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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 22:37 GMT 23:37 UK
Man on Slovenia genocide charges
Yugoslavia's Marshall Tito
Under Tito Nazi collaborators were hunted down
Slovenia has charged a former senior communist official with genocide, over the massacre of 234 people in the aftermath of World War II.

Mitja Ribicic, 86, was a chief in the security forces under Yugoslavia's post-war communist leader Tito.

Slovene television said newly unearthed documents suggested Mr Ribicic ordered the summary execution of suspected Nazi collaborators.

Mr Ribicic, under investigation since 1994, has always denied such charges.

"He is being investigated under the law dealing with genocide committed against political or social groups," Pavel Jamnik, Slovenia's police chief dealing with war crimes, told the AFP news agency.

Revenge

After the war communist forces took revenge on those who had collaborated with German and Italian occupiers.

Some reports say there are hundreds of mass graves in Slovenia filled with the bodies of thousands of people massacred by the communist regime in the early post-war years.

Mr Ribicic is the first former Yugoslav official charged in Slovenia over the witch hunt for Nazi collaborators, since the country's independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Documents found in the Slovene National Archive reportedly suggest that in 1945 and 1946 Mr Ribicic helped draft a hit list of 234 people for execution.

He faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.

The Slovene government has recently drawn up draft laws giving equal status to all those civilians killed during and after the war, whether by communists or fascists.



SEE ALSO:
Slovenia ratifies EU constitution
01 Feb 05 |  UK Politics
Shock defeat for Slovene leader
03 Oct 04 |  Europe
Slovenia's surge of nationalism
13 Apr 04 |  Europe
Timeline: Slovenia
27 Feb 05 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Slovenia
22 May 05 |  Country profiles


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