The Supreme Court has quashed a trial court's verdict in two war crimes cases against wartime Interior Ministry official Branimir Glavas, ordering the Zagreb County Court to conduct a retrial for war crimes committed against Serbs in Osijek in the early 1990s.
A ruling posted on the Supreme Court website on Thursday afternoon says that the appeals by Glavas and the other accused have been upheld and that the case is being sent back to the trial court for retrial.
The first sentence of eight years' imprisonment, which Glavas was serving in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina before being released on parole, was quashed by the Constitutional Court in early 2015.
Since the verdict by the Zagreb County Court, which sentenced Glavas to 10 years for war crimes in Osijek, remained in force, after returning to Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina Glavas was placed back in investigative custody based on a new ruling by the Supreme Court, which was later partly quashed by the Constitutional Court.
After spending 26 days in Zagreb's Remetinec prison and prison hospital, where he went on a hunger strike, Glavas was released on 31 March 2015 by a panel of non-trial judges of the Zagreb County Court, who said that had Glavas continued to serve his sentence in Mostar he would have been released on parole on 18 March 2015.
The Supreme Court concluded appeal hearings on 7 June 2016. Glavas and the other accused called for the verdict to be quashed and a retrial held, while the prosecution demanded tougher sentences. Glavas claimed that the case against him was politically motivated and initiated by former prime minister Ivo Sanader and the leadership of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party.