The war crimes prosecutor’s office said in a statement that there was not sufficient evidence to back the charges against Tihomir Purda and two other suspects.

Serbia on Thursday dropped the case against a Croatian war veteran, which has strained post-war relations between former foes.

The war crimes prosecutor’s office said in a statement that there was not sufficient evidence to back the charges against Tihomir Purda and two other suspects.

Purda was arrested in Bosnia in January on a Serbian warrant accusing him of war crimes against the sick and wounded in eastern Croatia during the 1991—95 war. The 1991 war erupted when Croatia declared independence from Serb—led Yugoslavia.

A Bosnian court recently approved Purda’s extradition to Serbia, despite protests from the Croatian government.

In Croatia, parliament speaker Luka Bebic said Serbia’s decision was “expected” though it took too long, while Croat veteran groups defiantly said they “needed no amnesty from Serbia.”

The veterans announced they will continue with protests, initially sparked by Purda’s arrest but which have morphed into anti—government gatherings.

Last weekend, hundreds clashed with police on the sidelines of an otherwise peaceful veteran rally attended by some 15,000 people.

In Serbia, the prosecutors explained that the initial proceedings were flawed. The prosecutors said they questioned 44 witnesses before deciding to drop the case.

“The proceedings that were conducted by the military bodies in 1999 were not carried out in accordance with the standards for war crimes cases,” the statement said.

It was not immediately clear when Purda will be released from the Bosnian jail.

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