Attack on secret services

Ivica Djikic

MON, 05 JUN 2000

Zagreb, May 31 - The event happened whole three months too late: on Wednesday, May 24, special police units surrounded and, after that, took over the headquarters of the Croatian Intelligence Service (HIS) in the Zagreb suburb of Kuniscak. Namely, it took the President of the Republic, Stipe Mesic, and the Prime Minister, Ivica Racan, whole one hundred days to realise what has been clear long ago to everyone who knows anything about dark secrets of the Tudjman's regime, and according to one of those secrets HIS has been functioning all these years as perhaps the most important supporting point of the former authorities. It would have probably been no problem, had the arrogant association of Tudjman's spies - which was for years a HDZ free of charge service - understood on time what happened to this country on January 3: instead of realising that together with Franjo Tudjman, a criminal regime and its accompanying ideology were also buried, they continued to serve their former bosses by creating a system of intelligence underground network to which it never occurred that the indecisive new authorities could send special units on that well protected HDZ fortress.

In view of rather peculiar habits of the new authorities, some three hundred HIS members - namely, people who came to that service only after checks which were personally carried out by Djurdja Susak, widow of the late Defence Minister, Gojko Susak - wouldn't have ended in the street had not the public learned of a scandal with false identity the secret services, headed by the former first national spy, Markica Rebic, provided for four murderers from Ahmici. Namely, Pasko Ljubicic, Anto Sliskovic, Vlado Cosic and Miroslav Bralo, a.k.a. Cicko, lived for years in Croatia protected by false names and falsified papers produced in dark intelligence laboratories, while the former authorities took good care of both their physical and material security. Naturally, HIS had precise information about false names of criminals from Ahmici and their whereabouts in the Zadar region, but for a long time Ozren Zunec - now former chief of HIS who came to that post thanks to Ivica Racan - did not think it necessary to communicate that information to the competent authorities, i.e. to demand an immediate arrest of monsters responsible for the killing of 116 Bosniac civilians, including a seven-month old baby.

It seems that for Zunec and his political mentors several months of quibbling with President Mesic and his private Chief of Office for National Security, Tomislav Karamak, as to who will be in charge of appointing intelligence service bosses, was more important than arresting the cold-blooded murderers and disbanding the underground intelligence network which continued working as if there never was a change of power: namely, they continued to serve individuals from HDZ ranks, to provoke rightist popular protests and to protect infamous gangster groups which ruled over this country for over ten years. And while the state top leadership lost time with legal competences and elaboration of schemes for the restructuring of intelligence community, HIS agents diligently carried on their work. Confidential documents kept going out from the headquarters of this service to be later on passed to one obscure media or other, while killers were getting signals to remain in hiding because their activities might one day catch the eye of the new authorities.

In other words, the criminals from Ahmici had one hundred days to leave the country which, in all likelihood, they did, while all segments of the new authorities, especially the repressive ones, made fools of themselves before the public.

This tragicomic incapability was additionally emphasised by the statement of Ivica Racan that over a month earlier the police already had information on the whereabouts of the Ahmici group and the rage he expressed at the fact that the papers carried the news about four killers living in Croatia, under assumed names. In all this, it never crossed his mind to ask himself what was the police doing all that time and why it didn't arrest the criminals the same moment it found out that they were living in Zadar. Also, it never occurred to him to fire Sime Lucina, Minister of the Interior, on the spot, same as it will probably never enter his head to close his doors and resign his post if it turns out - and no one doubts that it will turn out - that the Ahmici foursome escaped before his very nose. He probably thinks that everything was solved with the "actual disbanding of HIS" as he rashly stated, as well as by the appointment of Damir Loncaric, a long-time policeman, to its helm.

Obviously, neither Racan nor the company around him, especially not the HSLS chief Drazen Budisa, understand that the police action in HIS must be only an introduction into a broad-based operation of destroying the remains of the HDZ Mafia rule which is particularly deeply rooted in intelligence services. Eight hundred employees of the Security-Intelligence Service of the Defence Ministry and the same number in the Service for the Protection of Constitutional Order, which is working as a part of the Ministry of the Interior, were no less loyal to Tudjman's regime and no less conscientiously did the dirty work than their dismissed colleagues from HIS.

However, all these people are still doing their work, and the new authorities are tolerating their shameless acts, so that no demoted HDZ potentate could accuse them of revanchism. Speaking of revenge, following are the example of how far this phenomena reaches: Miroslav Tudjman, old Tudjman's son and the man who, on the direct orders of his father, organised all local secret services and orchestrated most of underground intelligence operations, returned to his teaching profession at the Faculty of Philosophy without being called even for an informative talk; Markica Rebic, the most infamous local spy, simply retired and can be heard of occasionally in papers when attacking Racan or Mesic for disturbing his pensioner's days; Ivan Jarnjak, former Minister of the Interior, who ordered and operatively led the bugging of several hundred free-thinking citizens, is enjoying his cushy parliamentarian job without any fear that he could be called to answer for his activities; Smiljan Reljic, Jarnjak's long-standing batman is still employed in the National Security Office; Djurdja Susak, long-time HIS personnel official and until recently a powerful patroness of the Herzegovina Mafia, is enjoying herself in a villa presented to her and her husband by the city of Zagreb; Ivan Brzovic, former chief of SZUP was only demoted to the post of a counsellor of the new chief of that service; Ivic Pasalic is Vice-President of the Croatian Parliament.

All these people for which the state has special concern should be joined by a whole army of persons, regime servants, who kept their old jobs. All said and done, the question remains whether HIS affair would have at all happened if the story about the Ahmici killers had not leaked to the press and the Chief Hague prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, had not found out about them?

Original article