“I do not know what President Zoran Milanović will decide, but I do know that Franjo Tuđman, if he were still alive, would pardon them both and (the late defence minister) Gojko Šušak would be the first on the list of generals to sign it,” Nobilo told the press.
Perković and Mustač’s legal representative said he no longer had an active role in this case and that they would have to wait for a decision on a possible pardon. He said he expected the decision to be made within a reasonable period of time, “a week or two.”
Nobilo said he was aware of Milanović’s statement that generally he would not sign a pardon, adding that there was a possibility of an exception.
The lawyer said this case was an exception because Perković and Mustač had found themselves caught between “non-harmonised German and Croatian judicial systems.”
He said they would have been sentenced to 15 years in prison had they been tried in Croatia. “When an injustice is done in legitimate proceedings, there is the institute of pardon to ensure justice in exceptional cases.”
A letter of support for a pardon has been signed by retired Croatian Army generals Ante Gotovina, Ivan Čermak, Ljubo Ćesić Rojs, Pavao Miljavac, Davor Domazet Lošo and Marinko Krešić, Krešić has later withdrawn his signature, as did General Krešimir Ćosić before him.
Media say that the retired generals believe Perković and Mustač deserve a pardon on account of their contribution to the defence of Croatia during the 1991-1995 Homeland War.
President Milanović’s Office said they had received the request for a pardon this morning and that the President would speak to the generals, but there would be no special meeting on this matter.
Perković and Mustač were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Munich court in August 2016 for aiding and abetting in the murder of Croatian political emigrant Stjepan Đureković in Wolfratshausen, outside Munich, on 28 July 1983.
At the time relevant to the indictment, Mustač was the political chief of the State Security Service in Zagreb, while Perković headed a department dealing with political emigrants. In the spring of 1982, Mustač ordered Perković to prepare the murder of Đureković in Germany.