Cardinal Stepinac was convicted by a court after the Second World War.
On Friday, the Zagreb County Court will decide, at the request of family members, on a revision of the trial against Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, who was sentenced by the communist authorities to 16 years of prison and forced labour and five years of loss of civil and political rights, reports Index.hr on July 19, 2016.
The court panel that will decide on the revision will be chaired by Judge Ivan Turudić, and the session will start at 10 am. Court spokesperson Ratko Ščekić confirmed that the revision had been requested by Stepinac’s nephew. “The panel can grant the request and make a decision that is then delivered to the parties, and on Friday we will know whether the necessary conditions have been met”, said Ščekić.
Stepinac was accused in September 1946 by the then Public Prosecutor of the People’s Republic of Croatia, based on the “Law on Crimes against the People and the State”. He was accused of cooperating with Italian and German occupiers and the Ustasha regime during the Independent State of Croatia, forced Catholization of Orthodox people, for helping the Ustasha regime, and for enemy propaganda after the war. The verdict was announced on 11 October 1946 by the Supreme Court, which found him guilty of all charges.
In February 1992, Croatian Parliament adopted the “Declaration Condemning Political Process and Verdict against Cardinal Stepinac”, which states that he was condemned in a show trial “because he refused, on the orders of communist rulers, to separate Catholic Church of Croats from Rome and the Vatican”.
The revision process is conducted under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act of 2009, which provides that persons who were sentenced by courts of the former Yugoslavia for politically motivated crimes or other offenses can ask for their trials to undergo a revision process. If it is determined that there are reasons for the revision, the Court will “annul in whole or in part the contested verdict”.