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Croat blames war stress for psychological problems when waitress killed

A Croatian man under suspicion of murder over killing 20 years ago is remaining in investigative custody in Linz after claiming he had suffered psychological problems as a refugee from the countries independence war.

The 44-year-old man was not been named for legal reasons is due to go on trial for murder although the trial date has been put back because a new expert report has been requested.

The case dates back to the brutal killing of a 19-year-old waitress whose body was found on the tenth of March 1992 in a bar in the city. Her throat had been slashed with a broken bottle and she bled to death.

Police treated as a murder at the time but it then became a cold case despite years of investigation.

There was only a development however in 2012 when the name of the Croatian man came up after a fingerprint from the scene as well as a DNA match led to him being identified. He was arrested in Slovenia and on the fifteenth of January handed over to Austrian police.

However prosecutors say that the trial will be delayed a sudden need to have another expert report after the man in interviews explained that he had at the time been suffering from extreme psychological pressure as a result of the horrors of war he experienced as a refugee from the fighting during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia .

The suggestion is that he was not responsible for his actions at the time .

As a result prosecutors need a psychological report which will take several weeks before the case can come back to court.

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