Public offence ruling against ex-Croatian president quashed

8th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Croatian court on Monday quashed ex-president Stipe Mesic's 2008 conviction for a "public offence" which ordered him to pay some 10,000 euros ($14,000) in damages for calling a French lawyer crazy.

"The conviction against me was completely senseless and without foundation," Mesic told AFP after the ruling was overturned.

The plaintiff in the original case, Ivan Jurasinovic, who holds both Croatian and French nationality, sued Mesic after he said in 2006 that the lawyer should visit a Zagreb mental hospital "because there they can help people like him."

The statement came after Jurasinovic in France filed a criminal suit on behalf of his client Marin Tomulic.

According to local press, Tomulic, a former member of Croatian secret services and arms dealer, accused Mesic of being part of a group, which included some criminals, who had planned to kill him.

Mesic, who was head of state from 2000-2010, was ordered in October 2008 to pay Jurasinovic 70,000 kuna ((9,400 euros) plus court costs.

Upon appeal the Zagreb regional court has now overturned the lower court's decision.

© 2011 AFP

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