15 JUNE 1929, Page 3

The Murder Trial at Belgrade A year ago M. Punisha

Ratchitch, a Serbian deputy, emptied his revolver in a moment of turmoil in the Skupshtina at Belgrade. Among other results the Croat leader, firebrand and ex-Minister, M. Stephen Raditch, died, and the rift between Serbs and Croats, between Belgrade and Zagreb, was widened. An end has since then been put to Parliamentary Government in the Triune Kingdom, and we are not prepared to say that it was unadvisable to let the Skupshtina rest awhile. At any rate, M. Ratchitch seems to have had a fair trial in Belgrade. He received the maximum sentence of twenty years' hard labour, and blame was meted out all round by the Court. It is impossible for us to form a judgment on the question of premeditation. Threats and recrimina- tions had been rife on all sides before the shooting. We do not see much hope for harmonious co-operation between Serbs and Croats for some time to come.