Artukovic Weeps During Reunion With Son in Court
Accused Nazi war criminal Andrija Artukovic had an emotional reunion today with his only son in the courtroom where he is being tried on charges of committing atrocities during World War II.
The tearful meeting apparently caused Artukovic, 86, legally blind and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, to lapse into confusion during his testimony and claim that he was tortured in an English prison.
Radoslav Artukovic, 38, arrived from Los Angeles earlier in the week, but apparently his father had not been told of his presence until a morning recess.
“I heard my son is here, Mr. Judge. I would like to see my son,” Artukovic told Chief Judge Milko Gajski. The judge permitted Radoslav to step forward and meet his father, who was weeping behind his bulletproof glass screen. They did not speak, and Gajski said they could meet again later.
The two had not met since the aged man was deported from the United States in February.
Obviously distressed after the encounter, Artukovic became confused by his surroundings. In response to queries by his lawyers, Artukovic said that he was in the United States and that the year was 1983 or 1984.
“I cannot read nor write. I was tortured in an English prison,” he said. He gave no time element but said he was tortured by Milovan Djilas, a former Yugoslav vice president who fell into disgrace in the mid-1950s and is now the country’s leading dissident.