The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on January 24, 2018, à  Strasbourg - FREDERICK FLORIN ©  2019 AFP

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on January 24, 2018, in Strasbourg – FREDERICK FLORIN © 2019 AFP

It is a 16-year-old statement that has just been condemned by European justice. A lawyer from Angers who had filed a complaint against Stjepan Mesic, Croatian president from 2000 to 2010, for having insulted him, finally won his case on Thursday before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), reports West France.

The case dates back to 2006. That year, Me Ivan Jurasinovic was contacted by a client who explained to him that he had been the victim of two assassination attempts, says the lawyer based in Angers, joined this Friday by BFMTV. com. “This man, who was a political opponent, gives names, including those of sponsors.” Among them, that of the Croatian president at the time, Stjepan Mesic.

A complaint is filed and the Croatian justice opens an investigation after these accusations. At that time, the local media began to take a close interest in the case. They contact the Angevin lawyer, who declares to be bound by the secrecy of the investigation and remains discreet.

Invited to a psychiatric hospital

Stjepan Mesic does not run away from journalists, quite the contrary. He even lets himself go, in the press, to a comment about Me Ivan Jurasinovic.

“The next time he comes to Zagreb (the capital of Croatia, editor’s note), I will advise him to go to Vrapce (a psychiatric hospital in the city, editor’s note). The doctors there are very competent,” he said. -he.

The little phrase does not go unnoticed. The principal concerned initiates civil proceedings against the president, a procedure possible in Croatia while it is prohibited in France, where the head of state enjoys immunity.

A will to intimidate recognized by justice

At first instance in 2008, Stjepan Mesic was ordered to pay 7,500 euros. On appeal, the compensation drops to 6,500 euros, but the same facts are recognized by the court. Dismissed in the Court of Cassation, the Croatian president ends up turning to the ECHR. Which also gives reason to the French lawyer.

“The ECHR went further than what the Croatian courts had judged. It not only recognized an attack on my honor and my reputation, but also an attempt at intimidation”, rejoices with Me Ivan Jurasinovic.

“There was a desire to intimidate me in the context of the defense. It was with my client that he had accounts to settle, not with me,” he continues.

Rarely, the Paris Bar Association and the National Bar Council also intervened with the ECHR in this case, in order to plead the interests of the defence.

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