Razno

2006.03.20. – Cro News

March
17, 2006
Zagreb, Croatia
Supreme Court of Croatia Final Verdict regarding Croatian Journalist
Domagoj Margetic’s Plea against the International Criminal Tribunal
for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Indictment

DECISION: THE ZAGREB COUNTY COURT REJECTED CROATIAN JOURNALIST’S
PLEA
AGAINST HIS BOGUS ICTY INDICTMENT EXCLUSIVELY BECAUSE OF POLITICAL
PRESSURE AND UNDUE INFLUENCE THE COURTS RECEIVED FROM SANADER’S
GOVERNMENT

After four months
of agony and frustration, Croatian Journalist Domagoj
Margetic’s plea against his ICTY indictment ended unfavorably with
both
the Zagreb County Court and Supreme Court in Croatia. Both courts
rejected his plea and threw his case out of court. On March 15th
2006, the Zagreb County Court issued yet again an unjust and illegal
decision against hearing his plea concerning his ICTY indictment.
The
government of the Republic of Croatia politically pressured the
Zagreb
County Court President, Judge Mirjana Rigljan, to throw out and
reject
Margetic’s plea; the Judge obeyed the order. The Court did not even
offer Margetic an opportunity to present his case before a judicial
court in Croatia.

Chronology of
Margetic’s plea against his ICTY indictment

Croatian journalist
and ICTY indictee, Domagoj Margetic, began his
legal battle with the Croatian judicial process in late summer 2005.
Margetic began his legal fight with the Croatian courts against
his
ICTY indictment on September 22, 2005. That day he filed his
Constitutional Plea against the ICTY indictment before the
Constitutional Court in Croatia. Margetic thereby exercised his
legal
rights guaranteed to him and all Croatian citizens as stipulated
in the
Croatian Constitution. Margetic exercised his rights even according
to
existing Constitutional Law in regards to collaboration between
Croatia
and the ICTY. That week, the Constitutional Court assigned Margetic
an
official case number U-III/3855/2005.

On October 10,
2005, Margetic filed an addendum to his Constitutional
Plea because additional documents regarding his indictment arrived
from
the ICTY at The Hague. Shortly thereafter, a judge from the
Constitutional Court informed Margetic that the President of
Constitutional Court will not decide on his plea because the President
of the Constitutional Court made a political deal with Sanader’s
Government not to hear Margetic’s case. On October 25, after Margetic
received an amended ICTY indictment, he filed his plea against the
ICTY
indictment with the Zagreb County Court. Margetic was simply
exercising his rights based on Criminal Law Procedure, Croatia’s
Constitution, and collaboration between Croatia and the ICTY.

At that time,
acting president of the Zagreb County Court, admitted via
a telephone converstation with Margetic that the Minister of Justice,
Vesna Skare-Ozbolt (now former Minister of Justice), called him
repeatedly and ordered him not to hear Margetic’s plea. On October
31,
2005, Margetic filed an official protest letter because of constant
political manipulation by the Ministry of Justice towards the Zagreb
County Court. Margetic asked the Court to respect legal procedure
regarding his case and hear his case. Further, Margetic informed
the
President of Helsinki Human Rights Committee, prof. dr. Zarko Puhovski
of his situation. However, on November 7, 2005, acting president
of
the Zagreb County Court, Judge Miroslav Sovanj, denied Margetic’s
right to appeal his ICTY indictment and rejected his plea without
any
legal procedure based on Croatian law.

On November
7, 2005, Margetic lawfully and legally filed his plea with
the Zagreb County Court and with the Supreme Court of Croatia. At
the
end of February 2006, the secretary of the President of The Supreme
Court of Croatia said to Margetic via telephone that the President
of
The Supreme Court, "decided to send his case to the Zagreb
County
Court for review based on a current legal procedure." Essentially,
this meant that the Secretary was in agreement with Margetic’s plea;
however, the Secretary did not give Margetic this decision in writing.
According to Croatian Law regarding collaboration with the ICTY,
until
the Supreme Court of Croatia makes a final decision in Margetic’s
case, they, the accused (in this case, Margetic) are not obligated
to
appear before the ICTY at The Hague.

In a letter
dated March 13, 2006, Margetic requested the Supreme Court
to issue a decision in writing and send his case to the Zagreb County
Court for further review. On March 17, 2006, Margetic spoke again
to
the secretary of the Supreme Court President and she confirmed to
him
that the President of Supreme Court accepted his plea and sent his
case
to the Zagreb County Court for a new decision. On the same day,
Margetic received the decision of the Zagreb County Court President,
Judge Mirjana Rigljan, dated March 15, 2006 – case number 10
Su-1325/05. Judge Rigljan again rejected Margetic’s plea. Judge
Rigljan refused a journalist his legal right to appeal or file new
plea
against his ICTY indictment.

Judge Rigljan
denied Margetic his basic rights as a citizen and which
are guaranteed to him by the Croatian Constitution.

The
Croatian Government, Zagreb County Court and Supreme Court of
Croatia are all in violation of basic human and citizen rights in
the
case of journalist and publicist Domagoj Margetic. Margetic has
been
denied his right to appeal and file pleas before the entire Croatian
Judicial system and has been denied basic human rights in all Croatian
courts. Margetic is submitting a new appeal to the Supreme Court
of
Croatia where he will insist that the Republic of Croatia’s judicial
systems provide him his basic Constitutional rights and hear case
regarding his ICTY indictment.


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