A senior member of parliament in Croatia has been given a 10 year jail term for the torture and murder of ethnic Serb civilians during the country’s war of independence in the early 1990s.
Branimir Glavas was not in court in Zagreb for the verdict. He is the first senior state official to be found guilty of such crimes. Several other defendants were also jailed for up to seven years. With its eyes on EU membership, Croatia is keen to show Brussels that it is serious about confronting its past. The court heard that Glavas ordered troops to abduct, torture and kill Serbs in Osijek in late 1991, when he was commander of the city’s defence forces. Between 1991 and 1995, Croatia fought a war of independence against the Yugoslav army and Serbians backed by Belgrade. When the nationalists were in charge after the war, crimes against Serbs were rarely brought to trial.