The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has awarded Marinko Pozder, convicted in absentia for war crimes committed in the Croatian village of Skabrnja, a compensation of €4,000 for non-pecuniary damage and €2,000 for the costs of the proceedings due to the violation of his right to a fair trial, state agency Hina said on Monday, citing a press release from ECHR.
ECHR notes that the court’s decision is final.
“Pozder was convicted in absentia in 1998 and sentenced to 20 years in prison for war crimes against civilians in the village of Skabrnja in the Zadar hitnerland, after which he called for a retrial in 2012 which was rejected by the Supreme Court,” Hina said, without clarifying which unit or side Pozder belonged to.
The ECHR determined that Pozder had participated personally in the early stages of the investigation against him prior to being released from prison and exchanged as part of a prisoner exchange agreement.
Hence he had some knowledge about the proceedings against him,however, he was never subsequently called to trial nor did the Croatian authorities inform him that the proceedings were continuing against him, the court said and added that it could not conclude whether Pozder attempted to avoid the trial or whether he waived the right to appear before a domestic court.