Intimidating the Witness Against Perković

Lex Perkovic shaking Croatia - hilarious thriller / photomontage by Ja Zmaj

Lex Perkovic shaking Croatia – hilarious thriller / photomontage by Ja Zmaj

This article I posted on an independent website, 10. 09. 2013.

  The only witness who has accused Josip Perković of war crimes to date did so by showing the court an old photograph of the most famous Croatian spy and stating “This man beat me”. This same witness had his cottage broken into precisely at the time “Lex Perković” was being passed in parliament He feels that this was an act of intimation. According to neighbors who live nearby, the cottage was broken into by four men with a dark coloured van, men who did not seem to be worried about people seeing them break into the cottage in broad daylight. During the same time my cottage was broken into, and as with Gračanin nothing was taken from my home either. At first I was unsure of who was behind the break-in, but now I am sure. 

   The only witness who has to date accused Josip Perković of war crimes, Dobroslav Gračanin, was victim of a burglary this summer when his cottage near Sveti Ivan Zelina was broken into. Gračanin has lived in the Netherlands since 1994. He spent eight months in 1992 in the Kerestinec Prison Camp, after which he was unable to make a decent living and moved abroad. What he found most difficult was running into camp guards in the streets of Zagreb.

   The one man he did not run into in the city was the man who had broken eight of his ribs in the Military Court Building in Gajeva Street, the space now used as the office of State AttorneyMladen Bajić. He did not even know the man’s name until he was called as a witness and injured person in the court proceedings for Kerestinec and received a bill of indictment where the name Josip Perković appeared on the witness list. He searched for the name on an online search engine and found a number of photographs among which were those from 1992 where this most famous Croatian spy was seen in the company of Franjo Tuđman (Croatian President) and Gojko Šušak(Defence Minister). I uploaded these photos on the internet myself.

   In his deposition last year at the Zagreb County Court, after Perković stated that upon learning of the crimes at Kerestinec he had informed his superiors and they dealt with the situation,Gračanin showed Judge Marijan Garac the photographs he had printed out and stated “This man beat me.” 

Gracacin HTV                                    Dobroslav Gračanin testify at war crimes trial in Kerestinec (photo by HTV)    

   A few other witnesses for the defence, former guards, confirmed that Perković had visited Kerestinec as the head of SIS (the military counter-intelligence service). Neither the Croatian State Attorney’s office (DORH) nor Judge Garac did not want to know more about this. The court called Perković as a witness only to discuss the authenticity of certain documents from SIS. Gračanin was also at this hearing. After speaking for about half an hour about how the SIS documents had come to be, with nobody asking him about his role in the crimes, Perković took the liberty of speaking about it himself. 

   “I must add that earlier a witness here stated that I beat him. This is not true. I have never been to Kerestinec (author’s note: Gračanin states that Perković beat him in Gajeva Street, and that he came to speak to him at Kerestinec two more times). The witness made this up after my deposition. Why didn’t he recognized me earlier? Here an article about Kerestinec from Nacional magazine written in 2007 with both my photograph and his. How come he didn’t military recognized me then?” Perković stated, waving the said magazine.

Perkovic Kerestinec                                                  Perković as a witness at the trial of war crimes in Kerestinec (photo by HTV)

   Gračanin showed the court his own photographs with a smile and stated “I recognized you in the photographs from the time you beat me.” Perković nervously put the magazine back into his bag, raised both arms in the air and stated “Well, fine then” and saying goodbye calmly left the courtroom. Judge Marijan Garac commented on the whole scene by staring at the table in front of him, as if he was not in the courtroom.
    This scene heralded the present pompous dominance over the government in Croatia. When Prime Minister Zoran Milanović states that Perković will be tried in Croatia for crimes committed in UDBA (the State Security Agency during the former Yugoslavia), and continues on to say that those who do not believe in the Croatian judicial system should leave Croatia, something is clearly wrong.

Garac Kerestinec                         Judge Marijan Garac feared Perković, so let him go out of the courtroom without his permission (photo by HTV)

   A year has passed since Gračanin privately filed a criminal case against Perković with DORH. By law, DORH is required to provide the applicant with a response stating whether the case has been accepted and prosecution is underway by formal jurisdiction or if the case is being dismissed, referring Gračanin to file a private case. Not only has there not been any formal response but to date DORH has not conducted any investigations based on this charge. This was confirmed by the applicant himself recently when he travelled from the Netherlands to Zagreb. 

                                                                                   Deutsche Welle, 06. 03. 2013.

 Gračanin also visited his cottage near Sveti Ivan Zelina. He found the chain at the entrance broken. Nothing had been stolen. A neighbor who spends six months a year in Sweden stated that at the time “Lex Perković” was being passed he came across four men with a dark van who cut the chain. When the neighbor asked the men what they were doing, the men asked if he was the Swede and where was that Dutchman. They threatened him and told him not to report anything. 

    “They didn’t steal anything because other than a pick, shovel and fence at the entrance, there was nothing else at the cottage. This was a simple case of intimidation,” Gračanin told me on Saturday at my estate near Karlovac. My cottage was broken into at the same time. After the break in and on the very date “Lex Perković” was voted on in parliament I received a call fromTomislav Mičić, Perković’s collaborator from outside Croatia and from the Ministry of Defence, asking me “how my health was”. Nothing valuable was stolen from me either. I reported the break-in to the police and told them about Mičić’s call and that my public appearances about Perković could be a motive.

                                          TV magazine Kontrovers Bavarian television reported a break-in at my cottage (04. 07. 2013)

More than two months have passed and the police have not yet contacted me about this. However, until Gračanin told me about what had happened to him, I was not sure whether my suspicions were legitimate. Now I am certain. When German journalists from ARD and Deutsche Welle were working on a story where they were discussing the European Arrest Warrant for Perković at the beginning of this year, they asked me to put them in contact with Dobroslav Gračanin so that they could prove the continuity of criminal activity between the old Communist government and the new Tuđman government. This theory concurred with the conclusions I arrived at myself through my work with this topic over the last 16 years. Gračanin was happy to accept my invitation to come to Zagreb in February and participate in the report prepared by the German journalists. They asked him if Croatia was ready for EU membership, and he stated that it was not because corruption is still rampant. Prime Minister Milanović would not agree with him. He doesn’t even know who Gračanin is just as he would not have known, without the help of disobedient media, who Josip Perković is.

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