STA, 8 January - The Supreme Court has annulled the death sentence of Slovenian general Leon Rupnik (1880-1946), who collaborated with the occupying forces during World War II, on an appeal from his relative, and sent the case to the Ljubljana District Court for retrial, the newspapers Dnevnik and Večer reported on Wednesday.
Rupnik was a general in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in WWI and later collaborated with the Fascist Italian and Nazi German occupation forces during World War II.
He served as the president of the Provincial Government of the Nazi-occupied Province of Ljubljana in 1943-1945, and was also chief inspector of the Domobranci (Slovene Home Guard), a collaborationist militia.
In May 1945, Rupnik fled to Austria, where he was arrested by the British and returned to Yugoslavia in early 1946. He was court-martialled along with several other people and sentenced to death for treason and collaboration with the occupiers later that year.
Rupnik on stage with fellow Nazis in Ljubljana
The verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court of the Yugoslav Army, and the appeal for clemency was rejected on 2 September 1946.
Rupnik was executed by firing squad in Ljubljana on the same day and buried in Žale Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
One of his descendants, allegedly a grandson, had filed an appeal on a point of law through an attorney, and the appeal has now been granted by the Supreme Court.
The part of the verdict relating to Rupnik has been annulled and the case has been returned to the Ljubljana District Court for retrial.
According to the newspapers, the court says that the verdict was not in compliance with the legal principles at the time, and that not all accusations of the acts he had been sentenced for had been supported with facts and circumstances.
For one of the acts the court has found that it does not bear signs of a criminal act.
Rupnik's relative claimed, among other things, that the verdict had not been sufficiently explained, that the reasons conflict each other, that he was violated his right to defence, and that judges who had reached the verdict should have been excluded.