19 March 2005. Thanks to Mario Profaca (http://mprofaca.cro.net/)

Source: Nacional, Croatian weekly, 8 March 2005
(Published also at http://www.antegotovina.com )

(POA = Croatian Counter-intelligence Agency)


Britain's blackmail of Croatia in nine points

Nacional reveals the scandalous contents of the report (so called "no-paper") submitted by Geoffrey Lungley (British SIS agency [MI6] and first secretary of the British Embassy in Croatia) to Tomislav Karamarko, director of POA, on 1 February, which ordered the government what to do in the Gotovina case.


Dennis McShane, Britain's Minister for Europe and John Ramsden, British Ambassador to Croatia, in a recent visit to the Croatia government Nacional is in possession of a document which proves that Great Britain, through its intelligence agencies, is directly blackmailing the Croatian government relating to the Gotovina case and the start of negotiations for Croatia's accession to the EU, scheduled to begin on 17 March. This confirms suspicions of the very disputable role of Great Britain in Croatia's accession process, and the unacceptable encroachment on the sovereignty of this state. And the events that unfolded in POA headquarters on 1 February only prove that the policies chosen by Ivica Racan and Ivo Sanader, in terms of the relationship with the ICTY prosecution and relations with Great Britain, were completely off the mark.

In the morning hours of Tuesday, 1 February, Gereth Geoffrey Lungley, head of the British MI6 agency in Croatia, and officially the First Secretary for Political Affairs of the British Embassy in Zagreb, visited the POA headquarters and its director Tomislav Karamarko. After a short discussion, he pulled a document out of his briefcase and placed it on Karamarko's desk. The document was benignly entitled, "Suggestions for Improving Intelligence Cooperation". With this two page non-paper, the British taxatively, without any hesitation, blackmailed the Croatian government in nine points and ordered them what to do in order to receive Great Britain's support for Croatia on its path toward the EU. According to the British recipe, it's all very simple: people need to be blackmailed, publicly discredited and destroyed, and then win them over as informants. And this tactic needs to be applied to all - from Gotovina's colleagues, family, friends, the police, all the way up to justices of the Zagreb County Court.

Karamarko verbally informed Premier Sanader and President Mesic of the British document that same day, and three days later, on Friday 4 February, he informed the state administration in written form in a 13 page documents. Instead of informing the Croatian public and the international community of the completely inappropriate conduct by Great Britain, the state administration accepted the blackmail and began to play with human destiny in order to achieve a political goal - the beginning of negotiations on 17 March. Despite this, Britain obviously was not satisfied with the fact that its demands were met, and continued to do all in its power to prevent Croatia's negotiations from beginning.

The majority of the demands by British agents had already been place while Josko Podbevsek was director of POA. He was appointed to that post one year ago, after Mesic and Sanader were forced by British pressure to fire former POA director Franjo Turek and Chef du Cabinet of Mesic's office, Zeljko Bagic. Now it is completely clear that Turek had to go by British orders, as he did not agree to let the British rule over the Croatian intelligence system. Bagic's sin was in supporting such a stance as the main coordinator of the Croatian secret service. For the same reason, Deputy Premier under Racan, Goran Granic, also fell into Britain's bad graces, who was one of the first to catch on to Britain's game and the only person to oppose them, which also caused him to lose the faith of then Premier Racan. Considering that Carla Del Ponte plays the same game, as she is completely under the influence of Great Britain, Granic stood up against her and was harshly criticized. Turek's position was taken over by Josko Podbevsek, a surprise to all. There are speculations that he was forced on Sanader by Luka Bebic or Miroslav Separovic. However, the truth is much worse. Podbevsek was an agent for the OA intelligence agency in Mostar, and he came into very close contact with the head of the British agents in BiH, McAlister. Hence, it was logical that the British insisted that Podbevsek be made the new head of the top intelligence agency. However, due to his complete inexperience, which led to a series of incorrect assessments from the Puljiz affair to processing President Mesic, Podbevsek was forced to leave.

Nacional has learned from sources close to POA's current leadership that "operation Puljiz" was also orchestrated by British commands. Which is where we can find the reason for Sanader's hesitation to fire Podbevsek, fearing the British reaction if he replaced him. Looking back today, Sanader's fear was justified as following Podbevsek's replacement, strong pressures were applied on Croatia. This is easy to prove with Carla Del Ponte's position, who positively assessed Croatia's cooperation with the Hague in spring 2004, immediately after Turek's departure and Podbevsek's arrival. Once Podbevsek was out of the game, even though nothing was changed in the activity of the agency, and in fact activities were intensified in the Gotovina case, the Chief Prosecutor has suddenly decided that Croatia is no longer cooperating with the ICTY. It is perfectly clear that Carla Del Ponte says what the British tell her to say, as they were very angered with the Croatian government and president for removing the man they trusted, and through whom they were able to control all the processes in Croatia and have complete insight into the workings of the Croatian security system. What they truly believe is clearly seen in Lungley's document, which gives not only security instructions, but also political ones, as seen in the first point:


"[1.] Clear public statements of support by Croatian Premier Dr. Ivo Sanader and Croatian President Stjepan Mesic on the work of the Croatian agencies and police in the apprehension of Gotovina, and their expectations that all state officials will assist in this task."

Both the Premier and President listened to this advice and, on several occasions, publicly stated that which was ordered by the 'Lungley Document'. Croatia's two leading men were virtually in competition to see who would give the most statements of this kind, thereby proving that Croatia is sincerely cooperating with the Hague. Was this humiliation necessary? Certainly not, for it is clear to everyone and especially General Gotovina, that the first police officer to see him in Croatia would arrest him. During my interview with the general in 2003, he told me that he would not hold it against any police officer or intelligence agent who arrested him, as they would just be doing their job. Therefore, such a request by the British and the obedience of the President and Premier are not appropriate as they display distrust in the state bodies of the Republic of Croatia, which must abide by the Constitution and the Law without any warning or advice from the sidelines.


"[2.] An attempt to involve active military officers Mihael Budimir, Josko Buljan, Ivan Mihaljevic and Radovan Palmovic, who are connected with Markica Rebic. If they refuse to cooperate, they need to be fired from their posts and accused, and taken before a court for 'leaking' state secrets."

In this request, officers the British suspect of being close to General Gotovina or are thought to know his whereabouts are directly blackmailed. At the request of the VSA (Military intelligence agency), POA wiretapped their telephones and questioned them. Despite the fact that not a single criminal act was revealed, Radovan Palmovic and Ivan Mihaljevic were fired. Palmovic was put on the military waitlist, while Mihaljevic was removed from the SEI (Central Electronic Monitoring) and transferred to a teaching post in the Navy. The cases against Buljan and Budimir confirmed nothing other than the fact that they are in good relations with Gotovina and his family, however, their futures are now up in the air.


"[3.] Carefully focus on Ante Kotromanovic and Ivo Farcic, including communications. Kapetanovic claimed that through these two persons he was in contact with General Gotovina last October and that he received a response from Gotovina within 6 days."

Wiretapping measures, monitoring and mail checks were immediately put into place against Kotromanovic. It was established that Kotromanovic, as Gotovina's friends, was in contact with the general's attorney Marin Ivanovic and wife Dunja Zloic-Gotovina.


"[4.] Take decisive action against the Zadar network which supports and which, at least until recently, was involved in illegal activities. They should cooperate or be legally prosecuted for extortion, drug smuggling and other illegal activities they are involved in. Members of the Zadar police, which protect their activities, should be called as witnesses, or should also be prosecuted for corruption. The targets: Ante Djoni Maksan, Denis Erceg, Zeljko Matozan, Bozo Jusup."

The action against these men, according to the British formula, began back in April 2004 immediately after the arrival of Podbevsek as head of POA. A spectacular operation was carried out of house and office raids, alongside telephone tapping and monitoring. Maksan was suspected of drug smuggling in 1994, while Erceg as the leader of criminal activity in that area. All possible measures were also taken against Bozo Jusup, director of Tankerkomerc. It was established that he had not financed Gotovina, but that misdemeanor charges had been raised against him for not paying customs on the sailboat 'Tukan', which Gotovina's family and Zeljko Dilber sailed on this summer. During their sailing, the maritime police stopped them on orders from POA, believing that they would find the fugitive general on board. Following a search, it was established that Gotovina was not on board, and misdemeanor charges were filed against Dilber for not reporting his crew and passengers to the Zadar Port Authority.


"[5.] The remaining members of Hrvoje Petrac's gang should be surrounded and arrested. The police should join efforts to compile evidence that will stand up in court against them. Witnesses should be offered the appropriate protection. Judges paid by Petrac, i.e. Kresimir Devcic and Ivan Turudic, should also be prosecuted as a means of frightening them. Financial data of 'Atlas Insurance' should be made evidence of money laundering, which could also be used against Zeljko Dilber. Once a criminal case is established against him, then a deal needs to be struck for his cooperation in the Gotovina case."

Hrvoje Petrac is interesting to the British on suspicions that he is one of Gotovina's partners, and therefore he was banned from entry into the EU. Legal experts were surprised when Judge Ivan Turudic sentences Petrac to six years in prison for participation in the abduction of the son of General Zagorec. According to their claims, with the shaky evidence presented in court, Petrac shouldn't have received a day in prison. The day before the ruling, alarm bells began ringing in the state administration over rumours that Petrac's son Novica would be acquitted on the charges. Premier Sanader admitted this himself at the meeting of party leaders held on Friday, 18 February, after Petra? was sentenced. On Thursday, 17 February, the British Ambassador told a group of people that "Petra? would be acquitted and for that reason, the Croatian state administration would have an emergency meeting that day". If that was truly the case, then the British order to 'frighten the judges' was in fact carried out to the letter. Judge Turudic should tell the public just what influence the state administration had on his ruling. At Atlas Insurance, where Zeljko Dilber is employed, the tax administration has completed a detailed audit, however, not a single element was found to suggest that this company was used to finance General Gotovina' s hiding. This ruined the British plans to blackmail Zeljko Dilber and force him to cooperate. With respect to the judges, it has not been established that Petrac had bribed them, however, they have been under special POA monitoring for the entire duration of the case. Time will likely tell what happened in those contacts and whether they were influence by third parties, however, the sentence speaks for itself.


"[6.] Franjo Turek and Zeljko Bagic need to be promptly prosecuted if they do not cooperate in the issue of how they maintained contact with Gotovina, how the intelligence operations were carried out to protect Gotovina, etc."

The Croatian authorities followed item 6 completely. First Bagi? and Turek were attacked in the media and stigmaticized, and then POA raised criminal charges against them for allegedly releasing confidential state secrets and illegally monitoring and wiretapping. Both men have been treated as criminals, forced out of the public sector and thrown onto the street, only in order to blackmail them and force them to cooperate in the Gotovina case. Neither has any connection to criminal activities in the Gotovina case, which the state administration knows very well, however, they are keeping quiet as they decided to sacrifice these men in order to satisfy the British demands.


"[7.] The members of the band under Vinko Zuljevic Klica could also be collected/surrounded, criminal cases established against them, and then deals made to discuss the Herzegovinian part of the network supporting Gotovina."

In the British obsession that Gotovina is moving on the border between BiH and Croatia, suspicion has also fell on Vinko Zuljevic, who immediately became the subject of a POA investigation on British orders. Investigations were launched into the security companies 'Bilic, Eric and others' in Sesvete, over which, according to POA, Zuljevic has 'informal control'. In reviewing Zuljevic's operations, POA only came to the assumption that he deals in various criminal activities, but no concrete evidence was found. Furthermore, the secret service was unable to find evidence that Zuljevic or someone from his group, participated in enabling or financing General Gotovina in hiding.


"[8.] The financing of the contract of Ante Roso's 'Mediteran Union Tunel', which was recently approved by Cabinet Minister Kalmeta, should be carefully investigated for illegalities and corruption. Once corruption is established, Roso can be threatened that the deal will be off unless he cooperates in the Gotovina case."

At the order of the British, POA immediately "threw" itself into wiretapping and monitoring Ante Roso and investigating the operations of 'Mediteran Union Tunel' (MTU) which began drilling the tunnel Sveti Ilija to connect Dalmatia to BiH in 29 December 2004. POA was zealous, and the secret measures were expanded to Gotovina's best man Ljubo Grepo, director of MTU. In its operation, POA failed to reveal a single element to suggest that this company had been used to finance Gotovina, and the only common factor is that they were in contact with Gotovina's attorneys, especially Ivanovic and Luka Misetic, and occasionally paid a visit to Dunja Zloic-Gotovina.


"[9.] Markica Rebic should be criminally prosecuted for violating the Constitutional Law on cooperation with the Hague Tribunal unless he explains how those staff members who once worked in the operative action 'Haag' continue to assist Gotovina."

After receiving this order from the British, POA began wiretapping and monitoring Markica Rebic, who was established to be a friend and in frequent contact with Ante Gotovina before he fled the country in 2001. In addition to being in contact with Dunja Zloi?-Gotovina, and previously with the suspects Ivan Mihaljevic, Radovan Palmovic and Josko Buljan, POA did not establish that Rebic was in contact with General Gotovina or that he knew of his whereabouts. Considering that Rebic was in frequent contact with Marin Ivanovic, one of Gotovina's attorneys, POA also began monitoring him. They revealed that Luka Misetic, Gotovina's American attorney, stayed at Ivanovic's home.

The British were not satisfied that POA's execution of their requests as of 1 February did not turn up any evidence for their claims, or rather for Carla Del Ponte's claims, that General Gotovina is in Croatia. Furthermore, their investigations did not turn up anyone who could be considered in contact with General Gotovina or financially assisting him. The British were dissatisfied with these conclusion and are going ahead with their threats to stop the negotiations on Croatia's accession into the EU from commencing. They continue to claim that Croatia has not done all it can to find Gotovina, arrest him or sent Gotovina to the Hague, not appreciating in the least the humiliation that the Croatian government has endured in accepting such blackmail.