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    Australia - Croatian Six

    Who Was The Croatian Six Mastermind?
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL110...mastermind.htm

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  3. #3

    The Fight Against Yugoslav Intelligence in Australia

    PART 1 – published in scoop.co.nz

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1003/S00021.htm
    Tuesday, March 02, 2010

    ASIO’S POOR RECORD
    By Sasha Uzunov

    The alleged use of Australian passports by Mossad--Israeli intelligence—agents in a recent Middle East assassination suggest an impotent Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), which is responsible for our domestic safety. But ASIO has a poor record in tracking down the bad guys.

    In 2006 The Australian reporter Cameron Stewart revealed that Chinese communist spies were running rampant in Canberra so much so that ASIO increased it recruitment of agents.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1111112747905

    Columnist John Birmingham has taken the mickey out of ASIO’s slick new job ads in search of nosey, latte-sipping spies. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/blo...0224-p39q.html

    It is both tragic and comical but ASIO has a poor record in catching the bad guys. The 1970s infiltration of Australia by then Yugoslav communist spies is a classic case.

    Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic communist federation founded in 1945, modelled on the Soviet Union, and fell apart in 1991 into various independent nation states.

    Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) later known as SDB, together with Yugoslav military counter-intelligence (KOS) were largely pre-occupied with silencing dissident Croats, Macedonians, Serbs and Albanians living in Western Europe, North America and Australia, who were agitating for independence from Yugoslavia.

    UDBa was so ruthless and efficient it at one time rivaled the old Soviet KGB and Mossad in liquidating opponents. In Munich, West Germany, a whole section of a cemetery was set-aside for Croats assassinated by UDBa.

    Communist strongman Marshal Josip Broz Tito ruled Yugoslavia until his death in 1980 and during the height of the Cold War managed a great balancing act between East and West. He was seen as an indirect ally of the West after his infamous split with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1949.

    A number of Australian left-wing politicians, including Victorian State MP Joan Coxsedge, began to allege that ASIO was turning a blind eye to extremist Croatian elements, who were secretly training on Australian soil to undertake terrorist attacks on Yugoslav territory or upon Yugoslav diplomatic missions in Australia.

    In this atmosphere of terrorism mania during the 1970s Australia’s Croat community were looked upon as the bad guy.

    No doubt this was not helped by the fact that a sizable number of Croats during World War II had collaborated with the Nazis. However, a large number had also fought against the Nazis as Partizans, including Franjo Tudjman later to become President of independent Croatia in 1991. But UDBa began to target the émigré Macedonian community in Australia, which had no history of large-scale Nazi collaboration, in fact the opposite.

    Then there is Federal Attorney General Lionel Murphy’s infamous ASIO raid on 16 March 1973.

    So much has been written about Murphy’s raid on ASIO. The controversial politician used the pretext that he was being kept in the dark by ASIO about alleged émigré Croatian terrorism on Australian soil aimed against the Yugoslav government. ALP Prime Minister Gough Whitlam said the Murphy raid was a mistake which hurt his government.

    On 27 June 2007, I applied under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the media briefing notes of George Negus, Murphy’s Press Secretary and later celebrity war reporter, hoping if they could throw more light on the raid. But I ended hitting a bureaucratic brick wall.

    We now know that the alleged Croatian terrorism on Australian soil was the work of UDBa. In 1991 legendary ABC TV investigative reporter Chris Masters dropped a bombshell on the Four Corners program.

    Masters filed a story about The Croatian Six case. An agent provocateur set up members of Australia's Croatian community in 1979. Six Croats were imprisoned on false charges of wanting to plant bombs in Sydney. Masters tracked down the agent provocateur, Vitomir Visimovic, who was an ethnic Serb living in Bosnia but had passed himself off as a Croat.

    In fact, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police (successor of the Commonwealth Police) and the infamous and corrupt New South Wales Police Special Branch were all aware that Visimovic was an UDBa operative but suppressed the information during the trial of the Croatian Six. Moreover, the alarming thing was the Australian authorities let the man depart the country. This was during Malcolm Fraser’s tenure as Prime Minister.

    Masters’ older brother, fellow journalist and Rugby League Legend, Rugged Roy Masters wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on November 25, 2005:

    “It is fashionable now to be a Croatian Australian, what with nearly half the Socceroos, including captain Mark Viduka, of Croatian background, plus Tony Santic, the owner of Makybe Diva, the triple Melbourne Cup-winning horse, and Andrew Bogut, the basketballer making a big impression in the United States.

    “But when a young Scottish-born girl named Shirley, raised in north Queensland, started going out with Nikola Stedul, a Croatian-born cane cutter, in the early 1960s, her sister was horrified, asking, "Does he carry a knife?"

    "Croatians were the bogymen then," Shirley, who married Stedul in 1965, said. "Like Muslims are today."

    The Steduls, who live in the Melbourne suburb of Altona, after being adrift in Europe for 30 years because the Australian government would not renew Stedul's passport, warn the new anti-terrorism laws will create more problems than they are likely to solve. They claim a possible outcome is a society divided into the privileged and the proscribed, creating fertile ground for home-grown terrorism.

    "Paradoxically, the police and security agencies will be more efficient but the population will be less secure," Stedul, 68, says.

    “The Steduls accuse ASIO of conspiring with the Yugoslav secret police to prevent them returning to Australia and co-operating with a paid assassin, Vinko Sindicic, who fired six bullets into Stedul as he leaned through a car window outside their Edinburgh [UK] home on October 20, 1988.

    “Two bullets entered his mouth and four were fired into his body, one nicking his spinal cord, causing a slight limp.

    “Sindicic was arrested at Heathrow Airport after a neighbour had recorded the registration number of the hire car from which he had shot Stedul.

    “The assassination attempt and the resulting trial, where Sindicic was sentenced to 32 years' jail, were given widespread publicity, and a film was produced for Scottish television. At the trial it was revealed that Sindicic had been in Australia in 1978, working with another Yugoslav agent on a plan to link Croatian political activists with terrorism.”

    Television reporter Sarah Ferguson, the wife of ABC TV Lateline host Tony Jones, rehashed some of the discredited claims of Croatian terrorism on the now defunct Channel Nine program Sunday:

    “The post-war migration boom brought not only cultural diversity, it brought ethnic divisions and old-country politics and foreign agents. It also spawned the first manifestations of domestic terrorism, a threat ASIO failed to deal with because the offenders were anti-communist Croatian nationalists.”

    (The Spying Game, 2 April 2006, Sunday program)

    Ferguson did not interview Chris Masters about his 1991 expose nor did she speak to anyone from the Croatian community.

    Because my parents were Macedonian migrants to Australia, I naturally developed an interest in UDBa’s activities. I began to investigate the infiltration of the local Macedonian community by UDBa. My quest took me to Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia in 1993, which broke away from Yugoslavia together with Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991. I spoke to Aleksander Dinevski, a former high-ranking official within the Interior Ministry, responsible for both the Police and Security Services.

    Dinevski revealed he had read a number of files that confirmed UDBa had monitored and infiltrated Australia’s Macedonian community.

    On 6 January 2006 I received a curious email out of the blue from Dr John Schindler, Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy, United States. Naval War College:

    “I encountered your recent article discussing UDBa terrorism and was intrigued. I'm doing research into the topic of Yugoslav state security (UDBa, later SDB) anti-émigré operations during the Cold War, including assassinations.

    “I've found some information you cite, including the ASIO scandals of the 1970s, but as an American I must confess some of the cases you cite (eg Croatian Six) were new to me. Have you published anything else on this topic? Any thoughts on where I ought to be looking for more info on UDBa operations in Australia?”

    I explained to Dr Schindler that the Australian authorities, in particular ASIO, had turned a blind eye to UDBa operations on Australian soil or had tried to hush things up.

    In 1974 Dr Blagoja Sambevski a Macedonian dissident living in West Germany was assassinated by having his skull smashed in ala Trotsky style by an UDBa hit man in a Munich train station. In 1981the hit man entered Australia on an unknown task but was quietly told to leave by immigration officials.

    Mr David Perrin, a Liberal Victorian State MP for Bulleen, in 1990 accused in parliament the Melbourne-based and tax-payer funded Australian Yugoslav Welfare Society (AYWS) of being a front for Yugoslav intelligence.

    Professor Nikola Zezov, an academic at Saints Kiril and Metodi (Cyril and Methodius) University in Skopje, has bravely explored Macedonia’s controversial communist past within Yugoslavia.

    He is co-author of the 2005 ground-breaking book “The repressed and repression in contemporary Macedonian history” (Represijata I represiranite vo sovremena Makedonska istorija). He was given access to 14,000 intelligence files. He concluded that one in five Macedonians living in communist Yugoslavia (1945-91) were paid informers for UDBa. This is an alarming figure on par with East German communist intelligence, the Stasi, and its hold on the population.

    In March 1993, Stevce Pavlovski, Macedonia’s Public Prosecutor told me in an interview he would not open an investigation into communist crimes because he would end up having to imprison fifty per cent of Macedonia’s old communists.

    It is surprising that no Australian big name investigative reporter or scholar has ever bothered to access the old UDBa files held in the newly independent states of Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro (Crna Gora), and Kosovo. They must contain a goldmine of information on Australian politicians and journalists!

    Source: Team Uzunov



    SECOND part in a series on Yugoslav intelligence acitivities on Australian soil from the 1970s to the early 1990s.

    PATRIOT GAMES: ONE MAN’S FIGHT AGAINST UDBa
    By Sasha Uzunov

    During the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, an intelligence war was waged by the communist regime of Yugoslavia to intimidate and silence Australia’s Macedonian migrant community but one man, George Kostrevski, managed to fight the good fight.

    In 1991, I met the feisty and well respected Kostrevski who was President of the Australian-Macedonian Welfare Council, in Melbourne’s western suburbs and a champion of free political thought. The AMWC is now known as the Macedonian Community Welfare Association (MCWA).

    Kostrevski, who was a Socialist-Left Australian Labor Party (ALP) member and an admirer of legendary ALP right-wing kingmaker George Seitz, alleged that in 1983 he had been ordered by a local Yugoslav agent of influence in July 1983 to: “hold the Yugoslav political line…or he would not be allowed to return to Macedonia to visit relatives.”

    Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic communist federation founded in 1945, modeled on the Soviet Union, and fell apart in 1991 into various independent nation states of Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) later known as SDB, together with Yugoslav military counter-intelligence (KOS) were largely pre-occupied with silencing dissident Croats, Macedonians, Serbs and Albanians living in Western Europe, North America and Australia, who were agitating for independence from Yugoslavia.

    UDBa was so ruthless and efficient it at one time rivaled the old Soviet KGB in liquidating opponents.

    Communist strongman Marshal Josip Broz Tito ruled Yugoslavia until his death in 1980 and during the height of the Cold War managed a great balancing act between East and West. He was seen as an indirect ally of the West after his infamous split with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1949.

    In the 1970s and 80s, a number of Australian left-wing politicians, including Victorian State MP Joan Coxsedge, began to allege that ASIO was turning a blind eye to extremist Croatian elements, who were secretly training on Australian soil to undertake terrorist attacks on Yugoslav territory or upon Yugoslav diplomatic missions in Australia.

    In this atmosphere of terrorism mania during the 1970s Australia’s Croat community were looked upon as the bad guy. We now know that the alleged Croatian terrorism on Australian soil was the work of UDBa agent provocateurs.

    Mr David Perrin, a Liberal Victorian (Australian) State Member of Parliament for Bulleen, in 1990 accused in parliament the Melbourne-based and tax-payer funded Australian Yugoslav Welfare Society (AYWS) of being a front for Yugoslav intelligence.

    Kostrevski, despite the fear generated by Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa), refused to be silenced. He had tried to raise this issue with his comrades within the ALP Socialist Left but it fell on deaf ears. In frustration he met with the Liberal Perrin at the MP’s electoral office in June 1991. Kostrevski invited me to sit in on the discussion and asked I keep this quiet whilst he was alive in case his family was targeted.

    Kostrevski named names, dates, places and extraordinary detail as to the activities of UDBa in Melbourne, in particular how Macedonian community organisations had been infiltrated.

    He passed away in 2002 and was granted a posthumous Victorian State Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs.

    Kostrevski was a humanitarian who believed in non-violence to combat UDBa as well as proving welfare services to his community. It would be fitting if The Republic of Macedonia, which broke away from communist Yugoslavia in 1991, awarded him a high state order posthumously for his services in defending human rights and freedom of speech.



    Third part in a series on Yugoslav intelligence activities on Australian soil from the 1970s to the early 1990s.

    HOW COPS STOPPED FLOOD OF WEAPONS IN MELBOURNE

    By Sasha Uzunov

    In 2007 Paul O'Sullivan, the then head of the Australia Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) warned that global terrorism would continue and there were no guarantees against more civilian casualties. In effect, all our law enforcement and security agencies can do is to minimise it as best as possible.

    In light of this, a little known Victoria Police operation 20 years ago helped to stop the flood of illegal weapons getting onto the streets and into the hands of home grown terrorists. The impact it had was to send a message--loud and clear-- that overseas linked crime and terror were not going to be tolerated in the state of Victoria, Australia.

    That story can now be told because one of the leading figures behind that operation is seriously ill and may not have long to live. Detective #####, who retired in 1998, was part of the PSG (Protective Services Group) within the Victoria Police at the old Russell Street offices in Melbourne’s city centre. He was tasked with investigating terrorist organisations including the Tamil Tigers, and ethnic-linked crime. He was very knowledgeable about the activities of Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) on Australian soil and even knew some of the key agents of influence!

    I got to know ##### in the late 1980s as a young reporter interested in ethnic-related crime. My parents are Macedonian migrants. He was a canny operator who would pump you for information and would never reveal anything unless it was in his interest to do so.

    When he got wind of me investigating a leading UDBa agent of influence based in Melbourne with links to the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) Socialist Left faction, he offered some fatherly advice by warning me that the agent of influence was “being protected by people high above.”

    But ###### then proceeded to reveal to me that the agent of influence had between 1968 and 1979 amassed criminal convictions in the state of Victoria for stolen goods, illegal gaming and financial deception. The UDBa agent of influence was permitted to work as a state public servant despite his criminal record because ASIO had sealed his rap sheet from access. The inference being that the agent of influence may have been cultivated as a “double agent.”

    ######, decorated with a Police medal for bravery in the line of fire, was a dedicated family man who grew roses in his spare time!

    One of his favourite warnings was" If you write anything about me, I'll chop you!"

    He telephoned me out of the blue in 1990 asking for some information on a stolen weapons racket and if I had heard anything. He said he was deeply concerned about weapons getting into the hands of the wrong people. I told him I knew nothing and asked if he would elaborate.

    But ###### being the loyal policeman did not go into detail. Months later, the story unfolded about a Police operation targeting stolen weapons. One of those unexpectedly caught in the dragnet was Oliver Bubevich (aka as Bubev, Bubevski), also the son of Macedonian migrants, and a Vic Roads (vehicle licensing office) employee and the then owner of a pub (bar) in Fitzroy, a Melbourne’s northern inner suburb. Bubevich was an obsessed illegal gun collector without links to organised crime or Yugoslav intelligence.

    According to a Herald Sun report, dated 22 March 1991, "A MAN who hid a gun in his stove and ammunition in his kitchen cupboards was fined $2500 yesterday for possessing 15 unregistered firearms. Magistrate Mr David McLennan also ordered Oliver Bubevich to perform 300 hours of unpaid community work.

    "Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard on Wednesday that Bubevich was fascinated with guns and had 23 weapons - all with serial numbers drilled out or stamped over. The weapons, hidden throughout his Thomastown house, were found when police raided the property last year. Bubevich, 36, of Winamarra Cres, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession, one count of possessing silencers and 15 counts of possessing unregistered and unlicensed firearms.

    The court was told police raided Bubevich's house after finding two unregistered handguns in his car and another two unregistered weapons in a second man's car after Bubevich had sold them to him.

    "Bubevich denied supplying guns to the underworld and said his fascination with guns had led him to disregard the fact the serial numbers had been deleted. He told the court he had bought two of the guns from a man at a Fitzroy hotel and had found the rest on the site of a demolished Preston house.

    " On 21 March 1991, the Herald Sun wrote: "Prosecutor Sen-Constable Maurice Lynn told the court Bubevich was arrested after police found two guns in his car on November 7, 1990. "They found two more guns, a .38 Rossi revolver and a .32 Webley and Scott pistol in a second man's car after Bubevich had sold them to him, he said. Sen-Constable Lynn said police then raided Bubevich's house and found 23 unregistered guns, two silencers and a large quantity of ammunition in kitchen cupboards.

    "Bubevich's lawyer, Mr Peter Finkelstein, said his client was a "gun collector gone wrong". Magistrate David McLennan said he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Bubevich had supplied guns to crime figures."

    I lost contact with ###### when I joined the Australian Army as a soldier in 1995, serving until 2002. Recently, I heard from someone close to his family that he is seriously ill.

    Victoria Police's motto is Uphold the Right...Tenez Le Droit...It certainly did that back in 1990-91 in keeping our streets safe from weapons falling into the hands of the bad guys. But we should never remain complacent.



    Fourth part in a series on Yugoslav intelligence activities on Australian soil from the 1970s to the early 1990s.

    http://teamuzunovmedia.blogspot.com/...toria-safe.htm


    SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
    PART 4 THE FIGHT AGAINST YUGOSLAV INTELLIGENCE IN AUSTRALIA
    BRAVE COP WHO KEPT VICTORIA SAFE

    The full story can now be told?

    By Sasha Uzunov

    International terrorists must be rubbing their hands with glee at the news that the Australian state of Victorias Police Force will abolish its highly effective counter terrorism unit, the Security Intelligence Group (SIG).

    Why you would tamper with something that has been successful is hard to fathom? In comparison, the United States has learned its lessons after the initial 9/11 intelligence gap and recently after a decade has finally taken out terrorism mastermind Osama bin Laden.

    In light of this, a little known Victoria Police operation 20 years ago helped to stop the flood of illegal weapons getting onto the streets and into the hands of home grown terrorists. The impact it had was to send a message--loud and clear-- that overseas linked crime and terror were not going to be tolerated in the state of Victoria, Australia.

    That story can now be told because one of the leading figures behind that operation passed away early last year after a long illness.

    Detective Senior Constable Geoffrey Ian Gardiner, who retired in 1998, was part of the PSG (Protective Services Group) within the Victoria Police at the old Russell Street complex in Melbourne?s city centre. His office was situated on the 5th floor, East Wing. He was a clean, honest, hard working cop.

    Det Snr Const Gardiner was tasked with investigating terrorist organisations including the Tamil Tigers, and ethnic-linked crime. He was very knowledgeable about the activities of Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) on Australian soil and even knew some of the key agents of influence!

    Even though he passed himself as a member of PSG, he no doubt would have worked side by side with SIG.

    I got to know Det Snr Const Gardiner in 1989 as a young cadet reporter working for the Australian Macedonian Weekly newspaper who was interested in ethnic-related crime. My parents are Macedonian migrants.

    He in fact tracked me down. He was a canny operator who would pump you for information and would never reveal anything unless it was in his interest to do so.

    When he got wind of me investigating a leading UDBa agent of influence based in Melbourne with links to the Australian Labor Partys (ALP) Socialist Left faction and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), he offered some fatherly advice by warning me that the agent of influence was ?being protected by people high above.

    But then to my surprise Det Snr Const Gardiner proceeded to reveal to me that the agent of influence had between 1968 and 1979 amassed criminal convictions in the state of Victoria for stolen goods, illegal gaming and financial deception. The last conviction was obtained for passing off a bogus cheque in the name of Red Star Belgrade, an overseas Yugoslav soccer team, at a Footscray pub.

    The UDBa agent of influence was permitted to work as a state public servant despite their criminal record. ASIO had sealed their rap sheet from ordinary police access. The inference being that the agent of influence may have been cultivated as a double agent. But questions remain as to why an employee police check was never conducted by both the Victorian Public Service or SBS?

    In a visit to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia in 1992, a year after it declared independence from Yugoslavia, I met with Mr Aleksandar Dinevski, a former Interior Ministry Officer, who confirmed the above-mentioned individual was an UDBa informer in Australia. The Interior Ministry is responsible for policing and the secret service

    Another name supplied by Det Snr Const Gardiner was an individual who was a member of a Balkan mafia group based in Melbourne. In 2002 when I mentioned this name to another Macedonian Interior Ministry Officer, he confirmed that the individual was involved in drugs and illegal weapons.

    One of Gardiners favourite warnings was" If you write anything about me, I'll chop you! Wait till I?m long gone." I kept my end of the bargain for 20 years!

    In 1990 he telephoned me out of the blue asking for some information on a stolen weapons racket and if I had heard anything. He said he was deeply concerned about weapons getting into the hands of the wrong people. I told him I knew nothing and asked if he would elaborate.

    But being the loyal policeman he did not go into detail. Months later, the story unfolded about a Police operation targeting stolen weapons. One of those unexpectedly caught in the dragnet was Oliver Bubevich (aka as Bubev, Bubevski), also the son of Macedonian migrants, and a Vic Roads (vehicle licensing office) employee and the then owner of a pub (bar) in Fitzroy, a Melbournes northern inner suburb. Bubevich was an obsessed illegal gun collector without links to organised crime or Yugoslav intelligence.

    According to a Herald Sun report, dated 22 March 1991, "A MAN who hid a gun in his stove and ammunition in his kitchen cupboards was fined $2500 yesterday for possessing 15 unregistered firearms. Magistrate Mr David

    McLennan also ordered Oliver Bubevich to perform 300 hours of unpaid community work.

    "Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard on Wednesday that Bubevich was fascinated with guns and had 23 weapons - all with serial numbers drilled out or stamped over. The weapons, hidden throughout his Thomastown house, were found when police raided the property last year. Bubevich, 36, of Winamarra Cres, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession, one count of possessing silencers and 15 counts of possessing unregistered and unlicensed firearms.

    The court was told police raided Bubevich's house after finding two unregistered handguns in his car and another two unregistered weapons in a second man's car after Bubevich had sold them to him.

    "Bubevich denied supplying guns to the underworld and said his fascination with guns had led him to disregard the fact the serial numbers had been deleted. He told the court he had bought two of the guns from a man at a Fitzroy hotel and had found the rest on the site of a demolished Preston house.

    " On 21 March 1991, the Herald Sun wrote: "Prosecutor Sen-Constable Maurice Lynn told the court Bubevich was arrested after police found two guns in his car on November 7, 1990. "They found two more guns, a .38 Rossi revolver and a .32 Webley and Scott pistol in a second man's car after Bubevich had sold them to him, he said. Sen-Constable Lynn said police then raided Bubevich's house and found 23 unregistered guns, two silencers and a large quantity of ammunition in kitchen cupboards.

    "Bubevich's lawyer, Mr Peter Finkelstein, said his client was a "gun collector gone wrong". Magistrate David McLennan said he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Bubevich had supplied guns to crime figures."

    Mr Aco Talevski, a long time Macedonian human rights activist and former Orthodox Church leader, gave an interview filmed on camera last year. Freeze frame photo by Sasha Uzunov.

    Mr Aco Talevski, a long time Macedonian human rights activist and former Orthodox Church leader, gave an interview filmed on camera last year.

    He revealed:

    I met Geoff Gardiner in the early 1980s through my friend Stojan Sarbinov (another long time Macedonian activist). Geoff Gardiner was a member of the Victorian Police anti-terrorism squad.

    I had numerous meetings with Geoff Gardiner as a representative of the Macedonian community (in Melbourne) because in the past we organized a lot of protests?He was assigned to communicate with the ethnic groups.

    As a democratic society here in Australia everybody has the right to express their opinion but it has to be conducted in a civilized and peaceful manner.

    Mr Talevski said that Gardiner had confirmed to him that a number of individuals who were saboteurs of Macedonian community events were connected to the Yugoslav government.

    These people were well connected and protected by certain forces. He (Gardiner) didnt go further in saying Mr Talevski said.

    I lost contact with Gardiner when I joined the Australian Army as a soldier in 1995, serving until 2002.

    Police of the calibre of Geoff Gardiner are very rare. It was because of his attention to detail, the willingness to be flexible that the shenanigans perpetrated by UDBa in New South Wales, and aided indirectly by the incompetence of NSW Police Special Branch and ASIO, in the 1970s, such as the Croatian Six case did not happen in the state of Victoria.

    Infamous ex-NSW Police Detective Roger Rogerson, freeze frame image from a video interview with Sasha Uzunov, May 2011. Rogerson was one of the arresting officers in the Croatian Six case. He has called ASIO "amateurs." Photo by Sasha Uzunov.

    Infamous ex-NSW Police Detective Roger Rogerson, now an author, was involved in two of Australias highly contentious cases, the Ananda Marga-Hilton Hotel bombing and the the Croatian Six case. In February 1979 Rogerson led the raid on the Sydney home of Mile Nekic, one of the Croatian Six.

    In a filmed interview last month, Rogerson revealed to me that ASIO were amateurs.

    Rogerson covered a lot of ground during that filmed interview, which I will go into detail in an article in the near future.

    Victoria Police's motto is Uphold the Right...Tenez Le Droit...It certainly did that back in 1990-91 in keeping our streets safe from weapons falling into the hands of the bad guys. But we should never remain complacent.

    (end)

    If you have any information about UDBa activities on Australian or New Zealand soil, then I would like to hear from you. We can talk on or off camera and confidentiality is assured - Sasha Uzunov. You can contact me on sashauzunov8@gmail.com

    Sasha Uzunov graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, in 1991. He enlisted in the Australian Regular Army as a soldier in 1995 and was allocated to infantry. He served two peacekeeping tours in East Timor (1999 and 2001).

    In 2002 he returned to civilian life as a photo journalist and film maker and has worked in The Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. His documentary film Timor Tour of Duty made its international debut in New York in October 2009. It picked up a Platinum Reel Award from the 2009 Nevada Film Festival (US).

    He blogs at Team Uzunov.

    His camerawork featured in a 2010 Canadian documentary film, "Afghanistan: outside the wire," Produced by Scott Taylor.



    Fifth part in a series on Yugoslav intelligence activities on Australian soil from the 1970s to the early 1990s.

    PART 5 – THE FIGHT AGAINST YUGOSLAV INTELLIGENCE IN AUSTRALIA

    A twenty year investigation…TEAM UZUNOV on the trail of a Yugoslav master spy…London, Brussels, Skopje, Belgrade, Zagreb, Melbourne...who managed to fool ASIO twice...

    TEAM UZUNOV cracks open the Croatian Six Case…

    WHO WAS THE CROATIAN SIX MASTER MIND?

    By Sasha Uzunov

    One of Australia’s worst miscarriages of justice, the Croatian Six terrorism case in 1979-80, may have been perpetrated by a Yugoslav master spy posing as a diplomat and who, would you believe it, not once but twice managed to outsmart Australia’s domestic spy catchers, ASIO, and even shook hands with an unsuspecting Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser.

    Intelligence sources in Washington and in the Republic of Macedonia, one of the successor states of the former communist Federal Yugoslavia, have confirmed that Dr Georgi Trajkovski, the Yugoslav Consul General in Melbourne, Australia during 1978-79 was “hardcore UDBa (Yugoslav intelligence) and a key player in the Croatian Six set up.”

    In 1988, Trajkovski with the same modus operandi, the use of agent provocateurs and exaggerated claims of anti-Yugoslav subversion, had a fellow Yugoslav diplomat removed from his post in Melbourne right under the nose of ASIO. This story, told for the very first time, will be detailed in part 6.

    In 1991 legendary ABC TV investigative reporter Chris Masters dropped a bombshell on the Four Corners program about The Croatian Six case.

    An agent provocateur set up members of Australia's Croatian community in 1979. Six Croats were imprisoned on false charges of wanting to plant bombs in Sydney.

    Masters tracked down the agent provocateur, Vitomir Visimovic, who was an ethnic Serb living in Bosnia but had passed himself off as a Croat.

    In fact, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police (successor of the Commonwealth Police) and the infamous and corrupt New South Wales Police Special Branch were all aware that Visimovic was an UDBa operative but suppressed the information during the trial of the Croatian Six. Moreover, the alarming thing was the Australian authorities let the man depart the country. This was during Malcolm Fraser’s tenure as Prime Minister (1975-83).

    An UDBa hitman Vinko Sindicic was arrested in Scotland in 1988 after a failed assassination attempt on Croat dissident Nikola Stedul. At Sindicic's trial it was revealed he “had been in Australia in 1978, working with another Yugoslav agent on a plan to link Croatian political activists with terrorism.”

    In all probability co-ordinating with Trajkovski the Croatian Six set up.

    The irony is that two months after NSW Police arrested the Croatian suspects in early 1979, Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser paid a visit to the Yugoslav Consulate General in Melbourne to offer his condolences at the death of Yugoslav leader Edvard Kardelj, and shook hands with Trajkovski.

    We know this because a book "Art Treasures of Yugoslavia" with a special annotation was offered on the web by the prestigious auction house Downies:

    http://www.downies.com/aca/Auction30...logue_031.html

    “Inside the book is an inlaid letterhead dated 18th April 1979 addressed to the Honourable J.M.Fraser MP, Prime Minister of Australia with typewritten message "With this small token,we wish to express our thanks that you found the time to visit this Consul General (which represents the Yugoslav community) to express your condolences. Please accept this book in appreciation of your thoughtfulness" and hand signed by Consul General Dr Georgi Trajkovski.”

    The question remains why did ASIO keep Fraser in the dark over Trajkovski's true identity?

    Trajkovski, an ethnic Macedonian, was regarded as a fanatical Titoist and a specialist on foreign affairs. He authored Diplomatski Protokol, regarded as a text book on international relations in the then Yugoslavia.

    Having pulled off the Croatian Six set up in 1979, Trajkovski repeated his shtick in 1988 with the removal of a fellow Yugoslav diplomat right under the nose of ASIO.


    BACKGROUND -

    Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic communist federation founded in 1945, modelled on the Soviet Union, and fell apart in 1991 into various independent nation states.

    Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) later known as SDB, together with Yugoslav military counter-intelligence (KOS) were largely pre-occupied with silencing dissident Croats, Macedonians, Serbs and Albanians living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, who were agitating for independence from Yugoslavia.

    UDBa was so ruthless and efficient it at one time rivalled the old Soviet KGB and Mossad in liquidating opponents. In Munich, West Germany, a whole section of a cemetery was set-aside for Croats assassinated by UDBa.

    Communist strongman Marshal Josip Broz Tito ruled Yugoslavia until his death in 1980 and during the height of the Cold War managed a great balancing act between East and West. He was seen as an indirect ally of the West after his infamous split with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1949.

    A number of Australian left-wing politicians, including Victorian State MP Joan Coxsedge, began to allege that ASIO was turning a blind eye to extremist Croatian elements, who were secretly training on Australian soil to undertake terrorist attacks on Yugoslav territory or upon Yugoslav diplomatic missions in Australia.

    In this atmosphere of terrorism mania during the 1970s Australia’s Croat community were looked upon as the bad guy.

    We now know that the alleged Croatian terrorism on Australian soil was the work of UDBa.


    One of Australia's most distinguished investigative reporters and authors, Hamish McDonald of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, has told TEAM UZUNOV in a filmed interview that he became interested in the Croatian Six case after following the Balibo Five story, the murder of five Australian based newsmen at the hands of the Indonesian military during its invasion of neighbouring East Timor in 1975.

    According to McDonald, vital evidence in proving the innocence of the Croatian Six and Indonesian culpability in the murder of the Balibo Five was suppressed by the Australian federal government on the grounds of "national security."

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Bureaucracy: ASIO DELAYS OVER SPY FILE

    MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2012

    ASIO DELAYS OVER SPY FILE

    The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the nation’s counter-intelligence agency, has inexplicably delayed responding to a request for a file on a former communist Yugoslav diplomat who might be linked to the Croatian Six case.

    Sasha Uzunov, an Australian independent film maker and journalist, has tried to obtain under Australia’s National Archive Act access to the ASIO file of the late Dr Georgi Trajkovski, the Yugoslav Consul General in Melbourne during 1978-79.

    Any federal government documents over 30 years become open to the public. Exemptions can apply on the grounds of national security. However, ASIO has 90 days to respond to any request.

    So far Uzunov’s request, made on 4 November 2011, has taken almost double that time.

    “I’ve made other requests for files and ASIO has responded within a matter of weeks,” He said. “I don’t know why this has taken over 150 days, almost double the time, just for a simple answer of yes or no.”

    Uzunov, who is producing a documentary film about Yugoslav spying on Australia soil, titled UDBa down under, believes there is strong circumstantial evidence to link Trajkovski to the Croatian Six Case.

    One of Australia’s worst miscarriages of justice, the Croatian Six terrorism case in 1979-80, may have been perpetrated by Trajkovski, a master spy posing as a diplomat and who, would you believe it, not once but twice managed to outsmart Australia’s domestic spy catchers, ASIO, and even shook hands with an unsuspecting Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser.

    Intelligence sources in Washington and in the Republic of Macedonia, one of the successor states of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), have confirmed that Dr Georgi Trajkovski, the Yugoslav Consul General in Melbourne, Australia during 1978-79 was “hardcore UDBa (Yugoslav intelligence) and a key player in the Croatian Six set up.”

    In 1988, Trajkovski with the same modus operandi, the use of agent provocateurs and exaggerated claims of anti-Yugoslav subversion, had a fellow Yugoslav diplomat removed from his post in Melbourne right under the nose of ASIO.
    In 1991 legendary ABC TV investigative reporter Chris Masters dropped a bombshell on the Four Corners program about The Croatian Six case.

    An agent provocateur set up members of Australia's Croatian community in 1979. Six Croats were imprisoned on false charges of wanting to plant bombs in Sydney.

    Masters tracked down the agent provocateur, Vitomir Visimovic, who was an ethnic Serb living in Bosnia but had passed himself off as a Croat.

    In fact, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police (successor of the Commonwealth Police) and the infamous and corrupt New South Wales Police Special Branch were all aware that Visimovic was an UDBa operative but suppressed the information during the trial of the Croatian Six. Moreover, the alarming thing was the Australian authorities let the man depart the country. This was during Malcolm Fraser’s tenure as Prime Minister (1975-83).

    An UDBa hitman Vinko Sindicic was arrested in Scotland in 1988 after a failed assassination attempt on Croat dissident Nikola Stedul. At Sindicic's trial it was revealed he “had been in Australia in 1978, working with another Yugoslav agent on a plan to link Croatian political activists with terrorism.”

    Hamish McDonald, an award winning Australian journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, has been following the Croatian Six case. He had this write on the subject:

    “In a new video, the Macedonian-Australian documentary journalist Sasha Uzunov says he has evidence Sindicic set up the Croatian six conspiracy with the main UDBa official in Australia, Georgi Trajkovski, who operated under diplomatic cover as Yugoslav consul-general in Melbourne."

    Links: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL110...mastermind.htm



    MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2012

    CAN WE TRUST ASIO?


    www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13223

    CAN WE TRUST ASIO?
    by Sasha Uzunov
    Thursday 9 February 2012

    Mr David Irvine, the Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Australia's domestic spooks, has called for more spies from within the country's Islamic communities, but can ASIO be trusted to do an efficient job? History shows that our counter-intelligence service has a poor record in thwarting foreign spies. Should Australia's Islamic communities place their trust in such an organisation to do the right thing?

    Terrorism-mania in Australia is nothing new; we experienced this back in the 1970s when émigré Croats were portrayed as the bad guy, a role now filled by Australia's Muslims. In fact ASIO remains a laughing stock within the émigré Croatian and Macedonian communities for its decades long ineptitude in dealing with the then Communist Yugoslav secret police, UDBa, and its dirty tricks campaign against those two communities on Australian soil at the height of the Cold War.

    I have spent 20 years researching UDBa activities in Australia and will soon complete producing a documentary film about UDBa in Australia, with a release date in early 2013. I have interviewed Croatian and Macedonian community leaders, Australian state police officers involved in counter-intelligence operations, and former spies both here in Australia and overseas. They all agree that UDBa ran rings around ASIO.

    In one infamous case, ASIO recruited a “double agent” within Melbourne's Macedonian community during the 1970s. This individual was also an agent of influence for UDBa. What benefit he gave to ASIO remains doubtful and only when the secret files are declassified will we know for sure.

    But according to a Victorian Police counter-terrorism expert, the late Detective Senior Constable Geoff Gardiner, this “double agent” had an extensive list of criminal convictions ranging from illegal gaming, receiving stolen goods, selling liquor without a license to passing off a counterfeit cheque in 1978 in the name of Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) Soccer club, then touring Australia from Yugoslavia.

    This individual was employed as a public servant and never underwent a standard police check. According to Detective Gardiner, this individual was being protected at the very top.

    Mr Aco Talevski, a former Macedonian Orthodox Church Community leader in Melbourne and a long standing human rights activist, revealed in a filmed interview for my documentary that Detective Gardiner had in the mid 1980s also tipped him off about the “double agent.”

    We can only be grateful that such individual police officers with integrity existed in the state of Victoria and did not buy the ASIO or UDBa spin.

    Across the border in New South Wales, corrupt Police with ASIO connivance arrested six innocent Croatians suspected of plotting to blow up Sydney's water supply in 1979. The six were imprisoned on the testimony of a known UDBa agent provocateur who ASIO allowed to return to Yugoslavia.

    The Australian taxpayer cannot have a vote of confidence that ASIO has picked up its game in fighting terrorism if it remains secretive and refuses to come clean over the whole Yugoslav episode dating back to the Cold War. ASIO refuses to hand over any documents relating to the Croatian Six case on the grounds of national security but more likely to hide its incompetence and political interference from above.

    During the Cold War, Communist multi-ethnic Yugoslavia under the rule of strongman Marshal Tito used its intelligence service UDBa to portray émigrés opposed to the regime as bloodthirsty terrorists. Agent provocateurs infiltrated Croat and Macedonian organisations abroad and urged violent action against the regime, namely planting bombs against Yugoslav diplomatic missions.

    This clever technique used to silence opposition abroad was created by the Tsarist Russian police in the late 1890s and later perfected by the Bolsheviks when they seized power during the October Revolution in 1917. UDBa would use the exact same technique, known as the TRUST operations.


    In the 1920s, the Soviet Secret service, which began as the Cheka and evolved along the way as OGPU/NKVD/KGB, began to “lure émigré agents into the arms of the OGPU, including the Trust, an imaginary counter-revolutionary union of monarchists and social revolutionaries.” In other words, Russian dissidents living in Paris were fooled into returning to fight the Soviet regime but were executed on their arrival.

    In the early 1970s UDBa managed to lure Croat nationalists back to Yugoslavia in a similar manner. UDBa also infiltrated some Macedonian organisations in Western Europe, namely Belgium, and Australia. In 1977 a leading Macedonian dissident Dragan Bogdanovski, with a large following in Australia, was kidnapped from France, drugged and smuggled out in the boot of a Yugoslav diplomatic car and returned to Yugoslavia to face trial and later 11 years imprisonment. Amnesty International adopted him as a cause celebrity.

    The only prominent academic to undertake a serious examination of UDBa remains the American Dr John Schindler. So far dribs and drabs of ASIO files have been released under the 30-year rule and can be accessed at the National Archive of Australia in Canberra.

    Dr Schindler's discoveries reveal how Western governments turned a blind eye to UDBa because Yugoslavia, despite being communist during the Cold War was anti-Soviet. In other words political expediency trumped rule of law and justice. In this current war on terror what guarantees do we have that ASIO will adhere to the principles of justice when pursuing Islamic terrorists and not lock up innocent people?

    If Mr Irvine wants to build trust within the country's Islamic communities he needs to set the record straight with the Croat and Macedonian communities over ASIO's past behavior. Otherwise will we be condemned to see innocent Muslim locked up on the word of agent provocateurs acting on their own agenda?

    Source: http://teamuzunovmedia.blogspot.ca/2...rust-asio.html

  6. #6

  7. #7

    Framed: the untold story about the Croatian Six

    February 11, 2012

    Hamish McDonald investigates the case of the Croation Six. Where six men were arrested on terrorist charges, conspiring to blow up various targets around Sydney.

    See 15 minute video here

    Was the jailing of six Croatians a counter-terrorism coup for Australia or a set-up by foreign spies? Hamish McDonald chronicles the case that devastated a community.


    When the Federal Government released its white paper on counter-terrorism in 2010, there was a curious omission from its list of terrorist attacks and major foiled attempts in Australia over the past 40 years.

    What on the face of it should rank as the biggest counter-terrorism success was not even mentioned.

    This was the ''Croatian Six'' case in February 1979, when NSW police were said to have stopped the imminent bombing of Sydney's Elizabethan Theatre during an event attended by up to 1600 people, the bombing of several city businesses and the cutting of Sydney's water supply. The six accused were successfully prosecuted and each sentenced to 15 years' jail, convictions and sentences upheld on appeal.


    The arrest of Max Bebic, one of the alleged members of the Croatian Six.
    The omission may reflect embarrassment over the case, around which doubts and suspicions began to swirl even as the six underwent a trial that lasted eight months.

    A Herald investigation strengthens suspicions that the Croatian Six - Max Bebic, Vic Brajkovic, Tony Zvirotic, Joe Kokotovic and his brother Ilija Kokotovic, and Mile Nekic, all young tradesmen and Australian citizens of Croatian birth - were framed, each spending up to a decade in prison.

    Not only that, the Croatian Six case resulted from an operation by the Yugoslav state security service, known as the UDBa, to blacken the Croatian-Australian community as extremists, using Australian intelligence and police services as its tools, according to a top American intelligence expert on the Balkans.


    This was not entirely unwitting. A former lawyer working for the government in Canberra claims intelligence information about the involvement of the UDBa was withheld by officials from the trial and from prime minister Malcolm Fraser. He says this information would have altered the verdict to not guilty.

    Croatians formed the majority of the 160,000 Yugoslavs who took up Australia's assisted migration scheme after World War II. The intensely nationalist and Catholic community soon used its new freedom to organise campaigns against the communist Yugoslav federation, dominated by Serbs.

    Consulates and travel offices linked to the state airline, JAT, were targets for demonstrations, ethnic scuffles broke out at football matches, smoke bombs went off at cultural events. It got more serious, with the Yugoslav Interior Ministry intercepting armed incursions by Australia-based members of the Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood or HRB.

    It was a convenient cudgel for Australia's left to turn against the Coalition government and Canberra's security apparatus. Croatians were stigmatised as Nazis by the wartime collaboration of a nationalist organisation, the Ustache, with the German occupation. ''We were the Muslims of that time,'' says Branko Miletic, a Croatian-Australian journalist in Sydney.

    Left figures such as Jim Cairns and Joan Coxsedge excoriated the Liberals and ASIO for ignoring this importation of fascism, including East European war criminals on the run, in their one-eyed focus on communism and Soviet espionage.

    When Labor came to power in 1972, one of the first acts of its attorney-general, Lionel Murphy, was a ''raid'' on ASIO's headquarters in Melbourne in March 1973, to find files on Croatian extremists he believed ASIO was withholding.

    In the 1970s the Croatians came under scrutiny by the federal police and special branches of state police. The founder of the Yugoslav communist state, Josef Broz Tito, was ageing; the temperature of Yugoslavia's sub-nationalism rising.

    The arrest of one of the members of the Croatian Six.


    So when, in February 1979, NSW Police announced that a group of Croatians had been arrested in Lithgow and Sydney just before planting gelignite time-bombs in targets identified with the Yugoslav regime - including the 1600-seat Elizabethan Theatre in Newtown, where entertainers from Yugoslavia were about to perform - there was a high degree of public credulity.

    The police swoop seemed the right mix of force and intelligence to grab terrorists and their explosives just in time. It had started when a young Yugoslav helping build the Wallerawang power station, Vico Virkez, went to Lithgow Police Station on February 8, 1979, and confessed he was involved in the plot.

    Raids on Virkez and his alleged accomplices in Lithgow and Sydney followed that night. Virkez turned crown witness, and got off with a two-year sentence. He renounced his Australian citizenship and was flown back to Yugoslavia while the trial continued. His six alleged accomplices each got the maximum 15 years. All served up to 10 years.

    The credibility of Virkez was disputed from the start. He had a history of psychiatric disturbance. He had been in touch with the Yugoslav consul-general in Sydney. He wanted to return to Bosnia-Herzogovina. Subpoenas by defence lawyers for what ASIO and other agencies knew about Virkez were blocked on national security grounds.

    There were other questions. At least one of the accused had been roughed up during questioning at the Sydney CIB. All six recanted the confessions they had allegedly made to police, five in unsigned ''verbals''. But some 40 police insisted the confessions were uncoerced and that they had found gelignite, detonators and crude timers in the homes of the accused. The jury went for the prosecution case, as did the NSW Court of Appeal.

    In August 1991, the ABC's Four Corners dropped a bombshell. Reporter Chris Masters tracked down Virkez in the disintegrating Yugoslavia. He admitted he was a Serb named Vitomir Misimovic who had infiltrated the Croatian community here and informed on its activities to Yugoslav diplomats. In court he had kept to a script written by police. None of the six were guilty of the bombing conspiracy.

    By that time, many of the police involved were under a cloud. Roger Rogerson was about to go to jail. The Ananda Marga convictions had been overturned by Justice James Wood. The CIB and its squads had been disbanded as a ''hotbed of corruption''; the Special Branch was next. Wood's later royal commission ripped open patterns of police malpractice.

    Yet in 1994, chiefly on legal advice from crown lawyer Rod Howie, QC, (later a NSW Supreme Court judge), the then Liberal government's attorney-general John Hannaford dismissed applications for a judicial review of the convictions.

    The case remains a deep grievance for the Croatian community. ''We … still feel bitter about it today,'' says Mario Despoja, who ran an unofficial Croatian ''embassy'' in Canberra in the 1970s, and whose daughter, Natasha Stott Despoja, became leader of the Australian Democrats.

    For the six men and their families, it remains a nightmare. Lydia Peraic, the former wife of Joe Kokotovic, shudders at the recollection of the night when Rogerson and his raiding party, pistols drawn, swept into their Burwood house, and what she says was a highly prejudiced trial.

    ''We were family people looking forward to the future. We had our beliefs,'' she said. ''They [the six] were active, within the law. They believed in the ideal of a free Croatia, which it is today.'' The effect was devastating. ''Our whole family was destroyed,'' Peraic said.

    But new information is reviving the case for a judicial review of the Croatian Six convictions.

    In the 1990s, John Schindler was the technical director of Balkan operations for the US National Security Agency, involved with interception and decryption of electronic data and messages.

    In the search for war criminals, he noticed a pattern in their background. ''Many of the them had the same curriculum vitae: that is, individuals who were involved in organised crime yet also had connections to the state security service,'' he said. ''These individuals had roots in the special program, as they called it, of UDBa back in the days of communism. That is, individuals who did dirty work for UDBa, for Belgrade, abroad, in western Europe, in the US, very much in Australia, who wound up doing terrible things in the 1990s.''

    Now a professor in national security at the US Naval War College, in Rhode Island, Schindler will soon publish Agents Provocateurs, a book about the UDBa. It discusses the Croatian Six case. ''It was a classic UDBa op,'' Schindler says. ''There is no doubt they set up all six.''

    Former UDBa officials involved with running the operation or who knew directly about it had told him it was ''one of their great successes'', Schindler said. ''They succeeded in discrediting the Croatian diaspora in Australia completely.''

    Asked how aware of Yugoslav intelligence involvement were the Australian agencies, Schindler said that at the ''worker level'' they were probably unwitting. ''I have no doubt that individuals at a higher level were witting,'' he said.

    ''ASIO was certainly aware that the story was not right, as they intercepted Misimovic's phone call to the Yugo consulate telling them he was going to the cops - hours before he did,'' Schindler said. ''Exactly what ASIO knew, and when, I'm less certain of, but any ASIO officers who worked Croatian CT [counter-terrorism] in the 1970s had to be aware that Croatian emigre groups were deeply penetrated by UDBa and some such as the HRB [the group which ran the military training exercise near Eden, NSW, in 1978] were, in effect, under their control. Agents provocateurs were a standard UDBa technique.''

    Schindler thinks about one-third of the 14 diplomatic staff then at the Yugoslavian embassy and consulates in Australia would have belonged to the UDBa. But he thinks Virkez would have been run by an ''illegal'' under some kind of cover.

    ''The UDBa pulled off the same op in the US shortly after the Croatian Six drama played out, the so-called Otpor [''Resistance''] trials here in New York circa 1981-82,'' Schindler said. ''The Australian Police screwed the case up royally, but I doubt they understood that the entire thing was an UDBa set-up.''

    Some senior officials did have more than an inkling of this, says Ian Cunliffe, a senior legal adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet over 1979-81 and later the secretary of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

    In February 2007, while giving evidence at the NSW Coroners Court inquest into the deaths of the five Australian newsmen in East Timor in 1975, about intelligence material he had seen during duty with the 1975-77 Hope royal commission into Australia's intelligence services, he was asked if officials withheld intelligence material from the government.

    There was a case where ''the deputy secretary of the department said this wasn't to reach the prime minister,'' Cunliffe replied. ''That involved withholding information which would have been significant in a major criminal trial.''

    Questioned by the coroner, Cunliffe said it occurred while he was in the Prime Minister's Department and involved ASIO and the Commonwealth Police. ''… I asked questions as to what had happened and, first of all, was given a whitewash answer by the Commonwealth Police,'' he said.

    ''I pressed further and it became clear there was much more to the story … There was one of those famous interdepartment committees called - which consisted of ASIO, Immigration, Foreign Affairs, Attorney-General's, the Commonwealth Police - chaired by the Prime Minister and Cabinet, … [its] decision closed matters that I thought were tantamount to perverting the course of justice in a criminal trial involving about six defendants here in Sydney.''

    The subject was taken up at two committee meetings. ''The decision was taken that none of this material should be made available and that Commonwealth Police, indeed, at that meeting said that if - I asked the question, 'What happens if these things are subpoenaed?' - and they said, 'Well, they won't exist'. As an officer of the court, at that time, that troubled me.''

    Cunliffe, now retired in Melbourne, confirms he was talking about the Croatian Six case. ''I feel there's been a grave injustice because of information that was withheld at the trial and at the appeal of the six people who were convicted …'' he says.


    Framed, the Herald’s first ebook, investigates the fate of six men jailed for up to a decade over plans to blow up a Sydney theatre in 1979 as part of a Croat terrorist plot.

    Hamish McDonald spent months tracking down the surviving members of the Croatian six, the police and others involved in the case. His findings strengthen suspicions that these convictions are, as one former senior Australian official puts it, ‘‘a grave injustice’’.

    McDonald also investigates the role in the case of the Yugoslav state security service, which used Australian police and intelligence services as tools to blacken the reputation of Croatian-Australians as extremists.

    The Herald publishes an extract of McDonald’s book in print, online and on the iPad app today. Video interviews with key subjects in the story are on the Herald’s iPad app and online.


    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nati...210-1smum.html

    See also - Terror six claim it was fix

 

 

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