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zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Denis CERIĆ / mm

The president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Zoran Milanovic, said on Wednesday he was shocked by the judgement against former members of the Yugoslav and the Croatian intelligence services Josip Perkovic and Zdravko Mustac whom a court in Munich earlier today found guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of Croatian emigrant Stjepan Djurekovic in Germany in 1983, sentencing them both to life in prison.

"I am shocked by that verdict," the SDP chief said.

"If that is true, these people were given the mildest possible sentence. I am sorry that this has not been decided in Croatia," Milanovic said.

"I am shocked to see that people who obtained a passport for Franjo Tudjman, who enjoyed his trusts, (the trust of) Gojko Susak, (Tomislav) Karamarko, all Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) members, who were among the founders of the party to be denounced in the end as Udba executors. This is terrible and it speaks about the HDZ as a party and this is clearly something the HDZ needs to voice its opinion about," Milanovic said.

"(...) I have always advocated and I will continue to advocate equal treatment for all Croatian citizens in the extradition process and especially when they are on trial for such delicate matters. I am shock by the verdict. That is the mildest word that I can use. I am entirely sincere. I did not believe that people like this were in the immediate proximity and the closest associates of the founder of the HDZ and together with him they formed the HDZ. This says a lot and if this is the main Croatian party that this isn't good," Milanovic said.

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