Supreme Court Acquits Dražen Slavica of Responsibility for Kornati Wildfire Tragedy

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Romulic & Stojcic

Croatia’s highest court said that the Zagreb County Court was right to conclude that Slavica was not responsible for the actions or omissions of persons who should have acted in accordance with their powers under the law and that he did not have the authority to lead the fire operation that also involved aviation.

“The accused was not authorised to command the fire intervention. Nevertheless, acting promptly and in accordance with his powers which were not of a command nature, he requested a water tank and air support. The air support came much later for reasons that cannot be attributed to the accused,” the Supreme Court said.

Slavica had been acquitted of responsibility for the Kornat tragedy twice before.

There are several theories about the cause of the accident that occurred on 30 August 2007, including a fuel leak from a helicopter and an explosion of leftover NATO bombs. The official theory is that the accident was caused by a phenomenon known as eruptive fire. However, the families of the firefighters killed and some sections of the public think that the real truth about the cause of the accident is being concealed.

The tragedy took the lives of twelve firefighters from Šibenik, Vodice, and Tisno. Some of them died on the scene, while some, who were severely burned in the accident, later died in hospitals in Zagreb and Split. Their colleague Frane Lučić was the only one to survive.


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