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Sentenced “For ideological and political reasons”? The rehabilitation of Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović in Serbia

Author(s): Dulić Tomislav

Journal: Sociologija
ISSN 0038-0318

Volume: 54;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 625;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: History | historiography | Second World War | genocide | war crimes | international law | rehabilitation | Mihailović | Yugoslavia | Serbia

The author analyses the current process pertaining to the legal rehabilitation of Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović, the leader of the Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland, by first placing the process in relation to European-wide trends of coming to terms with the past. He then moves to a discussion of the Serbian law on rehabilitation, where he points to a number of contradictions and inconsistencies, particularly with regard to the issue of whether war criminals can be rehabilitated. The author then turns to a historical analysis of Mihailović’s wartime activities, with particular emphasis on the issues of treason and war crimes. It is the author’s main argument that Mihailović became embroiled in various forms of collusion with the enemy, although these varied considerably over time. More importantly, however, Mihailović violated a number of legal principles of international humanitarian law, which means that he would have been sentenced today by any court applying the highest international standards of due process. While this would make him ineligible for rehabilitation according to recent political statements and the law of 2011, complications might arise due to the fact that Mihailović’s case will be heard in accordance with a previous law from 2006.
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