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June 23, 2017

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Croatia ex-minister 'not guilty' of WWII crimes

ZAGREB--A Croatian court acquitted on Thursday a former interior minister and senior communist partisan of ordering the killing of 21 people in the final days of World War II.

Josip Boljkovac, 93, was accused of ordering in May 1945 the detention and execution of the 21 civilians for being suspected collaborators with Croatia's Nazi-allied Ustasha regime.

The 21 were taken into woods, shot and buried in a mass grave near the central town of Karlovac, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Zagreb. Only seven of the bodies have since been identified.

However presiding judge Tomislav Jurisa ruled that there were "no documents or witnesses" supporting the charges.

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