Former Yugoslav and Croatian Intelligence Officials to Serve Prison Sentence in Croatia

By 5 December 2018

ZAGREB, December 5, 2018 - Yugoslav-era Croatian intelligence officials Josip Perković and Zdravko Mustač could be brought to Croatia in January to serve their prison sentences, Perković's attorney Anto Nobilo said on Wednesday after the Croatian judiciary received the German ruling which convicted them to life for involvement in the assassination of Croatian dissident Stjepan Đureković.

The ruling must be adjusted to Croatia's legal system. Zagreb County Court will decide on Perković's punishment and Velika Gorica County Court on Mustač's, said the Zagreb court spokesman Krešimir Devčić.

Since there is no life imprisonment in Croatia, Nobilo said the law most favourable to the convicts should be applied that was also valid at the time of the Đureković assassination in 1983. Although the maximum sentence at the time was 20 years, it was handed down only as a replacement of the death penalty, so no more than 15 years can be given for murder, he added.

Upon arriving in Croatia, Perković and Mustač will first be placed at Zagreb's Remetinec prison and then to another penitentiary.

This past May, the German supreme court in Karlsruhe upheld life imprisonment for Perković and Mustač for their roles in the Đureković assassination.

In August 2016, a Munich court sentenced Perković and Mustač to life imprisonment finding them responsible for the murder of Đureković, who was killed by still unidentified perpetrators in Wolfratshausen, outside Munich, in July 1983.

It was proved during the trial that Perković and Mustač, senior officers of the Yugoslav secret service, had organised Đureković's assassination.

The main motive for the murder was the elimination of a political opponent of the communist regime, the trial chamber of the High Regional Court in Munich said in the reasoning of the conviction.

For more on the former Yugoslavia and Croatis status in it, click here.