Croatian historians Josip Jurcevic and Hrvoje Klasic on Wednesday commented on a conviction of former Yugoslav intelligence agents Josip Perkovic and Zdravko Mustac by the High Regional Court in Munich, underscoring that this opened the door to researching archival material which until now had been inaccessible to researchers.

"The conviction was expected based on the documents and witnesses in the trial," Jurcevic told Hina, recalling that defence counsel Anto Nobilo had yesterday predicted a guilty verdict.

Jurcevic assessed that even to this day UDBA (Yugoslav secret agency) was still deeply embedded in all institutions and networks which were established in the 1990s by Perkovic and Mustac, adding that the entire apparatus, particularly security services, were in the hands of those who in the 1990s were the most ardent persecutors of supporters of Croatian democratic ideas.

According to Jurcevic, the conviction is a precedent on a global scale even though a legal-political scandal occurred in 2013 immediately upon Croatia's accession to the European Union when the entire state leadership, together with the then president Ivo Josipovic, the entire government headed by Zoran Milanovic and the State Prosecution (DORH) headed then by Mladen Bajic, refused to extradite Perkovic and Mustac to Germany.

Speaking in an interview with the N1 television channel,  Klasic said that this is just another in a series of convictions that has aroused different reactions.

"The conviction at a foreign court that no-one in Croatia recognises is the acquittal of Vojislav Seselj. We also have the revised conviction of Alojzije Stepinac (Zagreb Cardinal in WWII) which led to a series of reactions due to the mere legal implications and not Stepinac's historical role. We also have the conviction against Perkovic and Mustac. Just how beneficial it is to face up to the past...Croatian society is showing some progress even though I believe that it should be better and in a different way. The conviction is just one aspect that helps in facing it. It is necessary to call on historians to start analysing the past, what happened but not unilaterally, nothing is black and white. We must not use history as a self-service which we enter only when we need to and to get just what we want," Klasic said.

Former Yugoslav intelligence agents Josip Perkovic and Zdravko Mustac were convicted by a Munich court on Wednesday for complicity in the murder of Croatian emigrant Stjepan Djurekovic in 1983 and were sentenced to life.

Related stories

Spanish court releases Sindicic

Perkovic, Mustac found guilty, sentenced to life

HDZ founders say Perkovic, Mustac weren't among them

Perkovic remains behind bars; Karamarko won't testify

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.