News 22 Apr 15

Yugoslav Spy Trial Witness Alleges Intimidation

A witness in the trial of two former Yugoslav secret service officials accused of staging the 1983 murder of a dissident in Germany has alleged that the Croatian authorities threatened him.

Sven Milekic
BIRN
Zagreb
Perkovic (left) and Mustac in court in Munich. Photo: Beta.

Mario Eterovic, a prosecution witness in the trial in Munich of the former head of the Yugoslav secret service, Zdravko Mustac, and his subordinate Josip Perkovic, has informed Zagreb county court that he received threats not to reveal too much while testifying, Croatian media reported on Wednesday.

Etreovic claimed that even before receiving a subpoena from the court, a representative of the Croatian authorities contacted him and said that he should watch what he said at the German trial because he has to return to Croatia afterwards.

He also claimed that while handing him the subpoena, a court official intimidated him by saying he was actually getting “a summons to prison”.

After Eterovic’s complaint, Croatian police contacted their German counterparts to get assurances that he would be safe when he goes to Munich to testify in June.

Analysts have suggested that the trial of Mustac and Perkovic could expose the past crimes and continued influence of intelligence service officials in Croatia.

The two former Yugoslav state security service officials are on trial for allegedly organising the assassination of a Croatian political émigré called Stjepan Djurekovic near Munich in July 1983. Both have pleaded not guilty.

At the time of the murder, Eterovic was undergoing military training with the Yugoslav People’s Army, in which he served as the personal driver of general Jere Grubisic, who was the head of the federal security department.

Eterovic has claimed that on the day of Djurekovic’s assassination, Grubisic told him some details about the incident and that he overheard Grubisic talking about it on a two-way radio.

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