After public statements about Perković my home was broken into, after which his collaborator Tomislav Mičić victoriously called to investigate
After a number of international public media statements where he discussed the “Lex Perković” affair, well-known investigative reporter Željko Peratović felt the repercussions. Peratović has been investigating Perković for a number of years and upon returning from his last guest appearance on HRT (Croatian State Television and Radio) he found the door of his home broken down and shortly received a telephone call from Perković’s good friend…
Already notorious “Lex Perković”, the insulting nickname given to the Judicial Collaboration in Criminal Cases with EU Member States Act, the same Act which was passed in a strange turn of events in Croatian Parliament recently, has begun to take on unseen proportions. Many believe that this Act was drafted and passed solely to protect Josip Perković, former employee of UDBA, the Yugoslavian Secret Service and numerous Croatian secret services. The act is looked down upon by top brass in the EU, especially in Germany where for the past six years the judiciary has been working fruitlessly to carry out a warrant issued for Perković and other suspects linked to the murders of Croatian emigrants in that country. It seems that the coalition government in power will stop at nothing to protect Josip Perković. They have risked a foreign affairs conflict with Germany and the EU, which Croatia joined only recently. They are also not afraid of disqualification before the people who this Act can harm. Furthermore, tenured professor at the Zagreb University Law School Zlata Đurđević was removed from the working group that drafted the changes to the Judicial Collaboration in Criminal Cases with EU Member States Act (Lex Perković), simply because she pointed out the omissions and discrepancies associated with the Act passing in parliament.
It seems though that there are people whose fates obviously depend on “Lex Perković”, people who are using different methods of frightening “outsiders”, methods that are similar to mafia-style warnings.
Namely, the head of the branch of independent journalists of the Croatian Journalists’ Association, well-known investigative journalist Željko Peratović had a very uneasy experience after a number of public appearances in the international media where he discussed the “Lex Perković” affair and Josip Perković himself, a man he has been investigating for many years. Upon returning from his last appearance on HRT he came home to find his door broken open and not long after received a phone call from Perković’s friend…
* Not long after being a guest on German and Bavarian Television as well as on Croatian Television, where you discussed the “Lex Perković” affair, your cottage was broken into. You stated that you suspect that the break-in was tied to your media appearances. Can you tell us more?
– I spent a week in the countryside and returned to Zagreb for a short time to appear on Croatian Television on Sunday the 23rd in the program Markov trg and to film a show for Bavarian Television discussing the extradition of Josip Perković to Germany. In the meantime I gave two statements on the same topic on Wednesday for Croatian Television’s program “Hrvatska uživo” and “Dnevnik”. I have been working on renovating an old house and estate near Karlovac for the past four years and have never had problems like these and spend time there all year long. I have a good relationship with my neighbour. The only thing I found that was suspicious in the last while is that my telephone had been bugged again.
However, I was very surprised when I returned to the countryside from Zagreb on Friday. My cottage had been broken into in four places: the cellar, tool shed, wood shed and cottage itself. The thieves had taken their time and used great skill, but their loot was negligible – a gas tank, a faucet and some fuel. They ransacked the cupboards in one room but not in the other. The police who came to investigate the scene also noted the discrepancy between the care taken to break in and the stolen goods. In similar situations around Karlovac thieves have been known to remove people’s windows from the house itself. At that point I got a call on my mobile phone from Tomislav Mičić, a person who as far as I know is also mentioned in the German warrant alongside Perković. He had a victorious smirk in his voice and asked me to comment Parliament’s decision to pass the Act which was in force as of that day, the Act by which Croatia would not extradite him or Perković. I told him that I would congratulate Perković and him for convincing the government to so selflessly protect the two of them. This made him laugh even harder, so he asked me what my relationship with Bože Vukušić. I told him I had no relationship with Vukušić, to which he stated that Vukušić was a fool if he had thought that events would unfold in any other way. I ended the call stating that I had work to do with the police, and he did not seem very surprised when I told him my cottage had been broken into. He invited me to have coffee with him next time I was in Zagreb.
Although I told the police that possible motives for the break in were my television appearances discussing Perković’s extradition, I did not tell them about Mičić’s call that same day. I was still in shock. The police officers told me to feel free to call them if I remembered anything else and that they would call me or come by to see me. They did not call or come by, and my suspicions became darker until I phoned the police officer in Karlovac who was in charge of the case and told him about Mičić’s call. Over the weekend I had remembered a number of situations where those involved in an attack, threat or similar situation would telephone or visit the victim to see what effect had been achieved. Particularly, Mičić is also being investigated in Germany in relation to threats against Gojko Bošnjak and Petar Penava, again tied to the Perković affair. I began explaining to the criminal investigator in Karlovac that Mičić was also on the EU arrest warrant, to which he responded with numerous uncomfortable “yeses” and ended by asking “is that all”. Of course, I never got any more information from the police. I was afraid of my own safety; my former source Milan Levar had been murdered using, among other things, part of a gas tank. This still unsolved case bears the classic mark of an UDBA murder, and I then decided to speak about this publicly. I also told the story to German Television journalists who are continuing to follow the developments in the Perković affair.
* In the past you had certain problems with Josip Perković and you have been investigating his work and character for a number of years. Perhaps you are precisely the person to tell us who Josip Perković is exactly and why the state government is putting itself in a dangerous situation including foreign affairs and political scandals to protect him, and why he seems to also enjoy the protection of the President’s Office?
– Honestly, I expected support for Perković to come from certain circles of the HDZ and President Ivo Josipović by putting pressure on the judiciary to obstruct his extradition. I say circles of the HDZ because certain people at the top of that party were mentioned as collaborators of UDBA as well as those who worked with Perković in various ways earlier and later. I include President Josipović because he was under enough pressure from someone or something to name Perković’s son Saša as his National Security Advisor and because he does not intend to ask for Saša Perković’s resignation. I know that Minister of Justice Orsat Miljenić has had a certain relationship with Perković and his attorney Anto Nobilo from the time when Miljenić was head of the Government Office for Collaboration with the Hague Tribunal. Miljenić was the person who forwarded the falsified Ministry of the Interior’s so-called “Ahmići Report” to The Hague, a document which had been prepared by the head of the Terrorism and War Crimes Department Branko Turić, while the identity of the anonymous witness was actually attorney Nobilo.
That “report” did not pass authorization at HIS. That service had the HVO archives at its disposal and was in charge of collaboration with Blaškić’s legal team. Nobilo asked HIS clerks to authorize the questionable report numerous times, which they refused requesting to speak with the witness in the story where Blaškić was not at the meeting when the attack on Ahmići was agreed upon and who stated that the command to attack was given by Kordić. During Nobilo’s operation Perković was a consultant working under a service contract at HIS. At the same time he was also working as Nobilo’s expert collaborator, evidence of which is stated in Jasna Babić’s book “Conspiracy Blaškić”. Minister Orsat Miljenić got notice from HIS that the “report” would not get their authorization, but the then-chief of the Government Office for Collaboration with the Hague Tribunal forwarded the document to the Hague nonetheless. Blaškić was freed on the basis of this document, and Kordić was convicted. In her book Carla Del Ponte also states that the report was falsified, but that the Prosecution found out about this too late. With this in mind, I really wasn’t hopeful that Minister Miljenić, President Josipović or some other international circle could sway Prime Minister Milanović to pass a last-minute law preventing the extradition of Perković and his UDBA colleagues to Germany.
I was obviously wrong. Milanović gave in to pressure from Perković’s network, subjecting the entire country to international shame but also to, it seems, financial sanctions. It’s interesting to note that Nobilo was Vesna Pusić’s candidate for Minister of Justice in the Račan Government, but the late president of the SDP , who was always careful to stay away from Perković and his group, was wise and refused this suggestion. For almost a year Račan refused to co-sign the appointment of Damir Lončarić, Perković’s man from their days in the Yugoslavian Police, as director of HIS. In the end he succumbed to convincing from Goran Granić, his deputy from HSLS , who Perković had started to influence as early as 1993 when a SIS employee physically attacked Granić at the village of Vrbik. I know a man who had was then working for Perković at SIS who says that Granić was supposed to be killed that day, an act which my source refused to carry out and Granić was only threatened. Apparently this threat had an effect. The Minister of Defence from the HSLS quota in the Račan Government, a man who currently serves as a member of parliament for the HNS, Jozo Radoš, was at that time linked to Perković through Blaškić’s godfather Ante Damjanović. Damjanović served as Radoš’s special consultant for security, in reality superior to ministerial assistant Mladen Ružman and SIS director Davor Bišćan. Radoš like to meet with Damjanović and Perković in the evenings at Sesvetski Kraljevec. It is not strange then that precisely these men were the most vocal about passing “Lex Perković” in Parliament.
* A large controversy was sparked around the visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Do you believe that her reason for cancelled the visit was the Josip Perković case?
– Yes, I believe so. German diplomacy always speaks with gestures, a never explicitly uses words. Of course that Germany is shocked at the moves made by Zoran Milanović, a man who the German Chancellor had supported with her European mentorship. However, the German political insult, namely the feeling of betrayal is not something that is expressed loudly but rather through giving the cold shoulder.
* What do you believe the decision about such important issues as the application of European Union Law such as the Judicial Collaboration in Criminal Matters Act being made the day before joining the EU says about Croatia?
– The message is that the UDBA network has put all its hope in the SDP-HNS coalition and that currently it is living the height of its triumph, a fact that is not hidden by people such as Nobilo, Mičić and others. However, this is only short-term because Germany and the EU will not let this go. Milanović it seems has not learned anything from the example of former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, whose mysterious reasons for resigning as Prime Minister are still unknown today.