Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Two Former Yugoslav, Croatian Intelligence Officials Sue Germany

ZAGREB, November 13, 2018 - Yugoslav-era Croatian intelligence officials Josip Perković and Zdravko Mustač have sued Germany at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, alleging that a German court did not give them a fair trial for their involvement in the 1983 murder of Croatian dissident Stjepan Đureković, and although the two convicts should have already been transferred to Croatia to serve their sentences, neither their lawyers nor Croatian institutions know when that may happen.

Germany has not forwarded any documents to Croatia regarding Perković and Mustač, whose transfer was made conditional on their serving their sentence in Croatia. According to unofficial sources, the Croatian Justice Ministry has no information on the case either.

Perković's attorney Anto Nobilo has told Hina that he was told by a German judge in charge of the enforcement of sentences that the German Justice Ministry had been instructed to transfer Perković and Mustač to Croatia to serve their sentences. "We have a document to that effect, but no one is acting on it. I have written to the German Justice Ministry to expedite the matter but have not received any reply yet," said Nobilo.

Once the requested documents arrive in Croatia, the Zagreb County Court will align the sentence with Croatian laws, which means that Perković and Mustač should receive the highest sentence under the law that is most favourable for them, and such a law dates back to the time of the murder for which they were convicted.

Even though the highest sentence at the time was 20 years' imprisonment, it was delivered exclusively to replace the death penalty so a sentence of not more than 15 years' imprisonment can be delivered for murder, said Nobilo.

He recalled that under the German court's verdict "despite the declarative life imprisonment, Perković should be released on 20 January 2028,” and that he did not expect a Croatian court to be any harsher.

Attorneys for intelligence officials Perković and Mustač, who have been warning from the start that their clients' rights have been violated, expect a possible new trial in Germany, if the European Court of Human Rights rules that their right to a fair trial was breached.

Mustač's attorney Lidija Horvat said the recently filed lawsuit was received by the European Court of Human Rights and that she expected it to pass the first triage. She added that it would be known in a few months' time if the lawsuit would be rejected, and that if it was accepted, a first-instance ruling would be known in two years at the earliest.

The defence believes that the main argument that intelligence officers Perković and Mustač did not have a fair trial lies in the fact that the same judges who tried them had first tried Krunoslav Prates, who was sentenced to life in prison for the same crime, the same sentence delivered in the case against Perković and Mustač.

They also underline that presiding judge Manfred Dauster did not give a statement about his involvement in the previous case even though he was obliged to do so under German law, and that he was personally biased, showing benevolence towards witnesses for the prosecution and having an aggressive attitude to the witnesses for the defence.

For more on relations between Croatia and Germany, click here.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Josip Broz Tito’s Birthday Celebrated in Kumrovec

ZAGREB, May 27, 2018 - Several thousand people gathered in Kumrovec, northwestern Croatia, on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of the Yugoslav communist leader, Josip Broz Tito, which had been known during his rule as the Youth Day.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Man Uses Truck to Destroy Flower Bed Because It Reminds Him of Five-Pointed Star

The flower bed actually represents the local tourist board.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Conference on Communist Past Starts in Zagreb

ZAGREB, April 24, 2018 - A conference and roundtable discussion entitled "Between Fear and the Truth - Facing the Communist Past in Southeast Europe", organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation from Bucharest and the Croatian Catholic University from Zagreb, started in Zagreb on Tuesday, with speakers warning that compared to neighbouring countries, Croatia has not adopted an institutional framework to resolve that problem.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Slovenia to Establish Memorial Centre at Site Where Croats Were Executed after WWII

ZAGREB, March 5, 2018 - Huda Jama, a post-WWII Communist mass execution site in an abandoned mine near Celje, Slovenia, is to be transformed into a memorial centre open to visitors who will be informed about victims of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Tito-led Partisans.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Deadline Approaching for Government’s Historical Commission

The commission, which should issue recommendations regarding views on the Second World War and communist period, has just four more days to adopt conclusions. It has not met since November.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Pre-1990 State Archives to Be Opened

On Thursday, Parliament adopted amendments to the Law on Archive Materials and Archives.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

More People Support Ban on Communist Symbols than on Ustasha Slogan

A survey brings interesting results.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

18% of Croatians Regret the Disintegration of Yugoslavia

Interesting results from a survey about loyalties to newly-established states in former Yugoslavia.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Government to Establish a Historical Commission

The commission is supposed to discuss historical and ideological issues.

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