News 08 Dec 17

Inspector Casts Doubt on Croatian General’s Charges

A Croatian police inspector told the retrial of Branimir Glavas that he overheard a conversation implying that the 1990s general was wrongly accused of war crimes against Serbs.

Sven Milekic
Branimir Glavas. Photo: Beta.

Police inspector Zeljko Mazar on Friday told the trial of Branimir Glavas and five others accused of war crimes against Serb civilians in the eastern city of Osijek that he had overheard a conversation involving the local police chief in 2006 which cast doubt on the charges.

Mazar was a police inspector in Osijek in 2006, when witnesses were first questioned and when the investigation of Glavas started, headed by the local police chief at the time, Vladimir Faber.

Mazar has never testified in Glavas’s long-running court process and said he decided to speak out when he overheard a conversation between Faber and Radoslav Arambasic, who at the time was the lawyer for Gordana Getos Magdic, one of those accused alongside Glavas.

Mazar recalled how he was waiting outside Faber’s office when he overheard a conversation between the two about how all the responsibility for the crimes against Serbs in 1991 would be put on Glavas.

“I heard Faber say to him: ‘Everything is agreed. [Mladen, chief state attorney at the time] Bajic knows everything; we’ll go together to visit him in Zagreb, and you will hear everything directly from him,’” Mazar told the court.

“Faber added: ‘You have guarantees for your client. This will be done as agreed; Glavas must be blamed for everything,’” he added.

Mazar was facing disciplinary proceedings at the time, and his case was referred to a higher disciplinary board at the Interior Ministry in Zagreb.

When in 2008 he got information that the higher board would affirm the decision to discipline him, he called Faber and said that if he did not intervene and resolve the case in his favour that he would talk to media about the conversation he overheard about Glavas.

“I said: ‘If you don’t do anything this moment, I will organise a press conference at my house tomorrow and tell the media all I know about the Glavas case,’” Mazar said.

He then said he was quickly called to the police precinct in Osijek by Marinko Mikulic, the police chief at the time.

Mikulic gave him a document according saying the entire disciplinary process had been dropped at the lower level, even though it was already being heard at the higher level.

He expressed his doubts that the document was legal and a month or so afterwards, he was asked to return it, but he had already copied it.

He suggested that his disciplinary proceedings were quashed so he would keep silent about the conversation about Glavas that he overheard.

The defence meanwhile claimed that Faber, Bajic and others were trying to make a deal to put all the blame for the 1991 crimes on Glavas.

As the commander of wartime defence forces in Osijek, Glavas - who is also a prominent politician - is accused of ordering the executions of seven, mostly Croatian Serb civilians in 1991.

The Supreme Court sentenced him to eight years in prison in 2010 and he started to serve his sentence in the Bosnian city of Mostar, but the Croatian Constitutional Court quashed his final verdict in January 2015.

In July 2016, the Supreme Court then quashed the previous verdict from Zagreb county court from 2009, and the entire process began again from the start in October this year.


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