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The Croatian Six according to Wikipedia

The Croatian Six, Max Bebic, Vic Brajkovic, Tony Zvirotic, Joe Kokotovic, his brother Ilija Kokotovic and Mile Nekic, were six Croatian-Australian citizens who were wrongfully convicted with each receiving a 15 year jail sentence in 1981 for what was claimed was a conspiracy to bomb several targets in Sydney, including a Yugoslavian travel agent, the former Elizabethan Theatre in Newtown and a major water supply line in St Marys in western Sydney.

The trial was significant at the time, being one of the longest in Australian legal history. Media investigations undertaken since the trial by news program by a number of well-known investigative journalists including the ABCs ‘Four Corners’ program (see State Security Administration) and newspaper ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ (ditto), suggested most of the evidence on which the six were charged, was either fabricated or false and that the men were set up as part a sting operation by the Yugoslav foreign intelligence sector, or ‘UDBA‘.

The case also drew attention from American counter terrorism expert, Professor John Schindler (US Naval War College,) who stated that the ‘Croatian Six’ was ‘aclassic agent provocateur operation run by the intelligence agency of the then communist regime in Belgrade, known as the UDBA, against exile communities that were against the Yugoslavian federation.’ [1]

The Croatian Six.jpg

Schindler also claims that former UDBA officials said that the Croatian Six case was one of their great successes in completely discrediting the Croatian Australian community (see Australian Security Intelligence Organisation). According to Schindler, ASIO would have (or at least should have) been aware of UDBa’s involvement.

Ian Uncliffe, formerly a senior lawyer in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, claimed intelligence material that would have resulted in not guilty verdicts for the Croatian Six. This material was purposely kept from then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and subpoenas by defence lawyers in the trial were not allowed due to apparent “national security grounds”.

Of the six, three men- Max Bebic, Mile Nekic and Vic Brajkovic, represented by human rights lawyer Sebastian De Brennan, applied for a judicial review of their convictions in 2012 with the NSW Chief of Justice, Tom Bathurst.

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