Higher Court in Belgrade rejected an application to rehabilitate quisling Prime Minister of occupied Serbia during World War II, Milan Nedić.
According to Večernje novosti, the Court took the decision on the 11thof June and the ruling will be available on its webpage.
Trial lasted for whole three years and the first out of a total of twelve hearings took place back in December 2015. Application for rehabilitation of Nedić, who is treated as a “biological guardian of the substance of Serbian people” even by elementary school books, was filed by the Serbian Liberal Association (Srpski liberalni savet) and The Association of Political Prisoners and Victims of the Communist Regime (Udruženje političkih zatvorenika i žrtava komunističkog režima), as well as the Nedić family.
The hearings were accompanied by numerous protests of organisations and individuals who stood against rehabilitation of both Nedić and fascism, as well as counter-protests of Right Wing and nationalist organisations who supported it.
Nedić was Prime Minister of Serbia from August 1941 to October 1944. The claimants tried to prove throughout the whole judicial process that the during the rule of the collaborationist government war camps had not been built, mass executions had not been organised, and that international conventions had not been broken. They also claimed that, to the contrary, Nedić had saved hundreds of thousands of Serbs from NDH (The Independent State of Croatia), as well as communists against whom he had waged war.
After rehabilitation of Draža Mihailović, this relativisation of fascism within legal framework has probably been the most obvious, but also the most symbolically significant one since the outset of rehabilitation of Right Wing and collaborationist forces.
If the rehabilitation was accepted by the Court, it would have set ground for restitution of the Nedić family property in Belgrade, parts of which are an allotment on Slavija square, where a building belonging to the National Bank of Serbia is currently located, as well as a major part of Zemunski park, without questioning the origin of such property or justice within a society where minority owns the majority of a common good.
The claimants have the right to make an appeal to the Appellate Court in Belgrade against the Higher Court’s decision to reject the application stating that ‘Milan Nedić was a victim of political and ideological persecution and was thus unlawfully apprehended” as ungrounded.
Translation from Serbian: Ivana Anđelković
This article was originally published in Serbian on July 26, 2018.