What were Yugoslavian agents up to in Germany?

The state court in Munich has sentenced the former spies for Yugoslavia Josip Perković und Zdravko Mustac to life in prison for their complicity in the murder of a Croat dissident in July 1983. Much remains to be done before the series of murders of dissidents carried out in Germany by the Yugoslavian secret service is completely clarified, journalists point out.

Open/close all quotes
Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

No investigation into the German authorities' complicity

The murderers of the Croat dissident were condemned but many details of the series of murders in Germany that stretched over almost two decades still remain unclear today, the Süddeutsche Zeitung criticises:

“There is every indication that German security services knew that the Yugoslavian secret service was hunting down dissidents here. So why did they just stand by and look on? And did that further encourage the killers? The Munich higher regional court has conducted an exemplary investigation into one of the murders in this series. However the Federal German Bar has proven to be the representative of a state that has little interest in investigating its own failures. Naturally it was not the German state that was on trial, but two Croatian ex-secret service agents whose defence lawyers weren't tough enough to start questioning the German prosecutors about their conspicuous silence. And the accessory prosecution was simply glad that the case had come to trial at all after such a long time.”

Novi list (HR) /

Judgement aimed at concealing German involvement

The Croatian paper Novi list suspects that the conviction is a diversionary tactic by the Germans:

“What prevented Germany from putting these liquidators on trial in 1983? Why didn't the sovereign and powerful German state send a note of protest to Belgrade, summon its ambassadors and accuse the communist Yugoslavia of international terrorism before the UN? … Yes, we, but the Germans too, should open the archives and examine how and why the secret services worked together. Why would the BND [the German intelligence service] help a Yugoslav dissident if he wasn't on their payroll? And who knows how many more in this case are still on the BND's payroll? This conviction wasn't about clearing up Đureković's murder. It was about washing clean the hands and conscience of powerful Germany after it worked together with Tito's socialist Yugoslavia behind the Iron Curtain.”