Ex-Yugoslav spy chief in dock over Germany murder

17th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

A former Yugoslav spy chief and one of his top agents went on trial in Germany Friday over the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil.

Prosecutors accuse Zdravko Mustac, 72, and 69-year-old Josip Perkovic of complicity in the murder of Stjepan Djurekovic who was opposed to Yugoslavia's then communist regime.

Both accused were extradited from Croatia earlier this year in a case that sparked a row between the European Union and its newest member.

The trial at the upper district court in the southern city of Munich revolves around the killing of Djurekovic in a garage that was used as a print office in the Bavarian town of Wolfratshausen more than 31 years ago.

He was shot multiple times and hit with a cleaver by three still unidentified people, according to the prosecution case.

Mustac is accused of having given the orders, while Perkovic allegedly undertook the planning.

Prosecutors say the motive was to silence Djurekovic who had information about alleged illegal business dealings by the son of a leading Yugoslav politician.

A Croatian man has already been sentenced to life imprisonment in the case in 2008.

Three days before joining the EU on July 1 last year, Croatia changed its law on the use of the European Arrest Warrant, which regulates extradition between EU member states.

The law had made it impossible to extradite persons wanted for crimes committed before August 2002 -- the date the European warrant was introduced.

The move soured ties with the bloc and Zagreb finally amended the law in October.

© 2014 AFP

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