On journalist Domagoj Margetic: Let there be one less idiot in Croatia

When a journalist embarks on a journey to destroy the inherent goodness a nation possesses then we must pay serious attention to that journalist. Not to revere him/her but respond to his/her public allegations in a responsible manner, defending the goodness, free of subjectivism. If we fail to do that then the journalist’s journey sees no opposition, experiences no correction, suffers from falsehoods paved as truth.

Recently, I came across a film clip on Youtube of Croatian investigative journalist Domagoj Margetic appearing on Serbian TV, promoting his new book.

Instead of convincing the public, except perhaps Serbian and pro-Serbian, of the value of his book (and why people should obtain it) Margetic appeared with atrocious propaganda usually heard from the cold mouths of paid political agitators or someone bent on revenge for some nebulous wrong done unto them by everybody, anybody or somebody. He ends his Serbian TV appearance by calling all 4.5 million of Croatians nitwits and idiots.

Since Margetic has not expressly distanced himself from the 4.5 million of Croatians, it follows that he considers himself to be a nitwit and idiot, also.

In this Serbian TV appearance Margetic says the following:

“Our biggest mistake was to break up Yugoslavia”.

“I regret having participated in that breakup.”

“Yugoslavia was truly a European Union before the European Union (existed).”

“If it wasn’t for the breaking up of Yugoslavia, that transitional process, these domestic elitists would not have become rich.”

“In my newest book I want to confront myself and my readers with several key transitional truths: Firstly, there was no homeland, defensive war but an agreed war; Secondly, that we haven’t gained any freedom, because we are not free nor do we know what freedom is nor do we know how to think about freedom let alone live freely…except those who are on the margins and outsiders; Thirdly, the illusion about our big heroes who let’s say fought for our freedom when in fact they’re ordinary mercenaries and war profiteers, criminals … I said in Zagreb at my book promotion who are you celebrating, you celebrate one Ante Gotovina as a national hero, he is a bandit, a man who fled former Yugoslavia into the Foreign Legion … who returned to Croatia not for ideals but for pay, to fight, to profit on the blood, on burnt country and people…Croatia is a country of 4.5 million idiots.”

There’s a strong sense of Margetic using a title of an investigative journalist to mask his personal anger and bitterness (at something or someone) and he seems to be in dire trouble separating his subjective self from what should be an objective address of public issues. Calling all Croatians idiots is a classic symptom of personal anger and bitterness. On the other hand he also clearly portrays the groups that are nostalgic for Communist Yugoslavia, fuelling unrest.

Margetic says in the Serbian TV appearance that his proof of agreements for the war and financial cooperation between Franjo Tudjman (Croatia) and Slobodan Milosevic (Serbia) is contained in the information provided to him in 2007 by Borka Vucic (died in 2009). Vucic was a trusted ally of Milosevic during his decade-long rule in Serbia in the 1990s’. She ran a Serbian bank in Cyprus at the time and allegedly helped the country evade the U.N. sanctions that were imposed on it to punish Milosevic primarily for his actions in Bosnia and Croatia. After Milosevic’s died in 2006 (in ICTY prison in the Hague), Vucic remained a ranking official in his Socialist Party. She served briefly as the parliament speaker in 2007. Margetic mentions that Serbia had shares in Croatian banks, Zagreb bank.

Given the political unrest in Former Yugoslavia, military aggression against Croatia by Serbs, one would expect that anything Borka Vucic would have produced to Margetic would need to pass the professional, independent, scrutiny and assessment by way of  utmost forensic detail (factual and political). I somehow doubt that Margetic had put the information he claims he had obtained under such scrutiny – as journalists should.

He makes blanket statements that the Balkan countries, including Croatia, are ruled by Albanian drug mafia, that drug money is and was laundered throughout …

His comments against general Ante Gotovina also point to the possibility that Margetic is lost in his calling as investigative journalist and should not be appearing in public as one in the matters of Croatian Homeland war. There are millions of Croatians living abroad whose families had fled Communist Yugoslavia – just like Gotovina fled. Many had returned to fight, defending Croatia from Serb aggression while multitudes had donated charitable funds and humanitarian aid whilst still living abroad. It is not a negative personality trait to serve in the French Foreign Legion – as Margetic suggests. If Gotovina received pay as general in Croatia then this is a normal and well-deserved condition of employment in a job which desperately needed to be done. Any objective and respectful journalist, person, would acknowledge that fact.

Margetic has the gall to call Gotovina a bandit and yet Margetic himself has a personal record of criminal convictions that is not insignificant – corporate crime conviction (2002). He was also convicted by ICTY in the Hague for contempt of court – divulging name of protected witness (personally I myself don’t consider this conviction as pointing to a criminal mind as people have a right to know witness identities if such a witness gives testimonies about stately or government affairs); he was reportedly removed from Hrvatsko Slovo weekly allegedly for manipulating the paper’s expenses.

Investigative journalists dig deep and wide into issues they’re reporting on. Often, they uncover corruption and organised crime and this leads to police, criminal prosecutions or public inquiries. At times the investigative journalist will offer their own opinions on matters uncovered, but when it comes to Margetic he does not seem to differentiate between the facts and his personal opinion. He seems to go further and formulate his opinions (based on some discoveries he has made, which may or may not be as black and white as he portrays them to be) into a lynching of the whole nation just because some individuals may have committed a reprehensible act.

While he points his poisoned darts at Croatia’s War of Independence, at Croatian general Ante Gotovina and, therefore, at war veterans for that matter, at Croatian governments or individuals in them, at freedom that according to him does not exist, he jumps into his own mouth freely and publicly stating that there’s no freedom in Croatia.

Go and figure out that one!

There are at least two freedoms in Croatia: freedom to speak garbage like Margetic does and freedom to move out of Croatia and live elsewhere if some other country will have you. Margetic is exercising the former and should he take up the latter form of freedom then there’ll be one less – as he himself puts it – idiot in Croatia. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Thankyou for this excellent article and for all the previous articles, insights, and information, keeping us aware, allowing us to form our opinions in an honest manner, armed with the truth about recent history, people and events in Croatia.
    Hvala Vam,
    Robyn Vulinovich

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  2. Gabrijela says:

    I am deeply surprised by your language Ms.Vukic. To call someone an idiot or to use all those phrases and on end of the day lies, present only your picture. But it is clear that you are part of Tudmjan regime and Sanader criminal gang. No words from you about Tudjman atrocities nor about how Sanader stole from Croatian citizens millions of EUR. That is all about you. Shame of you.

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    • Thank you on your comment but I used the word idiot because Margetic used it on TV to describe all Croatians. So I simply meant that if he calls all Croatians idiots, he is one too. The rest of your comment is not worth a reply, for if you follow my writings and my past you would know that your comments regarding my allegiances are not based on truth.

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      • Excerpt from court proceedings (he won the case) against Margetic in Zagreb:

        Nažalost u Hrvatskoj sam, uz Ivu Sanadera, peterostrukog optuženika pred hrvatskim pravosuđem za koruptivna kaznena djela, jedino ja optužen u slučaju Hypo, i to ironično upravo zato što sam otkrio između ostalog i Slučaj Sanader – Hypo, al ii zbog toga što sam otkrio gdje je Hrvatskoj nestaklo 47,7 milijardi eura koje je politički vrh HDZ-a, prvo na čelu s Franjom Tuđmanom, a potom na čelu s Ivom Sanaderom, opljačkao od poreznih obveznika ove zemlje. To je ujedno bio moj jedini motiv kao istraživačkog novinara, da istražujem i objavljujem podatke o Aferi Hypo”, rekao je Margetić u svojoj završnoj riječi i dodao:

        “Na ovoj memoriji koju držim u ruci nalazi se preko 20 dokumenata, preko tisuću stranica dokumenata koji dokazuju kako je Hrvatska opljačkana i gdje je novac opljačkan iz Hrvatske. Da je ovo stvarno sud, da je ovo sud u nekoj pravnoj državi, Vi biste sada od mene tražili ove dokumente i tražili biste kao sudac pokretanje istrage o ovim mojim tvrdnjama. Ali vidite da ovo nije sud!”, zaključio je Margetić.

        http://rs.seebiz.eu/domagoj-margetic-na-sudu-pobijedio-hypo/ar-49803/

        Ms. Vukic, shame on you for attempting to discredit a man who is a true patriot, putting his life at risk to bring the truth to the light of day.

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      • Mrka, I’m not ashamed at all it was Margetic who discredited all Croatians on Serb TV, so I just made sure he counts himself as one of the idiots he says all Croatians are. Mr Margetic should have the courage to take what he dishes out. Thank you

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  3. I don’t think he discredit ‘all Croatians’ as you put it, but he did speak of some unpleasant things, which the Croatian public is not yet ready to tackle. I do think his tone is too harsh, probably because of his disappointment in his own country and nation – he should indeed be able to put his emotions aside and be somewhat more ‘diplomatic’ in pointing out certain things. But you have to understand he is enraged with the state of affairs. And he has many reasons to be.

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    • Mrka, if Margetic is disappointed with his own country he cannot call all Croatians idiots. He did. Therefore, I have no respect for such a person who takes out his personal problems against everyone. Many people are enraged with their governments all over the world, that does not mean that they should act against the people and country. I do not nor will I ever respect a person who acts against a whole country because of individual issues or specific issues.

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      • Again, I don’t think he meant what he said about Croatians being idiots literally, or that he was acting against the people or the country, quite the countrary actually. He keeps pointing out corruption and hypocrisy in Croatian society, and a critical voice, especially someone who provides argumented criticism should be regarded as valuable by anyone with honourable and sincere intentions. In regard to his frustration I would say its quite natural, as he is an exception in the sea of media lackeys who are paid not to delve into sensitive issues and distort the truth.

        Also, you say you doubt he properly scrutinised the information he says B. Vucic gave him, but what exactly makes you say that? What about the fact that his investigative journalism provided the larger part the evidence for the indictment, prosecution and conviction of Ivo Sanader? And as I pointed out in a previous comment, he also won in court when Hypo sued him for disclosing confidential documents, where all of the documents disclosed were verified as genuine, in a court of law.

        I’ve been following mr. Margetic for a while now, and I’ve yet to see a case of him not backing up his words with evidence when challenged.

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      • You, I or anyone else would be wrong in saying what he meant by his public statements. That is wrong because public cannot read anyone’s mind. What he said stays and he certainly did not apologise publicly after calling all Croatian people idiots. As for investigative journalism that is all great but there is a point when the journalist needs to acknowledge that they cannot remain the judge and the jury and allow authorities etc to do their job. If the authorities do not do a job as expected then that too must be recorded and left alone. A journalist or anyone else needs to respect the fact that people cannot be accused and keep on being accused of something they have not had a chance to defend in court.

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  4. You see, I don’t pretend to be a mind reader, but I can certainly read and write, and having read quite a number of articles authored by the said mr. Margetic, I think I have a pretty good idea about what he’s trying to say.

    The sad thing is you focus on this ‘insult’ instead of listening to what he’s saying. It’s like when a brother or a sister tells you you’re an idiot, because you fail to see you’re making a mess out of your life or you’re being led by the nose by someone, and you resent them for it.

    And I strongly disagree with ‘leaving things alone’ when the authorities are not doing their job. What kind of thinking is that? Aren’t journalists supposed to bring our attention to precisely this type of problem? Or should they stick to celebrity gossip?

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    • Oh, I and anybody can see what he or any journalist are trying to say but that’s where it stops – one can take it or leave it. Not all Croatians are making a mess of their life as Margetic (and you) are trying to say. Besides, everyone has a right to choose who they will believe or not. Evidently, you or Margetic don’t think that and that’s where the problem lies. Journalists are not authorities that test the information to be true or false beyond reasonable doubts. If one cannot test the veracity of ones information in proper channel where all sides get to be heard then that information, unfortunately, remains gossip. Sorry, but that’s a fact of life. Yes I focus on the insult directed at all Croatians by Mr Margetic because he fails to see that he is wrong and fails to accept that people have a right to believe or not to believe him. That goes for anyone else who acts in similar ways.

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      • The veracity of the information this man brings out has been confirmed in a court of law, in the case i mentioned in this thread. But that probably isnt enough for you.

        http://www.seebiz.eu/domagoj-margetic-na-sudu-pobijedio-hypo/ar-49803/

        Ovakva presuda, dakako, predstavlja važan presedan u sudskoj praksi u odnosu na slične postupke koji bi se u budućnosti mogli voditi protiv novinara radi sličnih objavljivanja povjerljivih podataka, međutim, i sama činjenica da je sud oslobodio istraživačkog novinara, te da se tijekom postupka utvrdilo kako su prema izjavama same Hypo banke (!) svi objavljeni podaci “istiniti i točni”(!), ovakva presuda sada otvara pitanje pokretanja postupaka protiv osoba koje su sudjelovale u ovim operacijama pranja novca, odnosno protiv pravnih i fizičkih osoba koje se nalaze u dokumentu kojeg je Margetić objavio.

        BTW

        He will be presenting the HYPO affair with evidence in front of the european parliament. God willing.

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      • It still does not give him the right to call all people idiots

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  5. David Liebe Hart says:

    I have to kind of agree with Mrka. I came upon your page after seeing a different lengthy interview with the journalist which caused me to do some more investigation. His accusations are astounding, and to me wholly believable. They are fundamentally what the whole occupy movement is all about. You seem to just keep coming back to the comment about stupid people -which could certainly be insulting but in this context I think Mrka’s comparison to siblings is wholly appropriate. The question I keep coming back to, in regards to your page, is why you keep ignoring a very serious believable charge – which should be of enormous interest to everyone in that bloody region if true – to come back to one stupid statement. It would appear there is some agenda, but I haven’t really read your other articles so I don’t know what it is. Power elites have been ripping off and using the people from time immemorial. They need cleaners to cover their trail with diversionary tactics. I don’t know if that’s the case here, but it certainly has that smell.

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    • David Liebe Hart I do not keep ignoring serious believable charges because they are only believable and not proven in a court of law. I believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty under criminal jurisdiction. If someone discovers “evidence” they believe constitutes enough ground for charges then they need to send that to authorities, which could be the case here, but if the authorities do not act on it I do not believe one should keep throwing accusations around etc. It’s a public “given” that a great deal of corruption etc has occurred, but I am not about to point fingers at individuals who are accused of something through media and label them guilty. And, at the end of the day if someone has the hide to call everyone idiots then the natural thing to happen is that they lose credibility.

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      • It is not ‘evidence’ ms Vukic, it is valid evidence, not because Margetic says so, but because it is recognised as such in a Croatian court, and this pertains to perhaps.. nay, definitely the most important case this journalist has ever investigated. Even when it IS documents and information that HAVE been confirmed IN a court of law as genuine BY an affidavit from those who signed and stamped them, you call it ‘evidence’. And then you talk about credibility. What a laugh.

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      • Mrka, that still does not give Margetic the right to call all Croats idiots! And, when in a great many cases throughout history affidavits from credible people have been found to contain perjury or documents discovered and tapes discovered to have been doctored … be that as it may, Margetic is not qualified to rule on validity of evidence in the same way courts are and if he as journalist thinks that he can then there is something wrong.

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  6. Ms Vukic, this man is only observing what is the prime duty of any journalist or any person of integrity for that matter, and that is to listen to his conscience and do what is right. In this case it is right to keep working and campaigning for the revelation of the downright monstrosity of the ruling classes in the Balkans these past 20 years not to go further back, and most importantly reveal their moneylaundering infrastructure. And if the man has a certain temperament about it, well, who can, in good faith, hold it against him.

    I refer you to the fact that he has yet to lose a lawsuit regarding his writings, even if we are indeed talking about Croatian courts with all that that entails, and he has been sued so many times I doubt he keeps track.

    Oh and he has on the other hand won lawsuits against people who have attempted to slander him.

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    • I agree with you Mrka that it is the duty of any journalist or person with integrity to keep tabs on such issues including possibilities of criminal activities, however it is not the duty of those same people to pronounce someone guilty without that someone having had due process in courts and having the evidence prosecuted. It is usual practice, and indeed the only acceptable practice for a journalist upon discovering something that may constitute a crime to hand over the discovery to proper authorities to prosecute or consider for prosecution. One simply cannot call all people of a nation idiots if matters a journalist or anyone else pursues do not go his/her way.

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  7. Of course one can! It’s called freedom of expression! For heaven’s sake! And again, it’s precisely because this guy gives a damn about the country that he does any of this! Can’t you put two and two together? Don’t you think he could have just taken the money to keep quiet!?

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    • Mrka, freedom of speech does not include calling someone a criminal because material has been discovered that suggests that someone may have committed a crime. Everyone deserves due process and all evidence must be tried in court in order to pronounce someone a criminal, everyone has an absolute right to due process. To pronounce someone guilty without that someone having the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law is not freedom of speech as democracy defines it. If someone tried to bribe the journalist – to take the money to keep quiet, then that jounalist has the responsibility to report the attempted bribe to authorities.

      Like

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