Yesterday Stipe Mesić said that he would use his presidential prerogatives and revoke all military decorations given to General Vladimir Zagorec. (Whole list of decorations is available here.) Mesić repeated well-established notion of convicted criminals being unworthy of Croatian military honours.
However, Mesić forgot another well-established notion in Croatia - only those persons whose sentences have been upheld by Supreme Court are considered to be convicted criminals. While pending appeals, those persons still enjoy the presumption of innocence and, therefore, can't be deprived of their legal privileges.
Another, more troublesome issue with Mesić's decision is his apparent double standards when dealing with convicted criminals. Namely, there are two Croatian generals who managed to keep their ranks despite being convicted war criminals - Tihomir Blaškić and Mirko Norac. Therefore, in Mesić's worldview simple emblezzment is much more severe crime than butchering innocent women and children.
Faced with criticism from usually dependable suppprters from the left portion of Croatian public, Mesić decided to spin this thing by annoucing that he would take away medals from Blaškić and Norac.
Thankfully, Hague tribunal doesn't seem likely to pass verdict against Ante Gotovina before Mesić term in office expries, thus saving him from some unpleasant decisions in the future.