Branimir Glavas, the Croatian former lawmaker convicted of war crimes, has been stripped of his war honours and rank of general by Croatia’s president. The order by Ivo Josipovic came three weeks after Glavas was sentenced to eight years inprisonment by the country’s Supreme Court for war crimes committed in Croatia in 1991.
Josipovic said: “It is a very serious crime. There is no other choice for me since the law orders that honours should be taken in this case.”
Glavas was convicted last year of ordering crimes against Serb civilians during the war, but fled to Bosnia before the verdict was announced.
His conviction for murder and torture was upheld on 30 July, but the sentence was reduced from 10 to eight years.
Josipovic’s order came a couple of days after Glavas publicly announced he had sold all his medals to a Croatian émigré in Australia.
However, the president’s office said his actual honours had been taken and not “metal medals”.
Croatian law allows the president of the state to take honours and rank from anybody who breaks it or is deemed by his deeds to have threatened the country’s law and order.
Glavas was awarded seven medals by Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tudjaman.
Croatia and Bosnia have an agreement allowing the arrest of anyone sentenced in the other’s country.
Last week, the Croatian government filed a request with the Bosnian authorities for Glavas’ arrest, but to date he remains free.