“Israel’s Wild Beasts” And Political Persecution Of Croatia’s Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic

Zlatko Hasanbegovic: “I have never in any way whatsoever been an apologist for any criminal regime, whether Ustashe or Communist regime. Indeed, in all my public appearances and works I have always clearly emphasised that the Ustashe crimes (WWII) have not only burdened with a mortgage of defeat but represent the biggest moral stumbling in the history of Croatian people..." Photo: Patrick Macek/Pixsell

Zlatko Hasanbegovic: “I have never in any way whatsoever
been an apologist for any criminal regime,
whether Ustashe or Communist regime.
Indeed, in all my public appearances
and works I have always clearly emphasised
that the Ustashe crimes (WWII)
have not only burdened with a mortgage of defeat
but represent the biggest moral stumbling
in the history of Croatian people…”
Photo: Patrick Macek/Pixsell


How much the Jewish and communist lobby coming in the form of increased false accusations against Croatia’s culture minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic as Holocaust denier or anti-Semitic during the past three/four days, calling for his sacking, has to do with the fact that Istrael’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s words calling people of the neighbouring states “wild beasts” (and therefore needs lobby to raise the Holocaust tragedy up a notch or two in order to soften the blow of his atrocious words) is anyone’s guess. Whatever one’s conclusion here may be, one thing is for sure: Israel’s media (Jerusalem Times, Arutz Sheva…) and often pro-WWII and pro-post-WWII communist media outlet US Huffington Post and others have with terrible bias and discrimination against the truth jumped onto the bandwagon of Croatia’s pro-communists and anti-lustration communist crimes deniers to crucify an innocent man: Zlatko Hasanbegovic.



US Huffington Post and Israel’s national news portal Arutz Sheva have passed onto the world’s public most biased and politically suspect writings by The Adriatic Institute in Croatia, led by married couple Natasha Srdoc and her husband Joel Anand Samy against Hasanbegovic. What terrifies is not that these people along with Efraim Zuroff of Simon Wiesenthal Centre promote untruths and outright lies – that is to be expected in political battles and political scuffles for power – but the fact that these foreign media outlets such as Huffington Post and Jerusalem Post and Arutz Sheva have done nothing to seek balance and present the full picture of truth. The evidently politically conniving Arutz Sheva have even decided to pin a “far right” tag onto conservative centre-right HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union party in government when there is absolutely no evidence for that, and it’s very far from the truth. It calls Adriatic Institute “a leading Croatian think tank” when in fact it’s very far from that also. A small group of people with seemingly the “right” links around the world working to bring down conservative side of political orientation in Croatia, or perhaps, paying media outlets for the articles it writes (?) much in pursuit of amassing wealth perhaps.

I find it utterly insulting when I come across a completely vitriolic, filled with untruths and politically evil words designed to vilify the whole of the Croatian nation, reported statement by Adriatic Institute’s Joel Anand Samy that “the rise of anti-Semitism in Croatia and efforts of those connected to the HDZ political party to apply a revision of history with attempts to remove the facts on the Holocaust which killed six million Jews should be denounced by strong rule of law nations and Western diplomats based in Zagreb. The world cannot remain silent or look the other way”. Of course, Samy goes on to accuse Croatia’s government leaders of encouraging anti-Semitism!

Even the fact that Croatia’s minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic has stated that the WWII Ustashi movement was the biggest moral stumbling of Croatians in history, thus in no uncertain terms condemning anti-Semitism or pro-Nazi movements during that time and any that may be lurking around, is not good enough for communist crimes deniers and obstructers of justice for their victims such as Samy and Srdoc seem to be. It’s not good enough for mentioned Israel’s media outlets, either!

I have never in any way whatsoever been an apologist for any criminal regime, whether Ustashe or Communist regime. Indeed, in all my public appearances and works I have always clearly emphasised that the Ustashe crimes (WWII) have not only burdened with a mortgage of defeat but represent the biggest moral stumbling in the history of Croatian people, whose evil shadow hovers over the Croatian people to today. I am against all totalitarianism, fascist and communist, I belong to the government and political party that firmly stand behind plantings of democratic antifascism, anti-communism and anti-totalitarianism and which is dedicated to the values of democracy and parliamentary government. This is my view as a human being, as citizen, as politician and my moral and if you like my scientific view,” stated minister Hasanbegovic in one of his responses to false accusations and persecution against him.


One does not need to look too far to see why in the same article that quoted Samy from Adriatic Institute the Israel national news portal or Huffington Post evidently made no effort in seeking responses from Croatia to Samy’s allegations! It would seem in their interest especially now when Israel’s Prime Minister is engaging in “Hitler talk” against Arabs to keep regurgitating stuff about the Holocaust or anti-Semitism even if that stuff has no basis in truth of today.

It’s blatantly clear that Minister Hasanbegovic’s persecutors’ are not interested in the truth as things are panning out at the moment. If they were interested in the truth they would have nothing to say against the man on the score of Holocaust or anti-Semitism. But they must say something because they are fighting to retain the portrayal of the criminal Yugoslav communists as some kind of morally righteous movement that committed no crimes! And any killings they may have done, they would say – were justified and necessary! How utterly deranged!


Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel: “In the environment we live in, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.”

Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel:
“In the environment we live in,
we need to protect ourselves from
wild beasts.”

It is, of course, also to Netanyahu’s advantage at this time that at least some of the world’s attention is taken by issues of alleged today’s pro-Nazi fascists in any government, let alone Croatia, part of which had played its terrible part in the Holocaust – his terrible words against the Arabs or people of countries around Israel, calling them “wild beasts”, might then get buried without too much condemnation.

In the environment we live in, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts,” he said.


During the late 1930s, Adolf Hitler had referred to the Jews of Austria and Germany as “blood sucking beasts”. He then set about committing one of the most heinous crimes against them and elsewhere in Europe where his troops occupied territory, referred to as the ‘Holocaust’. Loosely defined, it is the systematic and willful slaughter or destruction of a people on a mass scale, to the point of extermination. But, at the same time and after World War II another holocaust had transpired on a much greater scale: mass murders, slaughters and extermination of innocent people opponents of communist regime. Every time I write about this I feel like a broken record, repeating ever more painfully this awful truth that communists have not paid for their crimes nor even condemned strongly enough where such strength brings about rejection of that totalitarian regime as being antifascist and positive even minutely. Perhaps once the communist crimes are brought on par with the Holocaust, which they in all the tragic reality were, the world won’t tolerate so easily anyone calling another human being a “wild beast” (?).
Netanyahu’s “wild beasts” comments  serve “well” those who argue that there has been a Holocaust going on against Palestinians in past decades and do not appear much different from what Hitler had said so many decades back about Jews. Have Netanyahu’s awful words sparked conclusions that Nazism and Zionism have thus merged into one? One could not but answer – having some aspects in mind it seems so, yes. But, there are no analyses or criticism of these words uttered by Netanyahu in Istrael’s media outlets that I could find. Yet, so much on the terror of the Holocaust, so much on victimisation and vilifying Croatia’s culture minister and centre-right government for anti-Semitism that does not exist – unless, of course, one went so far and evilly connected the minister Hasanbegovic’s and government’s intent to achieve justice for hundreds of thousands innocent victims of communist crimes to anti-Semitism?

Truly awful days for the Croatian government that needs to ride out the storm of communist wrath, however that wrath may be inhuman, and move ahead into the future where justice means the same for all. Wishing minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic a most fruitful career as minister in Croatia’s government that must show leadership in resisting and shrugging off false allegations for what they truly are: garbage. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Croatia: prolific anticorruption writer – sentenced for extortion!

Sasa Radovic Photo: Novi List

Recently, I wrote about Natasha Srdoc’s H-21 Party candidate (at last year’s elections in Croatia) Sasa Radovic and the criminal proceedings before a court in Zagreb against him for extortion/blackmail.

On 18 June Judge Zorislav Kaleb sentenced Radovic to two years imprisonment for extortion. In his explanation Judge Kaleb stated that the court found that Radovic had committed the crime of blackmail, as evidenced by witness testimonies and audio recordings. The extortion or blackmail took the form of Radovic demanding large amount of money from general Ivan Cermak, so that Radovic would not publish allegations of corruption against Cermak, etc (see my previous post on the matter). The minimum sentence for such a crime is three years but given Radovic’s age (72), his status as war veteran and no previous convictions, the sentence was reduced to two years.

It is expected that Radovic will appeal this judgment and sentence. That is the process to which he has a right under Croatia’s laws.

An interesting (and to some – irritating) sideshow continues when it comes to this case.

The sideshow is that Natasha Srdoc’s Adriatic Institute for Public Policy on it’s Facebook page continues to call Radovic a political prisoner of Croatia, accusing Croatia of having politically influenced judiciary and an unreformed police structure. Furthermore it strongly suggests that Radovic did not have a fair trial. In the same breath  it goes further and calls Croatia a “mafia state”.

I guess Natasha Srdoc and her followers could do themselves (and everybody else) a lot of good and join in Radovic’s appeal of the above sentence and judgment, on grounds of bias or unfair trial. They would, of course, as in any court of any democratic country, need to spell out those grounds. They’ve already said it was not a fair trial – without stating the details of their claim – so why not get in on the action in court, or provide those details to Radovic’s defence.

Making blanket offensive, insulting and vilifying statements like “mafia state” certainly won’t prove that Radovic’s trial was unfair, or fair for that matter. Trial by vilifying or slandering the whole state of Croatia in the media (e.g. facebook) doesn’t do anyone any good.  To my way of looking at it, it is profoundly unprofessional, mean and cruel to label a whole country as a “mafia state”.

I do not have details of Radovic’s defence during the trial and what evidence, arguments and testimonies his defence may have put before the court but I think I can safely assume that he did have a defence and that it failed to convince the court in its favour. This is the Croatia I know; not different to any other court in the civilised and democratised world.

There seems to be the feeling that some people, including members of H-21 Century Party, are convinced that Radovic is being “persecuted” because he exposed widespread corruption and war-profiteering by Croatia’s political, military and business “elite”.

To my knowledge the truth of the contents (corruption and war profiteering allegations) of Radovic’s books has not been tested in court yet and, hence, I am not in the position to comment either way. But, even if they represent the truth, that does not remove the possibility that the author of the books (Radovic) had himself acted abominably dishonestly – engaged in extortion and blackmail as the court judgment says. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Natasha Srdoc’s H-21 Party nest anti-corruption crusaders reveal ugly side to consider

Sasa Radovic Photo: Novi List

Corruption in Croatia is an intolerable reality that had spread its roots deeply within the society from the days of communist Yugoslavia. The former government’s minister of internal affairs Tomislav Karamarko (newly elected President of Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ) had waged a decisive and firm war against corruption.

Charles Crawford, a former UK diplomat who spent decades serving in or dealing with communist and post-communist Europe was quick to jump on the anti-Croatian lynch mob bandwagon that, in the midst of widespread corruption allegations in Croatia, failed to sit back and afford Croatian authorities the trust they should be afforded. Crawford wasted no time in calling Croatia a tyrannical state when he should have waited to see what develops. I wonder if he would call UK a tyrannical state if a candidate at parliamentary elections was arrested on suspicions of having committed some crime? In November 2011, he wrote:

“Sasha (Sasa Radovic) is now a political prisoner of a tyrannical state …

In an independent initiative, Denis Latin, anchor of Croatia’s state-run television and one of the most respected journalists in Croatia and Southeast Europe has joined well-known public figures in a signed letter calling for the release of Sasha. 

Over the last four months, over 20 political party candidates of H21, supporters and volunteers have been harassed, intimidated, lost business contracts and had visits by Croatia’s ‘financial police’.

 The Adriatic Institute for Public Policy and Hrvatska 21 call for the immediate release of Aleksandar Saša Radović and encourage Western leaders from strong rule of law nations to join this effort in calling for Croatia to uphold the rule of law and establish an independent judiciary”. 

Crawford wrote soon after Sasa Radovic was arrested in Croatia having, according to news and media reports, been caught in flagrante delicto receiving blackmail money. Radovic had reportedly been blackmailing General Ivan Cermak (acquitted of war crimes charges in the Hague, April 2011) for months. According to media reports the blackmail consisted of Radovic extorting money (one million Euros) from Cermak: Cermak pays the money to Radovic and Radovic will stop publically accusing Cermak of war profiteering!

Sasa Radovic, an activist and writer (one of his books on corruption and war-profiteering was “Tko je jamio, je jamio” / “Who grabbed, grabbed”) has been described as having in his book accused Cermak of amassing enormous wealth from selling petrol for Serbian tanks during the 1990’s war in Bosnia. Radovic had reportedly also been a member of a group of Croatian civil activists (including journalist Domagoj Margetic, and writer Darko Petricic) pushing for a Different Croatia, seeking that many politicians, government officials, president … leave their positions before “they do more damage”.

Reportedly, Radovic was also involved in the organising of a series of rallies (2008/2009…) under the banner “You tighten your belts, you thieving gang” that aimed to bring down the government and called out against criminals and war criminals.

Whether as author, whether as public speaker …Sasa Radovic, it seems, had been seen as a relentless anti-corruption activist, not shying away from naming persons who were, according to him, corrupt, regardless of the credibility of evidence he may or may not have had.

In 2011 he became a candidate for December 2011 general parliamentary elections for Croatia 21 Century Party. President of this Party is Natasha Srdoc, head of The Adriatic Institute for Public Policy in Croatia. Srdoc has received many accolades in “Western” media as the person who is a staunch anti-corruption fighter and whose resolve in this could significantly help bring Croatia out of the dark corridors of widespread corruption. She has been dubbed Croatia’s “Iron Lady” by some.

When Radovic was arrested in November 2011, Srdoc, though, had no time for respecting the justice process in Croatia – she charged forth defending Radovic and called his arrest a political arrest in the days before general elections. She wasted no time informing the international scene of her “plight”. Charles Crawford (former UK Diplomat) was one of many to jump on Srdoc’s bandwagon carrying a lynch mob against Croatian justice and authorities. Srdoc, it seems, had no time to sit back and wait; to allow Croatian police and criminal processing avenues to do their job.

Srdoc is the first to criticize Croatian justice system as being unjust, biased and non-independent and yet here she was doing exactly the thing she says she’s fighting against.

Also, instead of seeking that Radovic step down as candidate for her Party in 2011 general elections once he was arrested on suspicions of blackmail and extortion she dug her heels in and tagged him a political prisoner of Croatia. It’s a given that one must be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but to call an arrest for blackmail and extortion at election times a political arrest is wrong because it means that due process in processing allegations of criminal offences is ignored, purposefully I believe. Srdoc did wrong here and that, to my opinion, strips heaps off her credibility as an anti-corruption fighter, as a fighter for independence in judiciary …

Even during times of parliamentary general elections processing criminal charges and allegations must take priority over politics. But not in Srdoc’s world it seems?

Vecernji List news portal reports that at the court hearing (May 23, 2012) for blackmail against Radovic seceretly taped Radovic’s telephone conversations reveal evidence of blackmail (Radovic was arrested in November 2011 as he was receiving blackmail money after this phone conversation). It is claimed that in these phone conversations Radovic sought to extort (via middle-man Tomislav Micic, former employee of Security Intelligence Service) half million Euro from Cermak  – in return Radovic would stop the printing of his new book in which he reportedly names Cermak, again, for war profiteering. Also, Radovic reportedly sought that Cermak withdraws the defamation proceedings against him. Radovic has not presented his defence in this matter but it is expected that he may attempt to turn the tables against Cermak.

Natasha Srdoc’s H-21 Party website  boasts: “Adriatic Institute’s leaders have made a profound impact in changing the climate of public opinion in addressing Croatia’s criminal capitalism, unreformed judiciary, widespread corruption, absence of media freedom and an economy at risk through domestic and international high-level events”.

It would seem to me that Natasha Srdoc and some of her political associates (including Sasa Radovic) have captured the attention of international, and domestic media simply because they speak loudly in blanket statements (often speaking in general terms without evidencing specifics) against Croatian corruption and judiciary, creating a picture of Croatia that is as black as black can be.

Srdoc, instead of taking the route of positive change in influencing “climate of public opinion” by praising the positive changes and progress made in processing corruption cases in Croatia, decided to bang on and on about corruption as if nothing has changed.

There are many in the world who, for whatever reason, don’t like to see positive things about Croatia and latch on hungrily at anyone or anything that might feed their disliking of Croatia.

But things are not so black in Croatia as Srdoc and her associates would like us to believe; there are many positive changes and progress made. One must behold those while keeping a keen eye on those things that still need to be changed.

Perhaps another positive change will arise if Sasa Radovic, Natasha Srdoc’s H-21 Party  “leadership colleague”, is found guilty of blackmail and extortion. This would not be your “ordinary” run-of-the-mill blackmail and extortion case, this case announces an alarming  possibility that leaders (anti-corruption crusaders) such as Radovic may have devised a wicked, wicked plan: Shout loudly about corruption so that persons implicated or named (perhaps even without water-tight evidence) in your shouting get to pay you lots of money to stop!

Well, well, well – if it turns out that Radovic did extort and blackmail, could this be a novel avenue (a road less travelled) of extortion devised or perfected within the corridors of the very Croatian institute and political party that prides itself on anti-corruption, anti-organised crime?

If Radovic is found innocent then the allegations that he was a political prisoner may be proven as correct, and grave concerns about Croatia’s democracy and rule of law will indeed become justified, if that turns out to be the case, in this case.  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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