The cases of Josip Perković: The war crimes committed in the Split military port “Lora”

The witnesses mentioned 14 and 15 April when the ICRC representatives visited Lora asking for the permission to enter the military prison because they found out about the unregistered prisoners captured there. This caused panic so before the ICRC representatives entered Lora, Josip Perković, Assistant Minister of Defense in charge of SlS (Secret Intelligence Service) had ordered the transfer of the prisoners.

INVESTIGATION ABOUT THE WAR CRIMES COMMITTED IN THE SPLIT MILITARY PORT LORA STARTED

Jutarnji list, 15. 03. 2001.

By Stanko Ferić and Marijo Kavain

 

ŠIBENIK, SPLIT – Mario Barišić and Milorad Paić gave their testimony before the members of the criminologist department of 73rd battalion of the Military Police on what they saw and experienced in the military prison in Lora from 9 and 30 April 1992. They were sent to Lora by order of Tvrtko Pašalić, co-commander of 72nd battalion of the Military Police to put the prison in order.

Material evidence and audio records

Lora, Mario Barišić, Josip Perković, Tomislav Karamarko, Mladen Bajić
According to the order of Tomislav Karamarko, the chief of the secret service and Mladen Bajić, Chief of State Attorney, the Zagreb Criminal Police at October 2007 also took away my newspaper archive related to the crimes of the military police.

There are material evidence, and even the audio records made by order of Franjo Tuđman which prove that besides Franjo Tuđman, also Gojko Šušak, Janko Bobetko, Drago Krpina, Jure Radić, Hrvoje Šarinić, Smiljan Reljić, Onesin Cvitan , Franjo Gregurić, Josip Juras, Mile Ćuk, Mario Nobilo, Zdravko Židovec, Mate Laušić, Mirko Šundov, Miro Međimorec, Miroslav Tuđman, Tomislav Šutalo and many others knew about the war crimes committed in Lora in April 1992.

For the first time Mario Barišić and Milorad Paić now appear as witnesses. Between 9 and 30 April 1992 two of them and Damir Boršić between 12 and 30 March 1992 went from Šibenik to Lora to put the military prison in order in line with the standards of the Croatian Army. They confirmed that on 9 April in Lora they were received by Tomo Duić, military prison commander and his deputy Tonči Vrkić and were shocked with the catastrophic conditions in the prison. They saw a cell crowded with the civilian prisoners that were deformed from beating and two policemen in the other cell fighting against each other over who would continue beating the man that was lying on the floor.

The cell walls were splashed with blood. Two days later, on 11 April, Barišić and Paić came to Lora again with the co-commander of 72nd battalion of the Military Police, Tvrtko Pašalić., and entered so called C block where they found the then commander of the crime department of 72nd battalion of the MP, I.L. and three military policemen. On the table in the room divided in wooden boxes there was an induction telephone while the floor was flooded with the blood water.

On the wooden benches there were lying men dressed in the winter uniforms of the Yugoslav National Army.

According to the testimony given by Barišić and Paić, the men were calling for help and asking to be killed while the three military policemen were laughing.

Mario Barišić, Gojko Šušak, Franjo Tuđman, Josip Perković
Mario Barišić saw traces of crime, after it happened: the walls of block C sprinkled with blood, human ear on the toilette floor, he heard stories about crimes from other military policemen. In order to prevent repeating of these things, he informed his superiors, even President Franjo Tuđman.
After he gave testimony in Tuđman’s office, a meeting of highest people in Government was held, on which, the late Minister of defense, Gojko Šušak, said: “That Barišić should be eliminated”. When one part of shorthand of that meeting appeared in public, one of the members of the meeting, Ivan Jarnjak, in 1993. the Minister of police said that Šušak didn’t mean kill, when he said, “to eliminate”.

They found out that it was about nine Montenegrin prisoners (according to the data of the IRC and Veritas, they were the members of the JNA Nikšić corps, Luka Gazivoda, Ratko Simović, Dušan Barović and Luka Adžić while the identity of other five is still unknown).

They saw them being heavily harassed, the ears were cut to some of them or tongue or their eyes were stabbed. According to the witnesses, they were defonned from beating and because they were not registered it was possible for whomever to do whatever with them.

The witnesses mentioned 14 and 15 April when the ICRC representatives visited Lora asking for the permission to enter the military prison because they found out about the unregistered prisoners captured there. This caused panic so before the ICRC representatives entered Lora, Josip Perković, Assistant Minister of Defense in charge of SlS (Secret Intelligence Service) had ordered the transfer of the prisoners.

Two rows of military policemen

Lora, Mario Barišić, Josip Perković, Mladen Bajić
The commander of Mario Barišic, Tvrtko Pašalić, who spoke with Josip Perković of hiding prisoners of war before International Committee Red Cross (photo by Nikola Majstrović)

Before the prisoners were put in the military truck they had to pass two rows of policemen that were beating them with sticks. B.M. was driving the truck, which was escorted by the policemen from Šibenik, Mario Barišić, Tomislav Matić, Milorad Paić, J.T. and M.K.

The majority of the prisoners defonned from beating were the civilians from Split, Kastela, Ubla, Livno and Kupres. Among them there were old people and women that were first taken to the military barracks in Šubićevac (part of Sibenik) and then accompanied by the military policemen J.T, M.K. and T. to Zadar. Barišić and Paić do not know what their destiny was later and what happened to nine Montenegrins severely tortured.

However, two of them confirmed that the military policemen in Lora told them about the killed prisoners being thrown into Kevina’s Pit (Kevina jama) on Kozjak Mountain. Regarding the events in Lora, the names of Antonio Lekić, Nikola Krišto and Frane Goreta were mentioned as the persons whom certain policemen said about what they had seen there and how they were powerless to do anything because their superiors had protection from “above”.

After the testimony was given by Mario Barišić and Milorad Paić, the investigation is probably to include other witnesses and possible charges are to be brought. If this happens, around twenty persons will be added to the list of the suspects.

Lora, Mario Barišić, Milorad Paić, Josip Perković
Milorad Paić and Mario Barišić as Croatian special policemen in Kijevo (area Knin) in 1991.

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Has Mario Barišić given testimony uselessly?

My comment posted on my first site peratovic.net 31 Oct 2004

The projection of documentary called “Lora-testimonies”, of authors Nenad Puhovski and Pero Jurišin, put Mario Barišić in the middle of public interest again, the former military Policeman from Šibenik, who first through the institutions of the state, and then in medias, and at last at the court, gave testimony about war crimes and criminals, which was under authority of Military police and Security-informational service of MORH in Dalmatia, during the war years.

Slobodan Šnajder was praising Mario’s honor and courage in e-mail which he sent me and also asked me with worry: “Why Barišić didn’t charge someone of the eight accused in court in Split, when everything indicates that they were the torturers in Lora”?

I answered him that Mario Barišić didn’t want to lie. He didn’t see accused from Lora torture and kill people. He saw traces of crime, after it happened: the walls of block C sprinkled with blood, human ear on the toilette floor, he heard stories about crimes from other military policemen. In order to prevent repeating of these things, he informed his superiors, even President Franjo Tudjman.

After he gave testimony in Tudjman’s office, a meeting of highest people in Government was held, on which, the late Minister of defense, Gojko Šušak, said: “That Barišić should be eliminated”. When one part of shorthand of that meeting appeared in public, one of the members of the meeting, Ivan Jarnjak, in 1993. the Minister of police said that Šušak didn’t mean kill, when he said, “to eliminate”.

Lora; Josip Perković, Franjo Tuđman
Perković (left) at the meeting with Tuđman as Assistant Minister of Defense for Security. Perković’s competencies were Special Forces Units of the Ministry of Defense, Military Police and Military Counter-Intelligence Service (SIS).

Why that shorthand is not mentioned in the film “Lora-testimonies”, is not clear to me, especially when we know that the author of scenario of “Lora”, Pero Jurišin, quoted most of the in his text in “Nedjeljna Dalmacija”, and he has got for sure the shorthand of conversation between Tuđman, Šušak, Jarnjak and others about Mario Barišić?

When the spokesman of President’s office, Danijela Barišić, in 2001. confirmed that shorthand is given from President’s office to the state court, I asked from worker in archive of President Stjepan Mesić, Željko Bagić, to give me just to see that controversial conversation. Bagić was convincing me that he gave the shorthand to Željko Žganjer, at that time he was County’s state lawyer in Šibenik (today the chief of USKOK) and Mladen Bajić, at that time County’s state lawyer in Split (today the Head state lawyer), and it has to be seen what they are going to do about that evidences.

The key evidence which proofs that Mario Barišić noticed Tuđman about crimes in MORH is till today stayed unalloyed for wider public. Supposedly it was used in “Lora” process, but it had a sign of secret on it, so even Barišić, as a witness in the process, even after official written demand to State court, couldn’t get it.

The destiny of Mario Barišić is in many ways similar of Levar’s. After the murder of Milan Levar in Gospić, County’s state lawyer from Šibenik, Željko Žganjer, gave him a police protection, which Mario, obviously disappointed, cancelled after two years.

Protection policemen betrayed him to his enemies, and he was getting information that some circles connected with Levar’s murder, and hiding of Ante Gotovina, are preparing his death.

Differently from Levar, he met the trials for some crimes about he gave a testimony, but he didn’t meet the ones he held for responsible to be accused the ones who organized that crimes, made them possible, made a profit out of it…

On this page we are going to give a summary of Mario’s search for truth and justice Through the institutions, medias, courts. After Levar’s death, the State should give him the full protection and seriously analyses all his quotes, and not trying to manipulate with his testimony in “Lora” subject, so even Slobodan Šnajder could think that Barišić is protecting the committers of war crimes.

If Mario give up forever his very hard expedition, it will not be his fault….[/box]

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