B92 (Belgrade)
January 9, 2007


 Source: FoNet

Washington, Zagreb -- A recently declassified CIA document says the Croatian
governments protected paramilitary unit leader Tomislav Mercep.

The Croatian government avoided investigating accusations against Mercep in
fear of the influence exerted by some right-wing political leaders, the
document reads.

“Former Croatian paramilitary leader Tomislav Mercep is responsible for
numerous abuses of human rights and other illegal acts during the 1991 war
in Croatia. These accusations are known in the Croatian government circles,
some have been confirmed by international organizations and witnesses, yet
despite this the government avoids investigating the allegations”, the
document says.

According to the declassified report, Mercep first acquired influence when
he organized 2,000 men into a unit destined for fighting for Croatia’s
independence in 1991. He allegedly committed or ordered numerous crimes in
the same year. Allegations against him include torture, murder and
disappearance of thousands of Serbs from Vukovar, Pakracka Poljana, Gospic
and Zagreb.

The Croatian media reports that the CIA document mentions Mercep’s
involvement in the murder of the Serb Zec family in Zagreb, as well as those
of Miloš Ivoševic, Stevan Brajenovic and Ina Zoricic- Nuic.

The report claims that the Croatian government was aware of the crimes in
Pakracka Poljana, but that “some officials wished to protect Mercep”, since
they held his military skills “in high esteem”.

                                   Serbian News Network - SNN



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