Monday, September 27, 2004

Normal State of Affairs

What began today in Zagreb County Court should have been the trial of century, but not in a country like Croatia.

10 men have been indicted for the kidnapping of Tomislav Zagorac, son of Vladimir Zagorac, former Croatian Army general and Zagreb businessman. Among the indicted are his former best friend and Zagreb businessman Hrvoje Petrač (Hrvoje Petrac) together with Petrač's son Novica, Vladimir's friend.

Petrač, whose name was often being associated with organised crime in Croatia, is tried in absentia, together with three more defendants. Petrač has recently been barred from entry into EU, allegeldy because he is suspected of being chief financier of General Gotovina's flight.

Today's day at court was rather eventful. Three men have admitted guilt, while defence prevented prosecution from using top secret Interpol memo as evidence. The memo, reportedly found in Petrač's house, accused Zagreb businessman of links with Serbian organised crime.

However, it is very likely that the trial – despite the flood of sleazy details and sensational revelations – won't cause much of attention among Croatian public. War and post-war years have made Croatians numb to all kinds of unpleasant surprises. This trial, regardless of its results, is only going to confirm what most Croatians thought of business elite, political establishment and law enforcement.


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