News 21 Jan 14

Croatia Court Approves Yugoslav Spy Chief Extradition

The supreme court ruled that former Yugoslav intelligence official Josip Perkovic could be extradited to Germany to face charges over the killing of a Croatian dissident in the 1980s.

BIRN

The court ruled that Perkovic could be sent to Germany to be prosecuted over the murder of Stjepan Djurekovic near Munich in 1983, allegedly by the Yugoslav intelligence services, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The supreme court has dismissed as unfounded the appeal by Josip Perkovic against his extradition,” the statement said.

However Perkovic can still appeal to the constitutional court against his extradition.

Another secret service chief from the Yugoslav period who is wanted in connection with the murder, Zdravko Mustac, will not be sent to Germany to face prosecution, another court in Velika Gorica in Croatia ruled earlier this month, citing the statute of limitations.

The Perkovic case has caused controversy because Croatia last year refused to change its extradition law to adopt the use of European arrest warrants – a move alleged to have been an attempt to shield Perkovic – until Zagreb was threatened with sanctions by Brussels and reversed its stance.

Perkovic helped set up Croatia’s intelligence service as Yugoslavia was breaking up in the early 1990s and held top security posts in the country after that.

Both Perkovic and Mustac have claimed that they were the victims of false testimony given by former Yugoslav agent Vinko Sindicic.

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