EXPERTS DOUBT UDBa "TORTURE CHAMBER"
Australian counter-intelligence experts, speaking on the strictest conditions of anonymity, have told TEAM UZUNOV they doubt the existence of a torture chamber in the old Yugoslav Embassy in Canberra, Australia.
The extraordinary claims were made by Melbourne photographer Nikola Stavrevski in a filmed interview for an upcoming documentary film, UDBa down under.
Mr Stavrevski was invited by the Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to Australia, Mr Pero Stojanovski, to photograph the handover-takeover ceremony of the former Yugoslav Embassy in Canberra by the Macedonian government in July 2011. Serbian diplomatic officials handed over the keys.
After the collapse of Communist Federal Yugoslavia (SFRJ) in 1991, the various diplomatic missions were split up amongst the successor states, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia.
“Ambassador Stojanovski told me,” Mr Stavrevski said, “that I wasn't permitted to photograph a particular room inside the embassy. This room had been left closed up and unused for many years.”
“When we opened the door to have a look inside, I was shocked at what I saw,” Mr Stavrevski.
“The room was sound proofed, dark, and had a bathtub in the middle with a wooden rack used to either tie down or secure something.”
He said that he immediately got the impression it had been a torture chamber used by the then Yugoslav Embassy and its secret police, UDBa.”
“Ambassador Stojanovski said to me that it was a delicate matter at the moment and that in due course the matter would be revealed in full detail.”
Australian counter-intelligence experts have told TEAM UZUNOV that it would be highly unlikely that UDBa would have run a torture cell on Australian territory.
“Anything is possible but ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) would have been monitoring the Yugoslav Embassy in Canberra during the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. They would’ve bugged the place. If anything of that nature occurred, then there would be details in ASIO files. The Australian media would have gotten wind of it long ago.”
Another expert said: “It would’ve been too risky for UDBa to have kidnapped people off the streets and taken them back to the Canberra. For that to happen you would need ASIO or the various Australian state police forces to have been either incompetent or outsmarted by UDBa.”
Mr Stavrevski stands by his allegations.
TEAM UZUNOV is in the process of trying to contact Mr Pero Stojanovski, the ex-Republic of Macedonia Ambassador to Australia, for comment.