US court rejects Croatia WWII victims suit that sought $3.5 billion damages
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US court rejects Croatia WWII victims suit that sought $3.5 billion damages

Nazi-allied Ustasha regime persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians

A man looks at the World War II Jasenovac memorial camp model on April 26, 2015, during a ceremony to remember the tens of thousands who were killed by Croatia's pro-Nazi regime. (AFP/Stringer)
A man looks at the World War II Jasenovac memorial camp model on April 26, 2015, during a ceremony to remember the tens of thousands who were killed by Croatia's pro-Nazi regime. (AFP/Stringer)

ZAGREB, Croatia — A US court has rejected a suit filed by victims of Croatia’s pro-Nazi WWII regime and their relatives who were seeking $3.5 billion (2.9 billion euros) in damages, Croatian authorities said Friday.

The group wanted compensation from the Croatian government for property seized from ethnic Serbs, Roma and Jews during the war.

A Chicago court rejected Thursday the suit launched in 2016 after four hearings held to “discuss formal prerequisites to conduct the proceedings,” a Croatian foreign ministry statement read.

A memorial plaque with an Ustasha pro-Nazi slogan is pictured after it was moved from the vicinity of the WWII extermination camp of Janesovac, to a Croatian memorial site near Novska on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)

Croatia is not the legal heir to the wartime Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and as such cannot be held responsible for its crimes, it added.

Croatia’s wartime Nazi-allied Ustasha regime persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians.

After World War II and the collapse of the pro-Nazi regime, Croatia became part of the communist Yugoslavia.

It declared its independence in 1991 at the start of the federation’s bloody break-up.

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