Serbia issues warrant for "deceased WW2 Ustasha"

Interpol's office in Serbia issued an international arrest warrant for Nada Šakić, 85, for suspected involvement in WW2 mass murder of Serbs, Jews and Roma.

Source: Beta, Vreme, Tanjug
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However, reports on Friday said that Šakić died in Zagreb, Croatia, in February of this year, and was buried there.

Šakić was a member of the fascist Independent State of Croatia (NDH) Ustasha regime, which had set up death camps in Stara Gradiška and Jasenovac.

The concentration camps were the places of slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Romas.

"The Serbian Ministry of Justice has not been officially informed about her death. Our information came from representatives of the media. Serbia will ask for official confirmation from Croatia, and if the information proves to be true, we are sorry that she evaded justice and the punishment she deserves," State Secretary with the Serbian Ministry of Justice Slobodan Homen told Tanjug on Friday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Homen said the ministry "had given its consent to issue the warrant for Šakić, who has been under investigation in Serbia on charged of genocide since 1998".

Šakić, a Croat who escaped to Argentina after the war and received that country's citizenship, was charged with torturing prisoners at the Stara Gradiška camp and participating in the murder of several thousand women by means of suffocation or slitting of their throats.

She was also suspected of ordering that the female prisoners in Jasenovac be given very little food, which caused their deaths.

In April 1945, she ordered the execution of all surviving women and children, according to the indictment.

Nada Šakić was the half-sister of Vjekoslav Maks Luburić, the founder of the Jasenovac death camp, and wife of Dinko Šakić, the camp's commander.

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ) requested her extradition from Argentina in 1998. But the Croatian judiciary was faster and won the right to prosecute her.

However, the District Prosecution in Zagreb dismissed the war crimes case against her due to a lack of evidence.

After this, Nada Šakić took Croatian citizenship and decided not to return to Argentina, as the South American country could still have extradited her to Belgrade, while the Croatian constitution prohibits extradition of Croatian citizens.

In this way she was free and safe in Zagreb, until her reported death earlier this year.

Her husband Dinko Šakić was put on trial and found guilty of committing war crimes by the Zagreb District Court in 1999, and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Accused of failing to prevent the torture and murder of prisoners or punish Ustashas under his command, and of personally killing four prisoners and directly ordering the hanging of 22 more civilians, Šakić served his prison sentence in a luxury cell, with his own TV and computer so that he could write a memoir. He was also granted the right to visit his wife Nada several times a month.

The Šakićs were welcomed with cheers by a group of neo-Ustashas as they returned to Croatia for trial in the late 1990s, while Croatian President Franjo Tuđman is said to have had a friendly encounter with them while on a visit to Argentina.

According to media reports, Dinko Šakić was also involved in organizing shipments of weapons to Croatia from Argentina.

He died in 2008 aged 87, in a Zagreb prison hospital.

Some estimates say that as many as 20,000 Ustasha fascists escaped to Argentina after the Second World War.

Nada Šakić's half-brother Maks Luburić - considered one of the murderous Ustasha regime's most extreme leaders - also never faced justice in a courtroom, and spent decades after the war traveling freely as a champion and organizer of Ustashas abroad.

Luburić's life ended in 1969, in his villa in Spain. Croat emigrants claim that he was killed by a man they identified as Ilija Stanić - an agent of the Yugoslav intelligence service UDBA.

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