Australian “Croatian Six” framed and Croatians paid dearly for Serb-dominated anti-Croatian branding

The Croatian Six illustration by Simon Bosch

There’s no doubt that Yugoslav Communists/antifascists, led by Josip Broz Tito set out to blacken all people who called themselves Croatians after WWII. Of course, the fact that a part of the Croatian nation (members of Ustashi regime) had collaborated with Nazi Germany during the war, took active roles in the Holocaust, made things very easy for the Serb-dominated Yugoslav secret police, army, government.

The hot iron used to brand all Croatians as terrorists, killers … was the Communist propaganda, overt and covert, that pointed to Croatia as the only state in the Former Yugoslavia that actively participated in the Holocaust.

The fact that 94% of Serbian Jews had been exterminated in Serbia by mid-1942 had entered the historical records (written by the Communists and the Allies) as murderous deeds perpetrated in Serbia by the occupying Nazi-Germany forces and not Serbs. Many, it seems, thought nothing of the fact that the government of Milan Nedic and the Serbian Orthdox church during WWII were only too eager and quick to collaborate with the Nazis and help bring the Serbian Jews to the slaughter.

All Croatians that fled Communist Yugoslavia after WWII, if not murdered, were branded extremists, terrorists and fascists. The fact that majority had nothing to do with the Ustashi regime or politics during WWII was unimportant. Croatians, wherever they lived, had to be destroyed for their love of Croatia had posed a threat to Communist Yugoslavia which worked tirelessly and dirty at creating a world image of a regime of “brotherhood and unity”; that Communism was the solution for peace and prosperity.

The Sydney Morning Herald has February 11 published an article “Framed: the untold story about the Croatian Six”, by Hamish McDonald.

The Herald investigation strengthens suspicions that the Croatian Six, all young tradesmen and Australian citizens of Croatian birth – were framed for terrorism, each spending up to a decade in prison. Their trial and subsequent convictions may represent one of the worst miscarriages of justice in Australian history.

Six Australian-Croatians were accused of terrorism and sentenced to 15 years, each, in late 1970’s, serving 10. Vitomir Virkez (i.e. Vitomir Misimovic) became the Crown witness at the trial against the Croatian Six (Max Bebic, Vic Brajkovic, Tony Zvirotic, Joe Kokotovic and his brother Ilija Kokotovic, and Mile Nekic).

The bombshell that a Serb national (Vitomir Misimovic), posing as a Croatian, infiltrated into the Croatian Community and informed Yugoslav diplomats (UDBA) of activities of alleged terrorist acts by Croatians was initially revealed by the Australian ABC Television journalist Chris Masters in 1981.

Yugoslav UDBA’s (secret police) role in the persecution of the Croatian Six in Australia was withheld at the trial by Australian officials. Former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser said that had the court known the information about UDBA’s involvement the verdict of the Croatian Six would have been not guilty.

Attempts to mount a judicial review of the case of the Croatian Six had failed in early 1990’s. One wonders how much of such a dismissal of the request for judicial review in Australia had to do with the fact that Serbs had waged a war in Croatia and had at that time occupied one third of it? Politics can get nasty and find its ways in all walks of life; often oblivious of justice.

This is just one of many examples how the Serb-led Communist Yugoslavia secret police (UDBA) worked around the world in their task of blackening the Croatian communities as extremists, terrorists. The full story “Framed” can be purchased via amazon.com for a mere US$1.99. It promises to offer an eye-opening read into the ways whole nations can be branded with a heavy stigma that future generations could spend a century, if not more, in trying to remove. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

A quote to relate: “It may be” said Cadfael, “that our justice sees as in a mirror image, left where right should be, evil reflected back as good, good as evil, your angel as her devil. But God’s justice, if it makes no haste, makes no mistakes.” (Ellis Peters, 1913 – 1995, The Potter’s Field)

Comments

  1. Michael Silovic says:

    Ina you are correct that stigmas attach all people and cultures in a negative way for many decades. Croatia has always been the blame for all that was wrong in the Balkans. A lot of times people will whisper about how no good Croatian people are and will continue to do what it can to harm the countries reputation. But as Croats we have a duty for the love of our country to at best attempt to set history on the just cause when we find that we have the power to change it.Politics are nasty in all era’s of our history.Some times I wonder if Tito was even a real Croat the way he acted or the way he done things was to hang on to power.However with a new government we can begin to create and show people that Croatia is not a bad people or country that people want you to believe. I recently read an article on Croatian Finance Minister Slavko Linic and his rejection of the IMF. A Croatian First Policy is what I see in the article. It is people such as Slavko Linic that proves to the world that Croatia does not want anything from anyone but to be prosperous and correct the failures of the past.Perhaps our government will have a historian to correct the false facts of our history someday. Until then it is something all Croats must attempt to do with a single voice.

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  2. The Croatian Six case was one of those run by – or generally involving – the New South Wales Special Branch from 1978 – 1991.

    There were the following cases: the Ananda Marga Three, the Croatian Six, the Hilton Bombing (1989- 1991) and two against me with convictions on February 13 1987 and May 14 1991. The latter matter had serious implications and involved foreign policy considerations.

    In some cases above the same police officers were involved.

    I am happy to say that I fought the Special Branch perjurers at various points nad have attempted to expose their contribution to Australia-state crime.

    I recently filed with the Attorney General a submission regarding suppressed evidence in the 1987 matter (see: http://home.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/evidencesuppression.html

    This case involves Special Branch.

    The suppression of evidence and actual crime by Special Branch (and ASIO) also was part of my 1991 matter (see: http://home.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/pardonme/index.html
    No fair person could wish other than the best to the victims of the Croatian Six trial.

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  3. Gina Gerace says:

    I find it a real eye opener reading these articles of yours . I am not Croatian or Serbian but I have a couple of close friends from both nationalities. (the Serbians from Bosnia and the husband actually served in the war in the 90s) and its tricky because even here in OZ there is so much resentment between you guys. Understandle from Croatian point of view after reading your articles though… Tell us more Ina.. About what really happened there in the old Yugoslavia

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    • Thank you Gina, bit by bit I rely on truth of events of what happened. I guess any resentment that might occur is because some do not accept responsibility of what they may have done. I will write more. But what really happened is quite simple: All former Yugoslav states wanted to break away from Communist Yugoslavia, be a sovereign and self-determined democratic country and Serbia did not want that so Serbs started to protest with violence, etc. And the result you know. Also, Yugoslavia was created in 1918 when Allies joined Croatia, Slovenia, later Bosnia Macedonia etc with Serbia (Serbian King who was distant cousin of British King) into Kingdom o Yugoslavia where the king was a dictator and Serbs tried to be the ruling elite everywhere. Hence the wish to break away from Serbian ruled federation which was not the will of the people boiled into a democratic process of separation in 1990. With lots of blood spilt…This is just a simple way of saying what had happened but it’s true.

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      • Jasmine says:

        Ina,
        As insightful your article and the following comments are, I have to say, I am perplexed by how willing everyone is to accept your research as the truth. In order not to sound predjudice, allow me to explain that I am an Australian born Serb/ Croat/ Montenegran/ Czech, so I have been at the hands of much of the stigma surrounding the wars growing up. My grandma was also the interpreter for this case against the Croatian six. In saying all this, I’m sure it is clear that i have great patriotism towards all my backgrounds, as complex as they are, but your article, I feel, could use more of justifying that the entire case against these six men was not based on the foul play that the secret Serbian police influenced. Much of the evidence that was brought to light in the case had less to do with tampering and framing. It would also be wise, not to demonise another culture just to prove your point, as if anyone will remember, each side suffered attrocities and predjudice because of a few desperate mens’ manipulating ideologies and everyone, including Serbs, Croatians, Bosnians and Albanians have suffered, especially those who stood helplessly across the seas and to this day hold false hatred in their hearts.

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      • Jasmine, it is not my research, it’s research of others that i put here and, like anyone else, I have an opinion based on that research, I have also been privy to parts of the court transcripts. Whatever you say you cannot deny the truth that ABC journalist discovered a Serb posing as Croat, infiltrating the Croatian community around those accused. If that person were not malicious and if that person did not have ulterior motives he would not have posed as a Croat etc. Also the most recent research by Australian journalist is not my research. So it would be appreciated if you didn’t credit me with the research of others into the facts of the case or matters that seem to make the convictions unsafe.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] A year ago it seemed that Ellis Peters’ words from The Potter’s Field, “… But God’s justice, if it makes no haste, makes no mistakes”, would finally apply to decades old criminal verdicts for the Australian Croatia Six, in that the verdicts would be investigated in light of new revelations about corrupt police at the time and the very likely scenario that evidence in their case was fabricated and/or tampered with. […]

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  2. […] of assassinations of Croats by UDBA across the world remain undealt with and many like the Croatian Six in Australia were framed by UDBA (reportedly in collaboration with members of local authorities) for crimes of […]

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  3. […] case of the “Croatian Six” in Australia, for example, has seen ample arrows pointing to the likelihood of police services […]

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  4. […] a frame-up for attempted terror attack planned by members of the Croatian community, known as the Croatian Six case. Six members of Australia’s Croatian community were prosecuted and imprisoned for 15 years […]

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  5. […] a frame-up for attempted terror attack planned by members of the Croatian community, known as the Croatian Six case. Six members of Australia’s Croatian community were prosecuted and imprisoned for 15 years […]

    Like

  6. […] a frame-up for attempted terror attack planned by members of the Croatian community, known as the Croatian Six case. Six members of Australia’s Croatian community were prosecuted and imprisoned for 15 years for […]

    Like

  7. […] a frame-up for attempted terror attack planned by members of the Croatian community, known as the Croatian Six case. Six members of Australia’s Croatian community were prosecuted and imprisoned for 15 years for […]

    Like

  8. […] manipulation, six young Croats (the “Croatian Six”) landed behind the bars for 15 years (see Hamish McDonald, “Framed: the untold story about the Croatian Six”, The Sydney Morning Herald of February 11th, […]

    Like

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