Josip Perkovic and commanding responsibility for war crimes in Gospic, Lora, Derventa...(on croatian)
If ICTY put in process the case Gospic, Josip Perkovic, in time of commitment of crimes, assistant of minister of defense for security (authorized for military counterintelligence secret service SIS and Military police), after Tudjman and Susak's death, according to the principle of commanding responsibility, would be the firs accused.
In the time of crime, Mirko Norac was inferior to Perkovic, and after the crime, Perkovic protected Tihomir Oreskovic from civilian service, the secretary of Cross command for Lika, from penal pursuit, in way to give him a job in SIS (Military Counterintelligence Secret Service), with himself. On trial in Rijeka, which was led by brave judge Ika Saric, Perkovic was called only as a witness, and not accused. He claimed that he didn't know for crimes which was done by accused Oreskovic and Norac, although several witnesses claimed that they informed Perkovic on time what kind of crimes were done in Gospic. As a reporter from Novi list noticed on trial, the journalist Ico Mikulicic, Perkovic's testimony went to favour of Norac and Oreskovic.
Josip Perkovic, as right hand of deceased minister of defense, Gojko Susak, was informed, and by testimony of former military policeman, Mario Barisic, even participated in hiding of war crimes in Split's Lora and place Derventa in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Perkovic's role in the war, and untouchable position towards ICTY (reporter Jasna Babic in book Conspiracy Blaskic, wrote that Josip Perkovic decisively helped the lawyer Anto Nobilo to reduce the punishment to Tihomir Blaskic) and Croatian administration of justice, reminded of case of Aleksandar Vasiljevic, war chief of KOS (Counterintelligence service of Yugoslav People's Army). Vasiljevic was only witness on trial to Milosevic and witness on trial for war crime on Ovcara in Belgrade, and not the accused.
Croatian President, Stjepan Mesic, named Perkovic's son Sasa for his advisor for national security, and said that Josip Perkovic after first democratic elections include in intelligence services, he formed Croatian intelligence service and went to retirement. There were those who were suspicious about his good attentions, but nothing was to put against him.
That is completely wrong statement, because Josip Perkovic in time of Yugoslavia, by the end of 70's, was arrested by BND in Swizerland, under accusation that he brought a gun to certain Josip Miller and 70 000 Deutsch Marks at that time to kill one Croatian political emigrant on teritory of Federal Republic of Germany. German intelligence diplomacy can't understand that one agent, who was caught in flagranti, by foreign secret service, can later make great career in Yugoslavia and also in independedt Croatia. Such example is not known in the whole world.
Many of analysts today in Croatia think that Josip Perkovic, although in retirement, has decisive influence on decisions which, about secret services and organised crime, brings Premier Sanader and President Mesic. Supposedly, on Sanader is influenced through the chief of POA, Tomislav Karamarko, and on President Mesic, through his son, Sasa Perkovic.
We bring two reports of his testimoy on trial for war crime in Rijeka (Oreskovic spy of FBI and Stedul, Oreskovic, Perkovic ), which shows, that not only on time he didn't prevent the crime, but he didn't for about ten years as a witness want to clear up the case, and that guilty persons, direct guilty persons, Tihomir Oreskovic and Mirko Norac are punished. It is not difficult to guess why, if we go back on the principle of commanding responsibility.
They promised to stand up for Busic
Perkovic said that by his knowledge Stedul was not officialy employee of MORH (Ministry of Defense), although there were also stories like that. He knows only that Stedul worked something once for the army, acquisition of some military equipment from abroad, but it wasn't done well. He was coming to me and to Susak, but those were private visits for some certificates, documents etc... The story that Stedul was the employee of MORH maybe came out of a fact that he had military identity card, but he got that by Susak's order, as a president of party, to move easier throught Croatia, and that identity card got his wife also.
Yesterday Oreskovic asked Perkovic about so called Spegelj's plan of taking military barracks. The witness replied that he was always against that way, because it didn't have any chance then. Those were ideas of premature attacks, without forces and elements for attack, condemned to fail, and about that also gave evidence so called Virovitica case. I was standing up for entering intelligence in military barracks, not for blocades from outside, but from inside, and taking over important institutions. I think that time confirmed my thoughts. Our good example of it was taking over of military hospital worth 500 millions of dollars, which was taken by blockade from the inside. On further Oreskovic's questions, he confirmed that Spegelj was deceived by KOS (Counterintelligence Service of Yugoslav People's Army), because he was available to captain Jager, who was directly under command of chief of KOS, Vasiljevic
Investigating the background of the thing how the text and photos about murders in Gospic got into New York Times, Perkovic found out from Stedul that some photos made in Gospic chief of police Dasovic and Tomljenovic, he thought it was some investigation or something like that, he recorded that on information about that case, because he thought it could be useful.
The criterion for liberation- Were you people in SIS liberated at once those who just said that they were not guilty or was it only in Oreskovic case? – judge Saric asked witness Perkovic, alluding on strange criterion.
- Welllll...there were no many of cases like that – replied uneasily the experienced intelligence agent, obviously not having much manoeuvre space, answered Perkovic.
- Was Tudjman always deciding who will stay in prison and who will SIS liberate? – the judge was continously unyielding.
- It was the only case like that – the witness replied.
Norac isn't saloon officer The witness don't know who had the strongest authority in Gospic, he repeted that Norac had pivotal role in defense, he heard about that from different sources, so it was also his conclusion. The judge asked if he heard about other prominent men meritorious for defense, for example, Canic, and the witness confirmed that,emphasised that he thought in positive sense. On Norac's question, the witness Perkovic confirmed that there were agents who were tried to insert in army by KOS and other services, even through officers of former JNA, who were registering themselves volountarily. Yesterday was heard out officer of HV, Stevo Prazic, who was suggested by Norac for a witness. Prazic described Norac in best light, and he was refering him in military way, holding his hands on the back with words respested Mister general. On Norac's question he confirmed that general wasn't saloon officer, but he always marched with soldiers. He said that he was acting by rules and for soldier who transgressed, used disciplinary measures. He didn't know if Norac ever broke laws. The witness, on Norac's questions, explained that the army in 1991. was establishing and in the same time they were defending from enemy and trained. The witness trained them, as a educated officer, especially antitank combat, because the enemy had powerful tank force. At that time, they were hardly surviving and keeping the line of defense, and also establishing the army. Prazic empasized that he as an officer with Serbian nationality, didn't have any problems, and he was not disregarded in the army.|W|P|111574335923907544|W|P|Stedul, Oreskovic, Perkovic|W|P|
Novi list, Date of release: 27.8.2002. Section: Black chronicle (on croatian) THE TRIAL TO GOSPIC GROUP FOR WAR CRIMETESTIFIED BY CHIEF IN WAR OF ADMINISTRATION OF SIS (COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SERVICE IN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE), JOSIP PERKOVIC Oreskovic spy of FBI First accused was earlier an American spy, in connection with FBI, engaged to collect for that service datas about Yugoslav consulate in Chicago – says, among others, in document from which was taken yesterday the sign of state secret, and which was written by Perkovic Reporting: Ico MIKULICIC Photo: Roni BRMALJ RIJEKA- Tihomir Oreskovic was earlier an American spy, in connection with FBI, engaged to collect for that service datas about Yugoslav consulate in Chicago – says, among other things, in document from which was taken yesterday the sign of state secret. That confirmed yesterdays witness Josip Perkovic, one of the most powerful people in secret services in former state and leading organizer of secret services in independent Croatia. The document from which the sign was taken off, was written by him, and yesterday he explained how it was made.
Avoided up to leading
Josip Perkovic anyway didn't allow to be brought up to court in police escort, what was ordered by the judge because of not responding. He came alone on the trial. Unofficialy, from people who participate in process, we heard that he came to Rijeka alone the day before and avoided coming of police on Monday morning to pick him up. Although he was one of the most important people of secret services who knew how the system was functioning, so probably the police didn't mind that they didn't have to accomplish such unpleasant role. Perkovic came to courtroom in elegant blue suite, which quality could be seen from the distance. He was helping himself with also an elegant stick of dark colour with golden pattern, he limpped, pulling one leg. He gave to the judge medical documentation which justified previous two absence from trial, and it was about illnes of his back and spine. He was answering academicly, professionaly and complicated, always trying to turn the questions in his favour.
-It was right after Josip Manolic asked from me to use my canals abroad and to check datas about Oreskovic and happenings in Gospic, because in New York Times there were released text with photos about murders of civilians. There was a doubt that someone gave them that photos, to spite Croatia – said Perkovic.
- Even from time of former state, I worked on questions of foreign emigration and name of Tihomir Oreskovic was appearing from time to time in reports about emigrants, but it was not specially prominent. He had worked for some emigrant radio station and he was close to Stedul's people from HDP (Croatian Statehood Movement). Those days I met Stedul in Parliament and asked him about Oreskovic. He told me the story about engagement for FBI and added that Oreskovic was doing that with their approval and that he was useful to them – explained Perkovic. Later he realised that Manolic maybe took advantage of him because he saw the newspapers article in New York Times and found out that in the papers wrote that photos were from Serbian sources, said Perkovic.
That Oreskovic's engagement for FBI was connected with time of Yugoslavia, so the lawyer Bosiljko Misetic wasn't that anti-Yugoslav, and not anti-Croatian engagement and the witness confirmed it as an anti-Yugoslav activity. In document was mentioned another agent, but from Udba – Josip Oreskovic, with whom Tihomir had conntacts, but it was not clear who kept who on the line. In report about Oreskovic's activity was written by hand: Chech who had who on the line. On Oreskovic's questions, Perkovic confirmed that after coercively departure from Gospic in 1992. Tihomir was in his service SIS:
-The informations I got about you don't need any further checking, we didn't have indications that you had connections with any foreign service. If we had such indications, we would be put under control – and you have never been.
-Do you have informations that I worked for secret services of former state – asked Oreskovic, alluding on insinuations of some witnesses.
-No, I don't have such informations – said firmly Perkovic.
On lawyer Skrlec's question, the witness Perkovic said that was possible that Manolic disinformed him about the article in New York Times, maybe because he wanted Perkovic removed. Yesterday was lots of talking about famous meeting at Tudjman's, held after some time from acknowledgement of crime in Gospic, and that was time when there were discussions about Oreskovic's destiny and others arrested in Zagreb. The witness gave totaly different description of meeting at presidents', thanit were descriptions of Manolic and Reljic, who claimed that they were for processing , but the stream of Susak and Perkovic overcame, who protected Oreskovic, named him for a soldier and asked to surrender to them and then liberated him. -It is not true. Nobody of them were for processuing, on the contrary, it seemed to me that they were glad about descision to stop with that. We presented to President that Oreskovic is claiming that he has nothing to do with leading away the civilians. Tudjman said to us not to start a criminal proceedings if we don't have evidences. The investigation would make problems, from inside and outside, what would do damage to Croatia, which was waiting to be recognized. He ordered to continue investigation silently and that Oreskovic doesn't have to know about that. For organisation of the investigation he named Manolic, but later on we didn't get any directives, Perkovic said.
Even cassette was not secret
The sign of top state secret was taken off also from the cassette on which was recorded interrogation of chief of police in Gospic of Ivan Dasovic. In 1991. that was made by Smiljan Reljic and Marijan Benko. About that cassette there were lots of talks as a document for which many of highly positioned state functionaries claimed that it was their first cognition about crimes. Perkovic claimed that he heard for it for the first time one month ago in reports from that trial.
-Nobody ever has given to me that cassette or showed transcripts, Perkovic said.
After fact that was asked and approved the taking off the sign of state secret, it was almost sure that cassette would be heard on trial – and that was soon. Those informed ones claimed that it was very interesting and it opened question of role of different persons.
-Why Tudjman didn't order to Reljic to liberate Oreskovic – as a civilian police they were leading the investigation. It is not logic that you take him over and let him go, that means, why on that meeting was not the chief of militry police, who is counterpart of chief of civilian police, and not you frmo the secret services – asked Skrlec.
The witness replied that he probably was called personaly by President Tudjman or Manolic. To the lawyer it was not clear how Perkovic made informatins about Oreskovic only with one meeting with Stedul on corridor, when he had such intelligence canals abroad, which he was using.
-Stedul had exactly those canals and good connections abroad. He was suitable source, he replied.
On question of Norac's lawyer, Perkovic said that his role in defense of Gospic was essential and pozitive.
Yesterday was also heard witness Dara Pezelj, whose relatives were among missing ones, she said that she knew very little about disappearings and she seemed pretty scared.
Oreskovic became sick
Interrogation which lasted six hours of Josip Perkovic, overtired the first accused Tihomir Oreskovic. Around 15:00 he complained to the judge Ika Saric and went for examination, and he didn't come back – his blood pressure was 190/120 and it was concluded that he was not in condition to participate in continuation of interrogation and the trial was delayed for the next morning, when he would continue with his proclamation.