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

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.

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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