The former head of Yugoslavia's secret service and a one-time subordinate have gone on trial in Germany over the 1983 killing of a Yugoslav dissident in Bavaria.

Zdravko Mustac and former subordinate Josip Perkovic, who later created independent Croatia's spy agency, are both charged with being accessories to the murder of Stjepan Djurekovic. The dissident was shot and beaten on July 28, 1983, in a garage in Wolfratshausen, near Munich.

Both men refused to testify on the charges against them as their trial opened at the Munich state court on Friday, news agency dpa reported. Prosecutors allege that Mustac ordered Perkovic to plan and prepare Djurekovic's killing.

Croatia initially refused to extradite Perkovic but bowed to German pressure and sent him there in January. It extradited Mustac in April.