BY NATASA ZECEVIC

MARCH 1 2010 17:50h

Josipovic lesson: Call SOA, if you have a mistress

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How did Sasa Perkovic help Ivo Josipovic, or how he prevented the media from publishing letters and tamed the underworld...?

Where is the boundary between what is called the intelligence activities of the underworld on the one hand, and defamation attempts made by the opposing candidates in elections on the other? In fact, during the election campaign, not only in Croatia but throughout the world, it is customary that election headquarters try to dig out the ´dirt´ about the rival. Gloves are taken off, and all for the purpose of criticizing the image of the opponent. No matter how much the politicians call for a fair play in the race, everyone understands that fair is not the name of the game. Especially not in politics, which common folk often describes as a “whore.”

However, the newly elected president Ivo Josipovic jeopardized his squeaky clean image after it was revealed that his election campaign hired Sasa Perkovic - in a case where intervention by police or the State Attorney's Office would seem more appropriate. Sasa Perkovic, 'the main intelligence' of President Stjepan Mesic, was entrusted with a task of preventing the publishing of alleged letters that denigrated Josipovic and all other presidential candidates. The only candidate spared of this “file” was Milan Bandic and Josipovic, therefore, concluded that  a team that supported the candidacy of Zagreb Mayor was behind this.

However, according to some media, document involving Ivo Josipovic was thickest, while the ones for others candidates were somewhat thinner. Also, almost none of the contents from the controversial files, allegedly compiled by the underground intelligence, were made available to the public. Or, to quote the weekly Nacional, SOA is prone to claim that the contents of files were compiled from publicly available sources. Moreover, some circles close to the SOA even claim that much of the content was collected from the Internet websites, blogs, and mostly from the anonymous comment sections that follow news articles about the presidential campaign.

Siniša Bužan-.--.-If this is truly the case, what is Ivo Josipovic afraid of? Some rumors mention Savings Bank? This would hardly be controversial because it was widely written about in the past. Fatality assistance grants? This is also not very likely because this story was covered during Josip Kregar’s mayor candidacy. What remains is something that was never mentioned during the campaign and something that media is hesitant about reporting - alleged mistress. Namely, the disputed documents mention alleged mistress or mistresses, and cliam that Tatjana almost divorced Ivo because of this.

During the campaign Ivo Josipovic revealed indication that there may be something to this story. He did not want to reveal details, but he once said that Bandic’s people launched a story about a student who was allegedly raped and who tried to buy a passing grade. Josipovic probably tried to employ a damage control by rushing to release a false story before any media got a chance to publish it.

How much truth do these allegations hold would be difficult to evaluate at the moment. But the implication that stands out is that the accusation stung Josipovic to the point where he rushed to ask for Mesic’s help. Mesic engaged Perkovic who managed to solve the controversy. The question that remains unclear is how he did this?

-.-Marina Damjan-.-If these documents reached newspapers, did Sasa Perkovic use his influence to prevent them from being published? Did Perkovic inform other candidates that the underworld is circulating documents that question their morals? Furthermore, if Perkovic helped Josipovic and prevented the publication of disputed ‘documents’, did he discover who was behind them? As things stand now, this is not likely because the names of authors are still unknown and Josipovic claims that he will insist on shedding some light on this case until it is solved. Therefore, what Sasa Perkovic did in this case, still remains unclear. Did he pay an alleged mistress to keep quiet, did he make a deal with the media, uncloaked the underground intelligence…?

If indeed the secret service is in charge of preventing the publication of hot content and hiding alleged lovers, public should know about it. Since we do not know what they do, it would be nice to know that they are at least doing something; Even if this includes spying on the lovers of potential presidential candidates. Therefore, if a politician feels threatened because of documents that somebody compiled about them in the future, they should be free to dial 01 / 45 65 191, and ask for Sasa Perkovic . Or they could fax their questions using 01 / 45 65 299. Underground intelligence can use the same fax number and send any other documents – regarding Josipovic or other politicians.  Sasa Perkovic is there at their service.  Of course, some blurriness is guaranteed, but we are talking about underground after all.