The outgoing Croatian president who has been as good as it gets for that unrepentent breed of killer known as “Croat,” Stjepan Mesic — unpopular among the more avid Ustashas who dominate the country — recently released the repressed Ustasha inside him, and shortened the grudging sentence that was given to a man who during the war killed several Serbian civilians including a 12-year-old girl and her parents. Eight years was just too much time for such a national treasure to serve:

Mesić shortens Serb killer’s sentence

7 January 2010 | 14:02 | Source: Tanjug

ZAGREB — Outgoing Croatian President Stjepan Mesić has decided to shorten prison time of Siniša Rimac by one year.

Rimac was sentenced to eight years in prison when Croatia’s Supreme Court ruled that he personally took part in the executions of ethnic Serb civilians in the Pakračka Poljana region of western Slavonia in late 1991.

Rimac was also on trial for the murder of 12-year-old Aleksandra Zec and her parents – a family of wealthy Zagreb Serbs murdered in December 1991.

According to allegations, Rimac took part in those murders as well, as a member of a group commanded by Tomislav Merčep.

Merčep was at the time an adviser to the Croatian interior minister.

Although the group underwent trial and made statements admitting the crime, those statements were never admitted to evidence due to a procedural error.

The public and media accused then prosecutor Vladimir Šeks for this twist of events.

Merčep himself, who was mentioned in connection with crimes committed against Serbs in Zagreb, Vukovar, Pakračka Poljana and Gospić, never faced trial.

Earlier, Mesić also decided to shorten jail time of Stjepan Grandić by two years.

Grandić was a member of the so-called Gospić Group, found guilty and sentenced to ten years for organizing the killing of 23 Serb civilians from Perušić, near the town of Gospić, in the fall of 1991.

Serbian President Boris Tadic reacted to the shortened sentences:

Tadić slams Mesić in strongly worded statement

8 January 2010 | 12:26 | Source: Tanjug

BELGRADE — President Boris Tadić today reacted to his Croatian counterpart Stjepan Mesić’s decision to shorten prison sentence of a Croat war criminal.

“When the outgoing Croatian president pardons a criminal who killed Serb children just because they are of a different ethnicity, then that is an act that deserves every condemnation, a deeply anti-civilizational and anti-European decision [coming] from the other side of common sense,” said the president.

Tadić also pointed out that Mesić’s “regrettable decision” was only one in a series, including today’s visit to Priština, “which is in a very efficient manner spoiling relations with Serbia, leaving a serious and unnecessary burden to his successor”.

Tadić stressed that it is the task of all regional countries to fully cooperate with the Hague Tribunal, and that this means that those war criminals tried before domestic courts must get their deserved punishment.

“That punishment must be justice and innocent victims served, and should in no way be reduced or annulled through discretionary decisions which essentially make crime relative and relieve the most horrid criminals of their guilt,” the president said in his statement.

Bosnian-Serb President Milorad Dodik accurately, if controversially, described Mesic as an Ustasha. That was in response to Mesic’s additional outgoing middle-finger-gesture to the Serbian nation, which took the form of threatening military action, should Republika Srpska secede from fast-Islamisizing Bosnia.

For his country’s dedicated contributions to the common Balkan goal of the dismemberment of both Yugoslavia and Serbia, including the speedy recognition in March 2008 of an independent Kosovo, Mesic was, as Tadic mentioned, invited to Pristina, where he addressed the assembly, met with the terrorist leadership, and was made an honorary citizen.

It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate sendoff.

But for balance, Mesic’s anti-Nazi alter ego gave an award to Nazi-hunter Ephraim Zuroff, “for helping Croatia to face the crimes it committed during World War II”:

Croatia awards Nazi hunter Ephraim Zuroff

Croatia’s outgoing president has decorated a prominent Nazi hunter, thanking him for helping Croatia to face the crimes it committed during World War II.

Stipe Mesic awarded Ephraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday with the Order of the King Trpimir.

Zuroff has ceaselessly pressed Croatia to prosecute those responsible for crimes in the then Nazi puppet state. One of those was eventually sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1998.

Zuroff irritated late President Franjo Tudjman, whose nationalism harked back to World War II. Zuroff said that “hardly anyone could have imagined” him getting a medal 15 years ago.

Mesic, who leaves the post later this month, is credited with moving Croatia closer to the West.

Maybe in another 60 years there’ll be an even more human-resembling Croatian president, who might be pressed to help Croatia face the crimes it committed in the 1990s, the crimes whose perpetrators this president has given a reprieve to.