Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Plenković Says Request to Pardon Perković, Mustač Orchestrated Action

ZAGREB, 20 April 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday a request for the pardon of Josip Perković and Zdravko Mustač was an "orchestrated action" which had caused rifts among the generals, war veterans and "the Croatians in general."

"Croatia has seen many orchestrated actions, this is one of them," he said in parliament during Question Time.

Plenković recalled that President Zoran Milanović had said in his presidential campaign that he would not use the institute of pardon and that he had not responded to any of the 275 pardon requests forwarded by the Justice Ministry.

Plenković said the government had no authority over the pardon requests for Perković and Mustač, former Yugoslav and Croatian intelligence officials. He said his HDZ party was against pardoning them.

"This is a big weakness of the one who had to submit the request, that's the legal representative or the family, and perhaps mostly the weakness of the one who has been silent all the time and waiting to see what we will all say about it, that the one who, under the Constitution, is the only one authorised to grant pardons," Plenković said, alluding to the president.

Commenting on MP Hrvoje Zekanović's remark that Milanović was "the spokesman for the Kremlin," Plenković said the Russian invasion of Ukraine began 56 days ago and that he sent a letter to Milanović on 24 February, requesting a session of the National Security Council.

"There has been no answer", he said. "Croatia is the only EU member state whose National Security Council has not met since the aggression began".

OECD accession

Responding to HDZ MP Gari Cappelli's question about Croatia's bid to join the (OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said it was one of the strategic priorities alongside joining the Schengen and euro areas.

"Joining the OECD would mean a lot for Croatia, first and foremost for national reform, for improving the investment climate and corporate management of state-owned companies, and for the fight against corruption in international business transactions".

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Mustač Extradited to Croatia, Taken to Remetinec Prison

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.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Leaders of Communist-Era Intelligence Service Found Guilty for Assassination of Croatian Emigrant

Josip Perković and Zdravko Mustač took part in organizing the assassination of Croatian emigrant Stjepan Đureković in 1983.