Croatia proves itself

22 October 2007 by Drago Hedl

On October 15, Branimir Glavas, a retired Croatian general and long-time head of 1 of the 20 Croatian counties, entered the county court of Zagreb. He is accused of war crimes committed 16 years ago, during the war in former Yugoslavia. Leaning on a cane, this 51-year-old man, usually energetic, seemed weakened. His voice trembled as he greeted his peaceful supporters.

Glavas is accused of the murder of at least 12 Serbian civilians. Four days before the beginning of his trial, he secretly recorded a video from the hospital in Osijek where he was under custody. A copy of the tape was given to journalists by members of Glavas's party, the Democratic Union of Slavonia and Baranya, which he founded in the fall of 2005 following his expulsion from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)-now in power. On the video, Glavas is seen standing behind a Croatian flag in a black leather jacket, attacking Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and president of the Croatian parliament Vladimir Seks for four and a half minutes. He accused them of bringing false legal proceedings against him in order to take revenge for his victory in the local elections of spring 2005. He also gave clear guidance on how to vote in the legislative elections of November 25: under no circumstances vote for the HDZ of Prime Minister Sanader, because he "puts those who defend Croatia behind bars." "A vote for HDZ is a vote for my sentence," Glavas said.

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