were forced to drink sulphuric acid from batteries of the cars parked there.
As Glavas was the ‘alpha and omega’ of Osijek’s ‘defence,’ (i.e. neonazi Ustashi separatists) it was clear that he knew, must have known or ought to know about these crimes from the very first day, and that he did not do anything to prevent them and punish the perpetrators.
But he was too powerful at the time and enjoyed strong protection from the ruling Neonazi Croatian Democratic Union, so no one could launch any kind of investigation.
When that finally happened in 2005, the investigation was under huge pressure: witnesses were threatened, even the chief of the police in Osijek, who was leading the investigation, received death threats.
The trial was held in Zagreb, because it was not possible to trial him in Osijek because of the enormous pressure. After Glavas was detained, he started a hunger strike in prison, and some people – including some Croatian bishops and academics – asked for his release on ‘humanitarian grounds’. He spent most of his period in detention in hospital.
As Ivan Vekic, former Croatian Interior Minister stated before the court in Osijek when questioned about execution of Serbs civilians in the town: “The war can not be obtained without having to kill the enemy. ”
In 2008, during the trial to Antun Gudelj the former Tudjman’s Minister, Josip Boljkovac, before the court reveals:
– It was Glavas and Seks who were interested in killing police chief Josip Reichl – Kir. ” Mr. Minister , I am condemned to death. My life in Osijek is under constant threat “.
“That’s what the Police chief Josip Reichl – Kir told me on 27. June 1991. in my office in Zagreb . When I asked him who threatens , he mentioned Vladimir Seks and Branimir Glavas – said former Police Minister Josip Boljkovac at the trial of Antun Gudelj for the murder of Osijek police chief on July 1, 1991. ” Kir opposed Glavas and Susak (Gojko) and didn’t wnat to attack Serbian Borovo Selo, aleready several times shelled by Croats. There was a rumor that Josip Kir was killed due to his struggle to find peaceful solution for the crisis. – the former Minister said.