Glavas affair rocks the Croatian political scene

24 July 2006 by Drago Hedl

On July 17, an investigation was opened into Branimir Glavas, one of the most influential Croatian politicians in 15 years. A long-term member of Parliament, general in the Croatian army and one of the founders of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the party of former Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, Glavas is charged with committing war crimes against Serbian civilians from 1991-1992 while he was in charge of defending Osijek, the fourth largest city in Croatia. He may not take the fall alone.

Serious accusations have been brought against Glavas by Krunoslav Fehir, former member of the unit Glavas commanded during the war. Fehir is accusing him of having arrested and mistreated Serbian civilians and issuing execution orders in at least one case. These civilians were subject to extremely cruel treatment. They were beaten, tortured and forced to drink sulfuric acid from batteries stored in the garages where they were held. Fehir, who was only sixteen and a half when he joined Glavas's unit, also helped murder one of these civilians. In July 2005, he decided to tell his story first to the public prosecutor in Zagreb and then to the press. He is currently living under police protection far from Osijek.

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