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Croatia: Head Of Supreme Court Says Dismissal Politically Motivated

Zagreb, 27 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - The chairman of Croatia's Supreme Court says his dismissal yesterday by the National Judicial Council was "purely political."

Krunoslav Olujic, who was suspended amid accusations that he had sexual relations with minors, compared his firing to "a public lynching."

Supreme Court judges in Crotia are appointed for life, but can be disciplined by a judicial committee. Olujic's suspension was recommended by President Franjo Tudjman's government.

Olujic has been an open critic of attempts by Tudjman's Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) to take control of the judiciary.

Today he charged that the judicial committe had "touched a low point in implementing a party-controlled judicial system." He said his dismissal is a violation of constitutionally guaranteed judicial independence.

Members of the government and the HDZ have openly criticized Olujic in recent months because of several rulings, including acquittals of journalists who were critical of Tudjman.