Perkovic remains behind bars; Karamarko won't testify

Germany's Federal Court of Justice dismissed an appeal by Josip Perkovic's defence team against a Munich court ruling rejecting a request by Perkovic to be released on bail during his ongoing trial, Perkovic's lawyer Ante Nobilo told Hina, adding that Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko will not testify at this trial.

According to an explanation provided by a Zagreb County Court spokesman, a summons to Karamarko requesting his testimony as a witness was sent from Germany to this Croatian court a month ago. However, the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), whose director Karamarko used to be, did not allow him to take the witness stand in this case.

"The (Zagreb) court has notified the court in Munich via the Justice Ministry in that regard (no permission)," the spokesman Kresimir Devcic said.

When asked by reporters last week about his possible testimony, Karamarko said that the security agency had not permitted him to testify in this case.

"The agency has forbidden me to testify,"Karamarko said then.

Former Yugoslav and Croatian intelligence agents Josip Perkovic and Zdravko Mustac are on trial for the murder of Stjepan Djurekovic, an exiled dissident, near Munich in 1983. The two are charged with complicity to murder.

Regarding the rejection of Perkovic's appeal for his release, Nobilo said that the Federal Court of Justice did not provide any particular explanation.

Perkovic and Mustac, who were extradited from Croatia to Germany in January and April 2014 respectively, are standing trial before the Higher Regional Court in Munich.

Mustac is charged with having ordered Perkovic in Zagreb or somewhere else, before 29 July 1983, when Djurekovic was murdered, to prepare the assassination of the Croat dissident.

Perkovic is charged with having knowingly helped as yet unidentified perpetrators, in Luxembourg and elsewhere, in the commission of the murder. He is accused, among other things, of providing an unknown perpetrator with the key to a garage where Djurekovic was assassinated.

Their trial continued on Tuesday when testimonies by witnesses and records were read out.

During today's session, the presiding judge, Manfred Dauster, expressed surprise at the decision by Croatia's authorities to forbid Karamarko and another former SOA agent, Miroslav Music, to testify in this trial.

"We have the statement from the Croatian Justice Ministry reading that Music and Karamarko were not allowed by SOA to testify. I am really surprised as many other SOA employees have already testified in this trial," Dauster said.

Karamarko was due to take the witness stand today.

Last update: Thu, 23/06/2016 - 15:40


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