2004 World Press Freedom Review
In March, six journalists, from Novi list
, Feral Tribune
and Jutarnji list
, were accused by the POA (the Croatian Counter Intelligence Agency - one of three national secret agencies) of collaborating with foreign secret services. Franjo Turek
, director of POA, said the journalists were used to spread false information about Ante Gotovina
, a Croatian general under suspicion by the Hague War Crimes Tribunal; they reported that he is hiding in Croatia.
The journalists accused the POA of tapping their phones, listening to their phone conversations and following them. Turek
resigned from his position as director of POA. The Council for Civilian Supervision of National Security Agencies denied eavesdropping. The whole scandal appeared in the media in February and March. At the beginning of March, Croatian President Stjepan Mesic
publicly confirmed the POA was following and photographing the journalists, thus dismantling the POA's case.
By South East Europe Media Organisation