Croatia: Communist Crimes – Two Criminals Down Many Yet To Fall

Zdravko Mustac (L) Josip Perkovic (R) Sentenced to life imprisonment in relation to communist crimes of complicity in murder of Croatian dissident Stjepan Djurekovic

Zdravko Mustac (L) Josip Perkovic (R)
Sentenced to life imprisonment
in relation to communist crimes of complicity in murder
of Croatian dissident
Stjepan Djurekovic

 

Croatia’s former Social Democrat (formerly known as League of Communists) government led by Zoran Milanovic as PM, as well as president Ivo Josipovic, had tried their utmost to avoid the extradition to Germany of former communist Yugoslavia secret police/UDBA operators, Josip Perkovic and Zdravko Mustac. They even passed a law in July 2013 (known as Lex Perkovic) three days before Croatia joined the EU, that prevented the extradition of Croatian citizens to other countries for crimes committed before 2002, hence ensuring no crime committed under the sheet of communist purges during the time of former Yugoslavia would be brought before the court regardless of the fact that in a civilised world murder has no statute of limitations. After Croatia’s courts had in 2014 ruled that Perkovic and Mustac could be extradited to Germany, extradition soon followed and the former head of Yugoslavia’s secret service, Zdravko Mustac, and a one-time subordinate, Josip Perkovic faced trial over accusations regarding the 1983 killing of a Croatian dissident in Bavaria, Stjepan Djurekovic for the first time in Munich in October 2014.
The German court in Munich had Wednesday 3 August 2016 found guilty of complicity in murder and sentenced the two former top Yugoslavian spies (spy chief Zdravko Mustac, 74, and ex-agent Josip Perkovic, 71) to life imprisonment for the 1983 murder of the Croatian national Stjepan Djurekovic, who was opposed to Yugoslav communist regime, in the then West Germany.

Stjepan Djurekovic

Stjepan Djurekovic

The court finds that the accused Zdravko M. had asked the accused Josip P. to plan and prepare for the murder of Stjepan Djurekovic,” the court said in a statement, Deutsche Welle reports. The state prosecution had in its final words last week turned the crime of assisting in murder into participating or complicity in murder with intent, which carries a life sentence under German laws.

Djurekovic was one of 22 Croatians murdered on orders from Belgrade (Serbia/Yugoslav capital) in Germany between 1970 and 1989. Most of those cases remain untried. This time around, prosecutors successfully argued that the spies had sought to silence Djurekovic who had information about alleged illegal business dealings by the son of a leading Yugoslav politician. Djurekovic was killed (shot and bludgeoned with a meat clever) in a garage that was used as a print office in the Bavarian town of Wolfratshausen. He was shot multiple times and hit with a cleaver by three still unidentified people.

The prime motive was to kill a regime critic, a separatist,” Manfred Dauster, the presiding judge, told the court on Wednesday. “Djurekovic

Judge Manfred Dauster

Judge Manfred Dauster

was to be muzzled – politically, but also physically.”

 

The finding was based on the fact that at the time, 1983, Zdravko Mustac was the chief of the Croatian arm of Yugoslav State Security Service

(more commonly known as State Security Administration/UDBA) while Josip Perkovic was in the position of head of Zagreb UDBA Section II (in charge of the department dealing with Croatian émigrés abroad) and was the immediate superior of the spy Krunoslav Prates (convicted 2008 and sentenced to life imprisonment for participating the murder of Stjepan Djurekovic) – Judge Manfred Dauster explained.

 

The defense had sought acquittal, citing a lack of evidence. Attorneys for Perkovic and Mustac plan to appeal the verdict to Germany’s federal high court. Should the sentences stick, Perkovic and Mustac could apply to serve them back home and if appeal does not succeed and life sentence stays then in Croatia that would translate to 40 years prison.
A reaction to this finding by Zoran Milanovic, leader of Social Democrats who is running as PM hopeful in the coming September elections, included “I am shocked by that court judgment … if it’s true (they committed those crimes) then they have received the most lenient of sentences … I regret this decision was not made in Croatia.”

What a repulsive, odious, low-life of a politician.

 

It was he, Zoran Milanovic, who headed to moves in 2013 in refusing to act on EU arrest warrants, who headed the government that introduced the law against extradition in 2013, it was he, Zoran Milanovic, who fought tooth and nail not to help the trial against Perkovic and Mustac get off the ground in Germany or anywhere else for that matter. It was, it is he, Zoran Milanovic, who leads all blockades against the processing of communist crimes.

 

Up until now, the need, the will and the ways to process and punish the horrific crimes committed for and on behalf of the communist regime of former Yugoslavia (including Croatia) had not truly or substantially found their effective expression. Many attempts have been sabotaged and alleged perpetrators and accomplices protected by those who call themselves antifascists (former communists, nostalgics for Yugoslavia). Those who pursued justice for victims of communist crimes were and still are branded fascists, revisionists, Nazis, Ustashas… To demonstrate the depravity of former communists’ sense of justice one can only revisit the 2014 trial against late Josip Boljkovac (friend of former president Stjepan Mesic, who is currently trying to resurrect himself into politics by being included on Social Democrats’ election ticket) relating to the murder in 1945 after WWII had ended of 21 innocent people where the Croatian court found that Josip Boljkovac was not really to blame (even if there were strong indications of his complicity in some body of evidence before the court) for their murder (or bear any responsibility) but that the real culprit was the communists system. How a system without people can murder people is only clear to former communists, it seems.

 

Many say the past should be left behind and we should all work towards the future but that stance in itself is cruel and unjust. It is a stance, without doubt, taken by those who have a great deal to lose and to admit. The only way to a better future is, in fact, to confront the past and punish all crimes against human life committed. The judgment brought down by the German court last week against Perkovic and Mustac puts names to the communist crimes perpetrated and this surely must serve as motivation and assistance in efforts to process as many communist crimes as possible. While national reconciliation is necessary, it would be a gross mistake to believe that collective amnesia and impunity will do any good. It will not because crime does not pay, in the end truth will out.

 

Seen as an absolute nightmare for 45 years after WWII by majority of Croatian émigrés, especially, and by most of those in Croatia in the HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union who were the driving force in the 1990’s creation of the modern independent state of Croatia, the baleful UDBA (communist secret service) managed to sneak through the recent war of Croatia’s secession (1991 – 1995) and survived the regime change/secession from Yugoslavia. It rallied behind the first president of Croatia Franjo Tudjman, in order to avoid “lustration”, with most of its senior executives becoming cogs in the new machinery of the new Croatian state, when they should have been lustrated or taken away from those positions. Ministries, the Parliament, media, big business, administrations, diplomacy — rare are public fields where these former “agents/suradnici” (aka “snitches”) don’t hold major positions. I guess such a mix was unavoidable in the beginnings, at times of war, but not for a moment longer.
If at last lustration does not occur in Croatia and new governments continue to be run by non-repentant old communists and their younger “liberal” offspring, the reticence or blatant refusal to pursue prosecution of communist crimes is bound to continue and the price to be paid is surely to be a form of eternal political unrest and intolerance.

 

UDBABorn in 1946 as part of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Yugoslav communist secret service, the UDBA, was conceived as a counter-intelligence agency and a political police, the latter being by far its most important task. The UDBA consisted of four major sectors (“internal enemy,” “hostile emigration,” “foreign espionage,” “high tech espionage”). It employed hundreds of agents, analysts, and agents (“suradnici”), as well as thousands of snitches, i.e. informants (“informatori”). Founded as a dense conspiratorial network, it operated in various regional centres in ex- Yugoslavia, being active in all towns and villages in each constituent ex-Yugoslav republic. Unlike the traditional modus operandi of many other communist countries, local UDBA centres in ex-Yugoslavia enjoyed a large degree of autonomy with each local centre supervising the agents in its respective area. However, the 2nd Section was also in charge of hiring its own quota of undercover agents abroad.
The operatives of the 2nd Section were generally groomed for their prime targets: infiltration of Yugoslav and especially Croat émigrés abroad. As regards the Croatian emigration, the UDBA carried out at least 68 to 69 homicides, 5 abductions whose victims were later executed, 23 attempted murders (with several cases of severely injured victims), 4 abductions whose victims survived and 2 attempted kidnappings.
The 2nd Section in charge of émigrés, whom UDBA labelled as “hostile emigrants”, was particularly violent, as it didn’t hesitate to resort to “offensive” or “special” operations, i.e., assassinations. By bribing and manipulating common criminals (threatening them, or promising them impunity), by fabricating false documents and exerting the most infamous blackmails, it induced naive citizens in ex-Yugoslavia into suicidal plots, or framed them with offences they had never committed. In short, the 2nd Section run by Josip Perkovic – was quite simply an organised communist crime agency.

Efficient in its criminal plots, the UDBA did succeed in undermining the emigrants’ reputation by defaming them as “terrorists” in their host countries. For example, a famous case took place in Australia where, as a result of UDBA media 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, 2012).

 

Robert Zagajski In pursuit of truth about his father's death

Robert Zagajski
In pursuit of truth about
his father’s death

Today, the malodorous UDBA ghosts and other Yugoslavian cloak and dagger circles are still haunting Croatia (and other former Yugoslav states, although, to a seemingly lesser degree Serbia, which was the heart of communist crimes plots operations). Twenty-five years after Croatia’s independence scores of former UDBA hit men of the former Yugoslav regime have not yet been properly and absolutely held to account, nor have they ever atoned for their crimes. There are also several hundreds of mass graves and pits across Croatia filled with bones and remains of innocent victims of communist crimes, for which no one has yet been held responsible, not even the communist regime by name. As to murders committed by UDBA agents and operatives such as the one for which the court in Germany has prescribed a life sentence the hopes for justice burn loud. Robert Zagajski, for instance, was 17 when his father was killed on the orders of the Yugoslav secret service in 1983 – the judgment against Perkovic and Mustac has given him the greatest hope so far that his father Djuro’s brutal death will cease to be an enigma and that someone will be made to answer for it. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

VISIT DOCUMENTARY SITE: TITO’S MURDER SQUADShere

Outrageous Claim Against Croats By Australian TV Host

Senator Pauline Hanson and Tony Jones Photo: ABC TV Q&A Screenshot 19 July 2016

Senator Pauline Hanson and Tony Jones
Photo: ABC TV Q&A Screenshot 19 July 2016

If “democracy in action (where the audience asks the questions)”, as Australia’s ABC TV program QandA describes itself, includes the right of the TV program’s host (Tony Jones) to insult a community (Croatian) by uttering untruths, evidently fabricating facts that have no resemblance to the truth, seemingly in order to make his guest (Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson – an anti-Muslim immigration politician elected into the Australian Senate a couple of weeks ago) appear uninformed about terrorism in Australia, then Australia and any other democratic country where this occurs as a matter of public record should examine whether the public’s tax purse should finance such abominable public presentations.

Q&A is a weekly TV even on Australian taxpayer-funded television that “puts punters, pollies and pundits together in the studio to thrash out the hot issues of the week, live to air. It’s about democracy in action …”

 

On Monday 18 July 2016 Labor Senator Sam Dastyari and Queensland’s One Nation party Senator and leader Pauline Hanson, ¬seated side-by-side on the ABC TV’s QandA, argued hard over Muslim immigration and the radicalisation of young Australians.
A member of the audience asked Hanson to explain her call for a royal commission to determine whether Islam was a political ideology or a religion: “Why are you pushing this agenda and pushing fear into our community?”
Senator Hanson replied: “People in Australia are in fear because they can’t walk in the streets, they’re in fear of terrorism which is happening around the world. Why? Because of Islam.”

Senator Dastyari was quick to hit back that Senator Hanson was “not an amateur … you know ¬exactly what you’re doing and the language you use and the power of your language,” he said.

Q&A host Tony Jones interjected Queensland senator Pauline Hanson when she suggested that Australia had never before had terrorism on its soil, as it has in recent years associated with Islam.

Pauline, when you say we never had terrorism in this country before that’s simply not the case,” Jones said.
In the 1970s there were multiple bombings by Croatian Catholic extremists. This has happened in Australia before; it is not the first time. We should at least get that straight.”

Watching and listening to this – I turned numb all over; I could not believe my ears! What a disgraceful way to act against a community. Why would Tony Jones say that Croats had committed multiple bombings in Australia during 1970’s when the truth is Croats never to my knowledge and research committed any bombings in Australia! In my research of many court judgments I have not come across a single Croat who has ever been convicted of any bombing on Australian soil! As part of the Yugoslav communist secret police underground work during those years against Croats in Australia, Croats may have been suspected of bombings, framed for them, but none were ever charged or convicted.

Jones seemed to be referring to attacks on Yugoslav consulates in several cities in Australia in the 1970s that were attributed to Croatian nationalists, but no one was ever charged. Yugoslav commercial operations were also targeted, including the office of the national Yugoslav airline in Australia.

By the end of 1970’s, Australian authorities did emerge, though, with what some claim on grounds of investigation, was a set-up and 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 planning to plant bombs in Sydney in 1979.

However, there were no charges of actual bombings nor were there any bombings related to these charges. So, why Tony Jones would say there were multiple bombings when there were none is actually most concerning. That he simply forgot the details of the cases is really no excuse for such a profound insult he has directed at the Australian Croatian community or its members.
With regards to the Croatian Six case of late 1970’s SBS News writes:

Ian Cunliffe was the head of the legal section in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet at the time of the arrests. ‘I fielded a letter that was written to the prime minister (Malcolm Fraser) by someone who had been ostensibly involved in that conspiracy at that time in prison and I investigated what went on, and it seemed it me that in fact that – while six people had been convicted – it was an extremely dodgy conviction and it seemed to me that it was basically a set up by the Yugoslav intelligence service to blacken the name of the Croatian community in Australia,’ he told SBS News.
Mr Cunliffe said the Yugoslav intelligence service had an agent provocateur who ‘presented as a simple Croatian’ but was instead a bomb-making expert. He added that the police were also involved in this plot – including recently convicted murderer and former NSW police officer Roger Rogerson.
‘It was an extremely dodgy conviction – there’s no doubt about that,’ Mr Cunliffe said.
He said Australia needs to correct the historical inaccuracies of the case.
‘It could be corrected by a pardon, it could be corrected by a proper judicial inquiry which looked at all of the evidence,’ Mr Cunliffe said.
‘We’re talking about what happened 36 years ago, so whatever sensitivities would have been there would have lessened with the passage of time.’”
I am quite certain many letters, emails and petition (Change.org) have been directed to the Australian ABC TV, to Q&A show, to Tony Jones in the past day or so – all asking for an apology to the Croatian Community. I do trust a public apology to the Australian Croatian community will arrive, for – indeed, and as Mr Jones said: “We should at least get that (facts) straight.” Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Psychological Operations And Information Warfare Against Croatia and Croats – Part V

Click on Banner image to enlarge

Click on Banner image to enlarge

Guest Post
By Ante Horvat

The former Yugoslav regime elements and their children spearheaded subversive activities against the facts, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Croats from the 1990s, through to today.

While overtly Yugoslav nationalist in their rhetoric, still to today expending taxpayer resources celebrating the Communist “liberation” and 1945 Partisan (private property) “liberators” of Croatia, they were the first to declare any opponents of their sham anti-war agenda as “nationalist,” “primitive nationalists,” etc. – blaming “nationalists” on “both sides” for the war, and not the marriage of greater Serbian fascism and retrograde Yugoslav Communist Titoism and the detailed Serbian General Officers plan for aggression, beginning with the reorganization of Territorial Defense in the mid 1980s, through to the ‘Yogurt Revolution,’ trampling of the SFRY Constitution, quasi-legal attempt at Kosovizing Croatia and the rest of then Yugoslavia, and of course the Rampart (RAM) Plan, with the explicit order to target civilians to demoralize ‘enemies,’ and overtly stated goal of creating a Greater Serbia at the expense of most of Croatia and the whole of B&H, with access to Croatia’s coastline.

Among the more vocal propagandists in the front of the charge was none other than Croatia’s current Minister of Foreign Affairs, and unofficial Shadow Foreign Minister of Serbia, Vesna Pusic, sister of UJDI (Association for Yugoslav Democratic Initiative) co-founder and current GOLJP head (Citizens Committee for Human Rights), Zoran Pusic.

Vesna Pusic helped form Erasmus Gilda in 1993, a declaratively pro-European organization, along with Slavko Goldstein, and other post-1990 self-styled “human rights” activists (the systematic violations of human rights before 1990 was apparently not a problem to them as they were silent and remain silent about them) and disinformation luminaries who all just happened to be against Yugoslavia joining the European Community prior to the first free elections in 1990, because the EC was a free market economy.

Along with the previously mentioned outlets like Arkazin, Feral Tribune and others regurgitating Belgrade’s propaganda on a weekly basis, Erasmus gatherings, published articles and their eventual failed magazine that generous USAID funds could not save, touted the line and gave the anti-fact agenda political legitimacy as they included many academics who rose to prominence within Tito’s Yugoslavia.

Here was yet another case of foreign aid subsidizing another controlled opposition – who foreign governments would openly put into power in 2000, and again in 2011.

The main propaganda agendas of these foreign-subsidized controlled opposition fronts, and foreign-financed controlled opposition political actors, as well as Belgrade’s propaganda, was during the war and remains the following, in no particular order:

  •  Push the “all sides are guilty” and “civil war” lie to spin Serbia’s aggression and the moral responsibility of the Western powers that overtly and tacitly supported Serbia’s aggression diplomatically and through domestic media filters and planted stories;
  • Equate Croatia’s defensive war effort with Serbia’s offensive aggression;
  • Equate Croatia’s defense of B&H in 1992 and the HVO’s defense of B&H Croats in the face of Serbian and later Muslim aggression with Serbia’s aggression against Croatia;
  • Push the Karadjordjevo fable and “Tudman divided B&H” myth;
  • Criminalize any and all symbols of Croatian statehood (the Kuna currency, Croatia’s Grb, etc.) by tying them to the Independent State of Croatia (WWII NDH);
  • Look for “Ustashe,” if you can’t find them, make them up;
  • Blow any Croatian backlash or isolated criminal act during wartime out of proportion and tie it to the highest levels of power while entirely ignoring the top-down, bottom-up systematic war crimes by the YPA/Yugoslav Peoples Army and VRSK/Army of Serbian Republic of Krajina (see the Zec family politicization since 1991, with the recent street naming ruse);
  • Lobby for “Krajina” political legitimacy at Western embassies and in Western capitals while domestically attack the government for being weak for not defeating “Krajina” while simultaneously claiming the “Krajina” is too strong to fall and Serbia will get involved if Croatia operationally engages it, implication being that it is better to leave it alone and recognize it;
  • Criminalize the Homeland War, all Generals, and all Veterans, with phrases like “turbo-Generals,” “Oluja/Storm was ethnic cleansing, “fake veterans,” “drunk veterans,” “gambling veterans,” etc. – anything to do with the Homeland War, the men who led it or the men who fought in it must be all negative, all the time with qualifiers regarding “our crimes” at any opportunity, all under the banner of “de-Tudmanization”;
  • Sack competent wartime and intelligence commanders whenever possible;
  • Legitimize ICTY political prosecutions and show trials of Croats from Croatia and B&H and applaud all politically-charged, logical acrobatic convictions based off of cherry-picked misquotes out of context, evidence suppression, and constructing events entirely out of chronological order;
  • Stay silent on Momcilo Perisic, Franko Simatovic and Jovica Stanisic’s acquittals, as well as no ICTY convictions of any Army of B&H commanders for the systematic war crimes and gunpoint ethnic cleansing of Croats in Central Bosnia and North Herzegovina between October 1992 and the1994 Split Agreement;
  • Paint Franjo Tudjman as a warmonger and authoritarian; compare to Ante Pavelic and Adolf Hitler when possible;
  • Push anything and everything Serbian in social and cultural spheres, no matter how low-brow (Baja Mali Knindza, Ceca, Cajke, how to be a Sponzorusa program on RTL, etc.);
  • Rehabilitate the cult of Tito and Communist Partisan “liberation” and infallibility myth at every corner, with if not daily then weekly stories referencing the “glories” of Tito and the Partisans, and make sure to have a weekly Yugonostalgia session on HRT by airing second rate, low-budget Yugoslav Communist political cinema;
  • Continually push WWII debates as if it was ongoing to cover up for failed policies and collapsing economy and no actual long-term political or economic strategy;
  • Frame all political and economic discourse about independent Croatia, especially the Homeland War, in a negative context while simultaneously framing any discussions about Tito’s Yugoslavia in a positive, at a minimum, neutral context;
  • Demand Croatia “come to terms with its crimes” of the 1990s while savagely denouncing any suggestion of the same in regards to the Communists’ crimes during and after WWII, or that the Serbian community in Croatia do the same in regards to both the 1990s, WWII, and the first Yugoslavia;
  • Ridicule the very idea of lustration laws being passed; label it “nationalist” to nip it in the bud;
  • Do everything possible to drive a wedge between Croatia’s diaspora and the Homeland;
  • Demand that Croatia abide by every single UN, EU, or ICTY demand, no matter how idiotic or how much of a double-standard, especially when they negatively affect Croatia’s sovereignty, national interests, and national security while simultaneously using all means available in defending the CCP (KPH/Communist Party of Croatia) and UDBa Octopus (Yugoslav Secret Police) at the expense of diplomatic relations with Germany and the EU;
  • Criminalize the very thought of Herceg Bosna or any Croatian legal or political equality, economic freedom, local self rule, or even following the Dayton Agreement as was agreed upon, and always support Sarajevo’s line, or remain silent on the burning Croat question;
  • Push a pro-London, anti-Berlin and anti-Vienna policy – sign a strategic partnership with the one state that comes in second to Serbia only in terms of damaging Croatia politically and diplomatically (UK) once foreign subsidies and foreign subsidized (and facilitated in foreign media) propaganda bring you to power;
  • Ignore Central Europe, never speak of the Visegrad Four (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary), and speak only of the “region” to Croatia’s south, not to its north, northeast or west – never even entertain the idea of making the Visegrad Four the Visegrad five, and never demand Serbia meet the same criteria and extra criteria Croatia had to fulfill for EU entry;
  • Accept money from anyone, including those “capitalist pig” governments who were supposed to submit to the superiority of Yugoslav Socialist Self-Management;
  • Denounce, decry and try to legally bar the right of Croatia’s Diaspora and Croats in Herceg Bosna to vote while not demanding the same for Croatian citizens of Serbian origin in RS (Serbian Republic) and Serbia, who do not pay Croatian taxes – organize bus transport for them to vote in Croatia;
  • Thwart any meaningful investment with bizarre regulations, a monstrous tax code, bureaucracy, and torpedo any business investment, including sweet-heart deals, at the strategic and state level through incompetence if they conflict with Anglo-American business or geopolitical interests (see the Qatar debacle).
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About the author: Ante Horvat was born in the USA in 1970′s. He has recently moved to live permanently in Croatia and although spending most of his life in the USA he had made several temporary residence visits to Croatia during that time. His education and professional development in history and international relations also spans across the two continents. He is an active observer of and participant in the development of democracy in Croatia since the early 1990’s and its correlation with the developed Western democracies.

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Part VI – The next installment will look the new and subtle English-language information warfare against Croatia, subsidized by allies no less.

 

 

Related Posts:

PART IV:  http://inavukic.com/2014/04/08/psychological-operations-and-information-warfare-against-croatia-and-croats-part-iv/
PART III: http://inavukic.com/2014/04/05/psychological-operations-and-information-warfare-against-croatia-and-croats-part-iii/
PART II: http://inavukic.com/2014/04/02/psychological-operations-and-information-warfare-against-croatia-and-croats-part-ii/
PART I: http://inavukic.com/2014/03/30/psychological-operations-and-information-warfare-against-croatia-and-croats-part-i/

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