The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia shows more understanding for officers responsible for war crimes than for the victims of these crimes
In its legally binding ruling of March 11th 2010, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia upheld the acquittal of Rahim Ademi and commuted Mirko Norac’s prison sentence for crimes committed against Serbian civilians and prisoners of war in the Medak pocket (Medački Džep). This caused new anguish for the families of the victims and convinced them that the Court has more empathy for those who commit war crimes than for their victims. From a human rights perspective, it is very difficult to accept the fact that the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia demonstrated more concern for the mental health of the accused Mirko Norac than for the suffering of the victims’ family members. In that regard, the following statement contained in the disposition of the Supreme Court’s ruling that “a high level of exposure to a war environment in circumstances of conducting a legitimate defensive war against the aggressor, lead to damage to his mental health which affected his ability to show good judgment” has political implications which should be avoided by any court.