News 28 Mar 14

Former Yugoslav Agent Faces Extradition to Germany

A court ruled that ex-spy chief Zdravko Mustac, wanted in Germany for his alleged involvement in a murder carried out by the Yugoslav secret services, can be extradited.

Josip Ivanovic
Zdravko Mustac. Photo: Beta

The council of the county court in the northern Croatian city of Varazdin ruled on Thursday that Mustac, who is wanted in connection with the killing of Stjepan Djurekovic, a political emigre allegedly assassinated by the Yugoslav secret services near Munich in 1983, can be sent to Germany to stand trial.

“The court finds that the statute of limitations cannot be considered as a reason to refuse the request for the extradition of the wanted person,” explained Igor Pavlic, the vice-president of the court council.

Mustac’s lawyer Lidija Horvat said however that she still hoped that extradition could be prevented.

“We demanded from the supreme court that all further actions be stopped and we are waiting for its response,” Horvat said.

The extradition case had been transferred from a court in Velika Gorica that ruled in mid-January that Mustac should not be extradited. The decision came as a surprise after a Zagreb court ruled the previous day that another ex-intelligence official suspected of the involvement in the same killing, Josip Perkovic, should be extradited.

However, the supreme court overturned the Velika Gorica court’s decision and the case was sent to Varazdin in earlier this month.

Sinisa Pavlovic, the legal representative of the victim’s widow, Gisela Djurekovic, expressed satisfaction with the court's decision.

“The court has explained its decision with the expected arguments,” said Pavlovic.

The court spokesperson explained that the procedure in such cases gives a three-day period for appeals to the supreme court.

Perkovic has already been extradited to Germany to face the charges against him after his appeal to Croatia’s constitutional court failed.

The Djurekovic murder case 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.

The case also caused a political row in Croatia, and Zagreb’s initial unwillingness to extradite Perkovic is believed to have angered the German government.

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