Mustač Extradited to Croatia, Taken to Remetinec Prison

By 29 November 2019

ZAGREB, November 29, 2019 - Former Yugoslav and Croatian intelligence official Zdravko Mustač, who was sentenced by a German court with another Croatian intelligence official, Josip Perković, for involvement in the murder of dissident Stjepan Đureković, was extradited to Croatia on Thursday afternoon.

Mustač arrived in Zagreb aboard a regular flight from Munich around 12:45 and around 14:15 he was admitted to the diagnostics centre of Zagreb's Remetinec Prison. After a medical check-up, he will be transferred to a penitentiary where he will serve the rest of his 40-year prison term.

In late October, Croatia's Supreme Court rejected Mustač's last appeal and his attorney said then that she expected that he could be transferred from Germany to a Croatian prison in about 30 days.

The Supreme Court had rejected as inadmissible Mustač's appeal against its decision upholding an earlier ruling by a Velika Gorica court that Mustač should serve a 40-year prison term to which his verdict by a German court, sentencing him and his associate Perković to life imprisonment for the 1983 murder of Stjepan Đureković, was converted.

The Supreme Court ruled that Mustač's last appeal was inadmissible because the procedure in question concerned the recognition and execution of a foreign court's verdict in line with a special law.

Together with the 77-year-old Mustač, the 74-year-old Perković, too, was convicted by the German court for the same crime and he was transferred to Croatia on July 11.

Even though the German court delivered the same verdict for the two former intelligence officials, the Zagreb County Court, which was in charge of Perković as his residence was in Zagreb, ruled in line with national legislation that he should serve a 30-year prison term. Perković is currently behind bars in Glina.

In August 2016 a Munich court sentenced Perković and Mustač to life imprisonment for their roles in the murder of Đureković, who was killed by as yet unknown perpetrators in Wolfratshausen outside Munich in July 1983.

They both pleaded not guilty and after the German court's verdict they turned to the European Court of Human Rights which they expect to order a new trial.

Mustač's attorney Lidija Horvat recalled that in July 2019 the defence had also filed a complaint of unconstitutionality against the Velika Gorica court ruling and the Supreme Court ruling which imposed and upheld a 40-year prison term against Mustač.

Horvat said they believed that the Croatian courts erroneously applied European law and had therefore asked the Constitutional Court to address the European Court of Justice on the matter of application of the principle of mutual recognition of rulings in criminal cases, to see if by converting the German court's verdict the Croatian courts should have borne in mind that the punishment should not be harsher than it would be if the accused served it in the country where the verdict was handed down.

She recalled in that context that in Germany, where they were sentenced, Mustač and Perković would be granted a so-called obligatory conditional release after 15 years in prison.

More news about the case can be found in the Politics section.