Who is Nikola Stedul?

Nikola Stedul
Nikola Stedul

Few people were aware, before the grim events of October 1988, that the quiet man living at Glen Lyon Road in Kirkcaldy was a key figure on the international political scene.

Nikola Stedul had fled his homeland of Croatia, to settle first in Australia and then, with his Kirkcaldy-born wife and two daughters, in Scotland.

He became a powerful voice in exile, and later president of the HOP – a Croatian movement for statehood which aimed to re-establish an independent free state of Croatia, during a time when it was part of the greater Yugoslavia.

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• MAIN ARTICLE: The Kirkcaldy assassination attempt that shocked the world

• “I was woken by bullets flying through my window”

• The forensic evidence in the gunman’s trial

• Where the guns were found discarded near Kirkcaldy

• The victim speaks: “Justice has caught up with a wanted assassin”

• How the Fife Free Press helped catch the gunman

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Despite the attempt on his life, he insisted his voice would not be silenced.

Croatians lost their independence when their Balkan state was merged into the new Yugoslavia at the end of the Second World War.

Mr Stedul contributed regular articles to international magazines and newspapers, highlighting the plight of Croats both inside and outside Yugoslavia.

He had also written a book, along with hardhitting features for a Croatian newspaper published in Australia, and circulated underground in Yugoslavia.

Croatia would later gain independence during the break-up of Yugoslavia just a few years after the shooting in 1991, and even joined the European Union in 2013.

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