Croatia: Communist System Murdered Innocent People Not Josip Boljkovac, Court Says



Josip Boljkovac Photo: Ronald Gorsic/Cropix

Josip Boljkovac
Photo: Ronald Gorsic/Cropix

The 94 year old, Josip Boljkovac, was acquitted by the Zagreb County Court on Thursday 22 May of war crimes against civilians in the aftermath of WWII.

The 94-year old Boljkovac was accused that in the early May of 1945, as head of the Karlovac branch of the then Department of National Security (OZNA), which was the Tito-led Partisans’ security service, he had ordered the arrest and execution of 21 civilians from Duga Resa.

Judge Tomislav Jurisa handed down the Judgment, acquitting Boljkovac of the war crime while, in the same breath saying that “there is no doubt that the crime was committed but that there was no written order for the execution of the crime … not a single document leads to Boljkovac … it was simply a matter of crime committed by the system …which crimes have compromised the historically-affirmative antifascist battle…” reported Croatian HRT TV News 22 May 2014. The judge emphasised that Boljkovac was probably the last member of the WWII Partisan movement who has been processed for war crimes. “The court had a difficult task and we had to make sure that the whole burden of war crimes committed by members of the Partisan movement does not fall upon Josip Boljkovac, because that would be unjustified and impermissible in a democratic and civilised country such as Croatia …”.

The judge added that while “a certain degree of doubt about whether Boljkovac ordered the killing still exists, it is not enough to pronounce someone guilty”.

Anto Nobilo Photo: Miro Soldic

Anto Nobilo
Photo: Miro Soldic

Boljkovac’s attorney, Anto Nobilo, was happy with the judgment – why wouldn’t he be, he is and was a communist, and said that “this would have never have happened (prosecution of Boljkovac) had a former minister of internal affairs (meaning current leader of the leading opposition party HDZ, Tomislav Karamarko) not set his sights on becoming the leaders of the right-winged opposition and then organised masked special policemen, with a media entourage, to arrest a 92 year old man …that minister had abused his powers for political goals…”




Tomislav Karamarko Photo: Anadolija

Tomislav Karamarko
Photo: Anadolija


Tomislav Karamarko made a brief comment on Nobilo’s statement: “It would be flippant of me to comment on what Nobilo said, the good thing about this judgment is that in fact a system has been convicted.”




The State Attorney will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.

Thus this is a legal scandal because the [victorious] Partisans were the liberators …” Nobilo was also found to comment.

So, as far as Anto Nobilo and the communists/antifascists are concerned one does not prosecute old people, especially if they came from “liberating” forces that Partisans refer to themselves as being!

Oh my goodness, the Nazi hunters, including Simon Wiesenthal Centre, are bound to die in shame for having kept friendly company with Anto Nobilo – a lawyer who evidently promotes the type of justice where old people should not face the courts and answer for their crimes; many old people have been hunted down and prosecuted for crimes relating to the Holocaust.


Andrija Artukovic 1986 extradition to communist Yugoslavia

Andrija Artukovic 1986 extradition
to communist Yugoslavia

If we turn the clock back a few decades we realise that the same Ante Nobilo, a communist Yugoslavia deputy public prosecutor in Croatia, was at the helm of the prosecution for Holocaust crimes against Andrija Artukovic in 1986, who was at the time in the ripe old age of 89, suffering dementia and brought to Croatia from the USA under extradition orders. Artukovic was sentenced to death and died in prison in 1988 and his burial place, if there is one, is not to this day known as a matter of communist order of the time.

So this pathetic excuse for a lawyer, Anto Nobilo, who had made it his business in 1980’s to prosecute old people with dementia for war crimes associated with the WWII Independent State of Croatia, without any regard to their inability to defend themselves, would now like us to take pity upon his 94 year old client, Josip Boljkovac, a communist Yugoslavia operative, because he is old and ill – but does not suffer from Dementia!

To make things worse it was the same Anto Nobilo who firmly stated in November 2011 that he knows who committed the murders his client Boljkovac was charged with and he now has the gall to be happy with the court’s finding that the “communist system” murdered them! What happened to the evidence about the murderer he said he had?

A grave injustice has been served in Zagreb on Thursday to the victims of communist crimes, if not for Nobilo’s comments regarding Boljkovac’s age then surely because the testimonies of living people who testified seeing Boljkovac “in the vicinity of the 1945 murderous action and arrests of innocent people” seem to have not weighed as much in the court as “no documents presented” seem to have! It would have been just and reasonable to find that the communists have most likely destroyed any documents relevant to the orders for the execution of the murders in 1945.

The communist system was found guilty of committing the murders of innocent people and system simply does not and did not exist without people! Let’s pray that the Croatian Supreme Court will have the courage of seeing that truth and deliver a verdict, which takes into account the clandestine operations of destroying evidence that were a second skin to the communist system made up of people. Josip Boljkovac may not be found as guilty of the murders on appeal but he should, I believe, at least be found guilty of having the knowledge of the murders and, hence, being an accessory after the fact!  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Related Post:

Politicising Communist crimes: inveterate canker

Members of Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia 1945 - Tito in the middle

Two months after the Constitutional Court terminated the investigation of war crimes allegedly perpetrated by Josip Boljkovac in 1945 the Croatian State Prosecutor in Zagreb has January 27 re-opened the case.

The new investigation is to be carried out under the new criminal investigations procedures for the same case as when Boljkovac, 92, was originally arrested and detained for investigations in November 2011. Criminal allegations against Boljkovac impute that he, as one of the chiefs of the Karlovac regional Unit for the protection of people (OZNA), after the liberation of Duga Resa, was responsible for the killing of 21 civilians whom the communists charged with collaborating with the occupying Nazi Germany forces. The murdered civilians were found buried in mass graves in Kozjaca and Duga Resa.

This time around, Boljkovac had not been detained. His defence attorney Anto Nobilo stated that Boljkovac does not mind the re-opening of the investigation because his name has been associated with a number of crimes in the past and he wishes final clarification of the case.

For clarification purposes, the new criminal investigation procedure has restrictions on detaining persons over 90 years of age for the duration of investigations, while the old had no such restrictions.

As a reminder, the same defence attorney, stated to Croatian TV end of November, when Boljkovac was released from investigative detention, that he knew who the murderer of those civilians was – a comrade Mico!

On January 28, Boljkovac’s defence attorney Anto Nobilo, revealed the name of comrade Mico. He revealed the old communist Savo Zlatic as the person he regards to be responsible for the execution of 21 civilians in Duga Resa in 1945, and not Boljkovac. Nobilo said he had tracked Zlatic down from examining Croatian state archives pertaining to the case.

Croatian online news portal Nacional, having published the above Nobilo’s revelation enters into cynical criticism against Tomislav Karamarko, the former Minister of internal affairs who activated the November 2011 arrest of Boljkovac, for not being interested in state historical archives. Karamarko reportedly acted on evidence before him which pointed to suspicions of war crimes against Boljkovac.

How alarmingly irresponsible of a news portal to suggest that police work should rely solely on analysing historical jottings and documents (some of which can easily be construed as false representations for the purposes of hiding the truth) when it comes to gathering grounds for an arrest and detention of a suspected criminal.

It’ll be interesting to see what the current, renewed investigation against Boljkovac comes up with. Should Nobilo’s conclusions from studying historical archives come up trumps above the evidence/statements made about Boljkovac’s activities in 1945 given in recent years by living persons, then who knows which dead antifascist comrade will spring out from historical archives in the announced investigations against Josip Manolic and Rade Bulat, for alleged communist crimes.

The burden of inadequately and politically addressed communist crimes is an inveterate canker, deeply rooted influence that keeps many nations of Europe (and the rest of the world) fretful for justice. And this megashame for human kind can only be attributed to the political games played around the globe which drive the (deplorable) view that not all equally atrocious crimes deserve equal justice.

Declarations condemning communist crimes have been on agendas of most European Union member countries as well as the non-member ones. Croatian parliament condemned communist crimes in June 2006.

In 2010 the European Commission rejected calls from Eastern Europe to introduce a so-called double genocide law that would criminalise the denial of crimes perpetrated by communist regimes, in the same way many EU countries ban the denial of the Holocaust.

“There is no consensus on it. The different member states have wildly differing approaches,” EU justice spokesman Matthew Newman told the Guardian. He said the commission takes the issue “very seriously”, but: “At this stage, the conditions to make a legislative proposal have not been met. The commission will continue to keep this matter under review.”

Efraim Zuroff, the Nazi-hunter and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Israel office, described in December 2010 the effort by the Eastern European countries as a “false symmetry”.

“We have no problem with a day of commemoration for communist crimes, and indeed, something should be done, but the Holocaust was a unique tragedy in history,” he said.

“For all the terrible crimes of the USSR, you can’t compare the people who built Auschwitz with the people who liberated it. Nazi Germany would probably not have been defeated if it weren’t for Russia”

Mr Zuroff had in November 2011 commented in similar ways when Josip Boljkovac was first arrested in Croatia. “Part of that campaign is to, without foundation, equalise the crimes of Nazis – or ustasche in Croatia – with the crimes committed by communists,” he said.

So, Mr Zuroff has no problems with commemorating (recognising) communist crimes but he has major issues with punishing them. The fact that Russians liberated Auschwitz did not give them the right to build their own Gulags and extermination camps where millions of innocent people were murdered. The same can be said for all other countries affected by communist crimes.

This political game of who is more, who is less deserving of punishment for atrocious crimes Mr Zuroff appears to be fervently and shamelessly subscribed to makes no sense and inflames bad and corrupting emotions.

One thing is sure: both the Nazi and the Communist systems aimed to kill and killed millions, tens of millions people and nothing anyone says can change this fact.

According to the Victims of Communism website there have been more than 100 million victims of Communism worldwide since 1917.

Millions of innocent people perished under each of these systems and yet, under political influence only the victims of the Nazi system have deserved justice. This is plain wrong.

“For Croatia, 1945 marked the imposition of Communist rule and return to Yugoslavia. Shielded by their fight against Nazi Germany, Communists used the Second World War to get rid of domestic political competition as well. Tens of thousands fell victim to Communist crimes after WWII. After liberating Croatia from Nazis and establishing the new state of Yugoslavia, Communists went after the anti-Communist Croatian army units who had retreated to Austria and surrendered to British troops. Britain, however, turned 340.000 soldiers and civilian refugees over to Yugoslav authorities who, according to different estimates, murdered 50.000–200.000 of them. Terror continued after Communists had secured power and by 1953, some 116.000 people had been repressed, including 26.947 killed. Although the terror later subdued, Croatia had tens of thousands political prisoners during 1948–88.”

Roger Cohen, in his 2005 article for New York Times said:

“Indeed, in terms of sheer numbers, Communism’s claim to have been more murderous than Nazism is persuasive: it lasted longer and its reach was greater”…  “it remains striking that Nazism was judged at Nuremberg, whereas the crimes of Communism have never come before an international tribunal. The resulting gray areas provide space for Russia to dig in, proclaim its great achievements, and dismiss the pain its victory inflicted” … “the dirty laundry of Communism has not yet been hung out in the sun. The search for truth remains a work in progress.”

Steven W. Leckner, in his January 2012 article “Nazism and Communism: Whose Crimes Were Worse?” writes: “It is impossible to declare one ideology as worse than the other and more important to make sure that nobody, be they Holocaust revisionists or members of the Russian Government, attempt to portray them as anything less than legacies of the worse kinds of terror known to mankind”.

The same can be said for the Communist crimes committed in Croatia during and after WWII. Regardless of the fact that Croatia’s former president Stjepan Mesic, the president of the Serbian National Council in Croatia Milorad Pupovac and others have expressed similar views to Zuroff’s on the matter of pursuing justice for victims of Communist crimes, Croatia’s government and opposition should continue in the path commenced with Boljkovac, Manolic and Bulat.

If some call this historical revisionism so be it. After all, some truths of history have been tarnished, important parts left out or skewed by political forces and a revision that surfaces the truth is welcome.

Properly  processing (without political burdens) suspected communist crimes is the only way that the people will place their trust in justice. With that they will have an opportunity to build a strong future, untouched by mistrust that lack of punishment and pursuits against Communist crimes create. Ina Vukic, Prof.(Zgb);B.A.,M.A.Ps.(Zgb)

Watch out Croatia – there is a pushy psychic among you

Further to my post yesterday: If not Josip Boljkovac – who then?

Anto Nobilo, Boljkovac’s defence attorney, “revealed” today on Croatian HRT TV that “the murderer is comrade Mico, and not Josip Boljkovac”.[tt_news]=141118&tx_ttnews[backPid]=38&cHash=17b18830cf

He further stated that he performed his own investigation and that the documentation on the case (of mass murder from 1945) was accessible to everyone even the police.

I wonder if this comrade Mico has/had a face and a personal profile or is he just a name inserted into historical documents constructed to throw the murderous scent off the real killers? Nothing could be put past the conniving Communist regime.

The news piece also points out that it was not the first nor the last time that two different courts ruled differently on a procedural matter with regards to criminal investigation.

Although Nobilo’s statement is suspicious at best one could take it as progress. That is, according to him the communists/antifascists/partisans WWII did commit the war crimes of mass murders of innocent Croatians. Comrade = Communist colleague.

Another side of Nobilo’s statement could be that he’s preparing a scenario to obstruct and confuse any further investigation against Boljkovac.

Let’s trust for the moment that Croatia’s County and State attorneys will now strengthen their resolve to pursue justice for victims of communist crimes. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb), B.A.,M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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