Croatia lawmaker accused of war crimes re-elected to parliament

Croatia lawmaker accused of war crimes re-elected to parliament

[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 re-elected to the Croatian parliament in Sunday's legislative elections, according to election results released Monday. Glavas was indicted [JURIST report] in April along with six others on charges of war crimes committed in Osijek, including abduction, torture and murder. Glavas' Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja [party website, in Croatian] won three seats in the election. The party has previously said that Glavas would have parliamentary immunity and would have to be released from detention if he won a seat in Sunday's election.

Glavas has maintained his innocence and even staged a 40-day hunger strike last year 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. Glavas was one of the founding members of the ruling conservative HDZ party [party website, in Croatian], but was ousted in 2005 by Prime Minister Ivo Sanader [SE Times profile]. The Croatian Parliament [official website] granted a request in May 2006 to lift parliamentary immunity for Glavas in order to move forward with criminal proceedings. AFP has more.