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Croatia parliament strips lawmaker's immunity for war crimes case

[JURIST] Croatian lawmaker Branimir Glavas [personal website; Trial Watch profile], charged with committing war crimes against Serbs during the 1991 Serbo-Croatian war [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], was stripped of his parliamentary immunity on Saturday so that lawyers could proceed with his prosecution. Glavas, formerly a prominent member of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union [official website], was released from jail on Friday when the Zagreb District Court ruled that the formation of the new parliament – to which he was re-elected in November 2007 elections [JURIST news archive] – automatically re-conferred immunity status to the now-opposition lawmaker. Although the parliament suspended Glavas' immunity from court proceedings, it allowed him to retain his immunity from imprisonment, and he was set free on Friday on his own recognizance.

The Croatian Parliament [official website] originally stripped Glavas of his immunity for war crimes prosecution in May 2006 and he had remained in detention until Friday's decision. Glavas has maintained his innocence and even staged a 40-day hunger strike in 2006 when he was detained [JURIST report] after the criminal investigation against him initially opened. He also faces another war crimes investigation in Zagreb for the murder of two Serbs in a separate incident in Osijek. AP has more. Javno has local coverage.

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