Yugoslav Secret Service Officials to Serve Prison Sentence in Croatia

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ZAGREB, May 29, 2018 – Two Yugoslav-era Croatian intelligence officials Josip Perković and Zdravko Mustać will serve their sentences in Croatia for their roles in the 1983 murder of Croatian dissident Stjepan Đureković, after the German supreme court in Karlsruhe delivered a final ruling in early May.

Attorney Siniša Pavlović, who is representing the Đureković family, told Hina that the convicts would be transferred to Croatia because they had been extradited to Germany on the condition that once a final ruling was delivered they would be returned to Croatia to serve their sentences.

“That is something that everyone has forgotten,” Pavlović said and added that during the extradition procedure the Croatian courts asked the two suspects if they wanted to be returned to Croatia after the trial and they agreed to be extradited on the condition that they were returned to Croatia.

Considering the fact that Croatia’s legislation doesn’t recognise life imprisonment, the relevant courts are supposed to convert the German sentence into the maximum sentence in Croatia, which is 20 years imprisonment, Pavlović said.

Perković’s Croatian lawyer Ante Nobilo too said that it was only a technical matter of when Perković and Mustać would be returned to Croatia considering that Germany had agreed to Croatia’s condition on the extradition.

Pavlović added that the sentence against Perković and Mustać was to have been expected. “Since the first ruling, we have been saying that the chances of it being overturned were next to none. After one year and ten months this has turned out to be true. The supreme court in Karlsruhe rejected a review of the case as irrelevant,” Pavlović said.

Nobilo, however, announced a complaint to the European Court for Human Rights on the grounds of the lack of right to an impartial court and fair trial. Nobilo’s main argument is that Judge Dauster, who presided over the trial chamber, had previously presided over a trial chamber that convicted Krunoslav Prates, whose guilt could only be confirmed by convicting Perković, which meant that he anticipated his guilt. Nobilo claims that Dauster should have been excluded from the Perković-Mustać case.

Commenting on the possible complaint, Pavlović said that that was normal because the defence wanted to do what was best for their client, adding that he didn’t believe the complaint would succeed and that Mustać himself described the trial as fair and proper.


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