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Croatian prime minister calls Seselj's acquittal 'shameful'

Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovics addresses a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Serbian nationalist Vojislav Seselj’s acquittal on war crimes charges was “shameful” and a defeat for the U.N. war crimes tribunal, Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said on Thursday.

“This verdict is shameful. It is a defeat for the Hague tribunal and the prosecution,” Oreskovic said during a visit to Vukovar in eastern Croatia, where he laid wreaths in memory of those who died in the 1991 battle of Vukovar during the wars that led to the breakup of Yugoslavia.

The town was besieged by the Serb-majority Yugoslav army and local rebel Serbs who opposed Croatia’s independence in a battle which killed and wounded thousands and wrecked most of the once idyllic baroque city on the Danube River.

Reporting by Igor Ilic; editing by Adrian Croft