News 26 Oct 12

NGO Appeals Decision on Ex-Chetnik Leader's Death

A Serbian NGO has appealed a court decision which specifies the official date of death of the WW2 Chetnik leader, Dragoslav Draza Mihailovic, saying that it may endanger his ongoing rehabilitation process.

Marija Ristic
BIRN
Belgrade

The Serbian Liberal Council, a Belgrade based NGO, has filed an appeal against the court’s decision, rendered on September 17, to accept July 31, 1946,  as the official date of Mihailovic’s death.

Establishing the official date of Mihailovic’s death was the main precondition for his rehabilitation process to continue.

However, group of people and organizations, including the Serbian Liberal Council, who instigated the process for Mihailovic’s rehabilitation, claim that the former Chetnik leader was shot on July 17, 1946, immediately after the trial when the court sentenced him to death for high treason and war crimes.

Aleksandar Nedic, the secretary of the Liberal Council, says that they filed a request for rehabilitation in order to prove that he had an unfair trial and that he was not given time to appeal the verdict as he was executed right after the trial.

“Now, when the court ruled that he died almost 15 days later, there is a room for speculation that he had been given time to appeal his verdict,” Nedic said.

“No one explained to us why is this date used, as we know that there was an order from the communist government that the sentence needs to be carried out within 48 hours,” he added.

The NGO fears that confusion over date of death would make the ongoing rehabilitation more complicated.

The rehabilitation of Dragoslav Mihailovic has caused controversy both in Serbia and the region, as human right activist claim that the authorities are tried to rewrite history and marginalize the partisan [communist] movement in the Second World War.

 

 

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