01/25/06 Ostoja Babic at Court

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Animal Friends is announcing the end of the legal process against Ostoja Babic

Torturer and Murderer of a Dog Facing His Sentence

After the "Monster from Pescenica," Ostoja Babic, admitted at the court that he clubbed his dog to death with an iron bar and a pitchfork on December 4, 2004 until her skull was fractured and she lost almost all her blood, his statements were today, on January 25, 2006, confirmed by eye-witnesses, neighbors, and the policemen who found the dog in agony.

His neighbors called the police after they had been listening to the dog yelping for about an hour and having seen that in the courtyard of Ostoja Babic someone was waving a large object and beating the dog. The blows were so severe and the pain so excruciating that the dog managed to tear off the chain and cross the street, limping, in order to seek refuge in the neighboring courtyard, trying to hide from her torturer. Ostoja Babic followed the dog with an axe in his hand, but he lingered on the road in order to ask his neighbor whether he could kill the dog, since he was a student of veterinary medicine. The unfortunate dog, exhausted and paralysed from the blows, fell on the ground and was dying in agony. Since she was, according to the testimonies of the eye-witnesses, severely mutilated, covered with blood and with a piece of forehead bone the size of half a palm missing from her skull, while her brain was oozing from the large wound, the policeman helped her out of agony by shooting her.

"If that dog had been any good, I would not be here now!"

Ostoja Babic, whom the judge Jasna Zoretic evicted from the courtroom for disturbing the interrogation of witnesses, said that the dog was no good, since she always wagged her tail at the passers-by and whined when kept on chain. Moreover, he expressed annoyance for having to come to court, since his leg was hurting and he felt as if he were "beaten like a dog." About himself he said: "I love animals a lot. If I made a mistake, it was because she was howling."

Animal Friends reacted to this criminal act by protesting in front of the house of Ostoja Babic and starting a petition demanding the highest possible penalty. Over 2400 signatures were collected, which the organization handed to the District Attorney's Office in Zagreb.

Torturers and murderers of animals should be locked up!

The Supreme Court asked for a non-suspended sentence of imprisonment in duration of two months. The Criminal Law, which stipulates a fine of maximum 150 daily incomes or imprisonment of maximum 6 months for crimes of torturing or murdering animals. However, he could not be tried for violating the Animal Welfare Act, since the present act, which is supposed to protect animals, has no regulations for such crimes, which only encourages animal abusers to torture animals, since they will not have to justify themselves before the law because of its deficiency.

The judge Jasna Zoretic announced that she would pass the sentence on Friday, January 27, 2006, at 10:15 A.M. at the District Court in Vrbovec.

Sentencing Ostoja Babic for having committed his monstrous crime is the first case of punishing a person for abusing animals in Zagreb and one of the rare cases in Croatia. It is also a historical moment, which could become a precedent for regular punishment of crimes against animals in Croatia, since torturers and murderers of animals are dangerous for the entire community in which they live.

Therefore, our organization is of the opinion that there is an urgent need of passing a new Animal Welfare Act, which would stipulate severe penalties for torturing, abusing, or murdering animals.

Ostoja Babic in front of the court in Vrbovec



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