Thursday, June 25, 2015

COMRADE TITO GAMES - Martin Trenevski

Martin "Jack Ryan" Trenevski: COMRADE TITO GAMES?
Our follow up to the Martin Trenevski story from last night… see link 

Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction but was Martin Trenevski, the Yugoslav intelligence operative under journalism cover in Australia, Yugoslavia's real life version of Tom Clancy's fictional CIA character Jack Ryan played by Hollywood star Harrison Ford….?

Some interesting similarities… Both academics and intelligence operatives; both with a wife in a professional career, lawyer, surgeon etc., and a young daughter.

Martin Trenevski – Macedonia’s recent Ambassador to NATO and his previous role as a Yugoslav intelligence officer under journalistic cover in Australia (1985-89).

- 16 year old Joseph Tokic shot and wounded in the neck by Yugoslav consular guard in Sydney during protest in 1988.

Australia’s Croatian community, including the Tokic family, deserves an answer:
By Sasha Uzunov.

Newly declassified Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) files reveal that Martin Trenevski, a recent Macedonian Ambassador to NATO, was a Yugoslav intelligence officer under journalistic cover in the late 1980s and may have played a major role in a shooting incident during a Croatian demonstration outside the Yugoslav consulate in Sydney in 1988.

Trenevski arrived in Australia in early 1986 as the correspondent for the Yugoslav state news agency, Tanjug, modelled on the Soviet Union's TASS.

Sixteen old Josef Tokic was shot and wounded in the neck by Yugoslav consular guard, Zoran Matijas, in Sydney during the protest on Sunday 27 November 1988, two days before Communist Yugoslavia’s national day.

Over 1,500 Croats had gathered outside the Yugoslav consulate to protest at the rising level of Serbian nationalism within Federal Communist Yugoslavia, especially with the advent of Serbian republican leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Two NSW Police Special Branch officers, counter-terrorist specialists, were on hand, plus many Australian Protective Services officers from the Australian Federal Police, whilst at about the same time a large Macedonian protest against visiting Greek President Christos Sartzetakis took place elsewhere in Sydney.

A group of Croatian youths scaled a fence surrounding the Yugoslav consulate in the exclusive suburb of Woollhara and headed for the flagpole to take down the Yugoslav flag. Tokic was outside the Consulate gates and not part of the flag raiding party.

Consular guard Zoran Matijas then fired, what he claimed, was a warning shot in the air which hit Josef Tokic in the neck, who was rushed by ambulance to hospital and saved by emergency surgery.

The incident received worldwide exposure and condemnation of Yugoslavia.

It remains unknown if Matijas fired out of panic, out of a genuine fear for his life, or out of premeditation. Or if he had decided himself or had been ordered to shoot by the senior ranking intelligence officer, which would have been Trenevski, on the spot or by the order of the Yugoslav Consul-General, Stanojlo Glisic.

Australia's Foreign Minister Gareth Evans disputed the Yugoslav claim that the shot that hit young Tokic was a warning shot fired into the air that ricochet into him but a deliberately aimed shot fired horizontally with the intention to cause damage. 

Extract from The Canberra Times newspaper report , 2 December 1988. see link here
Senator Evans said that yesterday's decision followed evidence given to him by police that the bullet which injured Josef had not been fired in the air, as the Yugoslavs have claimed, but horizontally.
"We accept that some shots were fired in the air but the evidence that I'm aware of, on the basis of an oral briefing given to me today, is that the crucial shot was not in fact fired in the air but fired more or less horizontally," he said. "I wanted to be satisfied that there was strong prima-face evidence; I am so satisfied "
Senator Evans also disputed claims by the Consul-General, Stanojlo Glisic, that he had been attacked during the demonstration and that this had, in part, led to the shots being fired. Senator Evans said this claim was "not justified by any other evidence available to me".
Dr Cizelj said last night that he had been "unpleasantly surprised" over the ultimatum delivered by the Australian Government threatening to close down the Yugoslav Consulate in Sydney.
"I do think it could have been dealt with in a way which would achieve a better result," he said.
Dr Cizelj said at a press conference earlier yesterday that the shots had been warning shots and had never been directed at the crowd. He said initially that the bullet which ricocheted into Josef's neck had been from a shot fired into the ground, but later changed this to agree with the Consul-General's position that all shots had been fired into the air.
He said the event was "most regretable" and Yugoslav authorities were "very sympathetic to the Tokic family", but he stopped short of an official apology.

A detailed report on the incident can be found at this link which reveals that the Yugoslav consulate had refused to respond to APS's repeated requests to enter the compound and bolster the security before any of the protesters had jumped the fence and trespassed, which is puzzling. By the time the APS were allowed in, the situation had calmed down and there was no threat, when the shooting occurred.

An ASIO report revealed that two NSW Police Special Branch officers, Bruce Mohr and George Georgiou who were on duty during at the Yugoslav Consulate noticed a man, fitting Martin Trenevski's description, who had ordered Yugoslav intelligence officers, Milos Bogicevic and the Stanojle Glisic, the Consul-General and (SID officer - Yugoslav Foreign Ministry intelligence unit) to stop talking to the police officers.

Mohr observed that this as yet unknown individual outranked the two Yugoslav officers.

Mohr, was later shown photographs but couldn't identify Trenevski in the mugshots but on later seeing him on television believed it was Trenevski

THE BELGIAN ALIBI - play acting ?

After the shooting and the huge political fallout as a result, Trenevski came up with a "Belgian Alibi." In a telephone conversation, intercepted by ASIO, between Trenevski and the Yugoslav Ambassador Dr Boris Cizelj, an ethnic Slovenian, Trenevski claimed he had received a tip off from an unnamed Belgium journalist.

The Belgian journalist told Trenevski that the Belgian Consul had observed some suspicious characters loitering near the Yugoslav Consulate.

Trenevski then concluded that the Croatian demonstration and resulting shooting was caused by a premeditated plot by Croats.

The Australian authorities did not buy it and closed the consulate down, with the diplomatic staff including the shooter Zoran Matijas were ordered to leave the country.

The Yugoslav consulate in Sydney was reopened in 1990 with Miodrag Ilickovic (see link) taking the reins as Consul-General but by 1991 Yugoslavia ceased to exist as a federal state with war breaking out and Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia declaring their independence.

THE DISTURBING QUESTION - did Trenevski give the order to shoot?

We know from ASIO documents in his file that Trenevski was aware that his phone calls were being bugged by ASIO, which noted he was speaking in code. Therefore, it is within the realm of possibility to ask why the need to let ASIO know, via the bugged phone calls, of the Belgian alibi? Was he covering his tracks? Did he give the order to Zoran Matijas, the Consular guard to shoot?

ASIO made a note of Trenevski meeting with Matjas a year before the shooting.

About a fortnight after the shooting, on 6 December 1988, ASIO put out an alert on Trenevski to be monitored for suspected espionage / terrorism.

Within four months of the incident, he left the country in March 1989 about a year short of his planned four year tour of duty as the Tanjug correspondent. We can only speculate that ASIO where onto him and he decided to leave Australia.

UPDATE- EXCLUSIVE - National Archives of Australia.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has released the declassified secret file on Zoran Matijas, the Sarajevo born Yugoslav Consulate guard in Sydney, Australia, the man named as the shooter of Croat-Australian teenage protestor Josip Tokic in 1988.

The file reveals the incredible amount of deception employed by the Yugoslav government and its diplomats, including the Yugoslav Ambassador to Australia, Boris Cizelj, a pro-Belgrade Slovene, over the shooting incident and the cruel “joy” they felt in shooting young Josip, who was standing outside of the Consulate on the footpath with no intention of trespassing…

Also, when the Australian government closed down the consulate and expelled the staff because Matijas and his gun were not handed over to Australian police for investigation, two major Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa/SDB) officers, Milos Bogicevic and Nebojsa Vujovic, were also expelled and their major intelligence operation in Australia closed down !

ASIO noted that they were running agents, informers, in Australia.

link to file: 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Macedonia's one time Ambassador to NATO, Martin Trenevski

TEAM UZUNOV EXCLUSIVE - Is Macedonia's Lustration process corrupt?

 - How did a man with a Yugoslav intelligence role under journalistic cover slip through Macedonia's Lustration process?

by Sasha Uzunov

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) closely monitored Martin Trenevski, a reporter--which ASIO assessed to be an intelligence operative under cover--with the then Yugoslav State news agency TANJUG, who was sent to Sydney, Australia as a correspondent from 1985 to 1989.

After the collapse of Communist Federal Yugoslavia into a number of successive independent states, Trenevski became Minister for Information in that first Macedonian government led by Prime Minister Nikola Kljusev in 1991, which led Macedonia to independence from Yugoslavia in September 1991.

Later he became a diplomat, and was was appointed Ambassador to NATO in 2010 before finishing late last year. Trenevski's current and second wife is also a Macedonian diplomat.

Trenevski was born in Skopje, the Macedonian capital in 1949 and graduated from the University of Cyril and Methodius in that city in 1973, and specialising in English. He began his career as a journalist and eventually found work with the state run news agency TANJUG, which was originally modelled on the Soviet TASS news agency.

ASIO documents, newly de-classified, reveal that Trenevski was an intelligence operative with links to both Yugoslav Intelligence the SDB (UDBa) and the highly elite SID intelligence unit.

Before Trenevski touched down in Sydney with his then first wife and small young daughter, ASIO put out an alert.

ASIO issued a special order for Trenevski to be monitored closely over a 6 month period beginning in December 1988 because he fell into the category of  "suspect terrorist/espionage."

ASIO identified Trenevski's previous relationship with a Yugoslav Intelligence office, Vasil Panov, also in Australia.  It also suggested that Trenevski's TANJUG predecessor Vladimir Holovka was also an intelligence officer under journalistic cover. TEAM UZUNOV also revealed that another TANJUG correspondent in Australia, Milos Curcic was a Yugoslav intelligence operative in the late 1960s and early 1970s. see link here:

During a tapped phone conversation, ASIO noticed that Trenevski spoke in code, indicating he had security training….

Trenevski's link to another Yugoslav intelligence unit SID and its operative in Australia, Stanojlo Glisic.

In 1986 Trenevski was recorded during a phone tap by ASIO, passing on names of Australian-Macedonians involved in a protest against the Greek Embassy in Canberra over the Greek government's poor treatment of its ethnic Macedonian minority.

Trenevski had an association with a New South Wales Member of Parliament, Frank Walker, and wanted to invite him to a barbecue in 1986 at the Yugoslav consulate in Sydney in regards to the Australian Yugoslav Community Centre. But for reasons unknown the consulate did not want other guests at the barbecue, namely journalists, about the friendship between Walker and the consulate.


Alexander (Aleksandar) "Aco" Dinevski , an officer with Macedonia's Interior Ministry's SDB (Sluzba za Drzavna Bezbednost - State Security Service) was arrested on the 13 July 1992. The order had come from Interior Minister Ljubomir Frckoski, from the Social Democrats government (SDSM), over claims that Dinevski had been leaking secrets. Dinevski later in a deposition revealed that Frckoski had been tapping phones. see previous story go to link:

Dinevski was later released and won a civil court case for wrongful dismissal in 1993.

Dinevski had been an UDBa officer in then Communist Yugoslavia but together with 7 other young officers in Macedonia began to expose some of the corruption within the Interior Ministry in 1988.

The Macedonian and international media largely ignored Dinevski's story in 1993, the question is why was Frckoski being protected from scrutiny over abuse of power and phone taps?


Dinevski became a critic of current Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's Lustration Commission, a judicial body set up to investigate former Communist informers.

Dinevski told EU pundit Sinisa Jakov-Marusic: “From my experience in the security forces, I know that many operatives were adding stuff to their reports that was not true, naming informants they never met… and now we pronounce people as spies based on those documents."

Dinevski is now jail at the hands of the Gruevski government for involvement in a foreign intelligence plot but maintains he is innocent.

The Gruevski government, from the VMRO-DPMNE party, has been accused by the main Opposition party, SDSM, has released phone recordings alleging extensive corruption and phone tapping by the government. The government denies the charges but the country has been hit by a political crisis with massive demonstrations and counter demonstrations. The European Union has intervened to resolve the crisis.

The revelation that Martin Trenevski, hand picked by Prime Minister Gruevski, to be Macedonia's NATO Ambassador in a bid to join the alliance will raise serious questions as to how the Lustration Commission missed Trenevski's espionage past.


False Flag Operation - One of Australia's infamous and longest terrorism trials in the early 1980s..


Contained in the newly de-classified Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) file of Martin Trenevski, the former Yugoslav intelligence operative in Australia under journalism cover (1985-89) and later Macedonia's Ambassador to NATO, is this incredible hand written ASIO note -

In 1989, a man by the name of Tomo Beram came forward with information about the Croatian Six set up alleging an Australian policeman, presumably from the New South Wales state police, involved in the arrests of alleged Croatian terrorists, had Yugoslav connections.

One major Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa/SDB) false flag operation success was the Croatian Six case, which saw six Australian Croats Max Bebic, Vic Brajkovic, Tony Zvirotic, Joe Kokotovic and his brother Ilija Kokotovic, and Mile Nekic set up by Vico Virkez, real name Vitomir Misimovic, another UDBa operative--and arrested by New South Wales Police state police in 1979 and later convicted on bogus terrorism charges.

Virkez, a Bosnian Serb posing as a Bosnian Croat, born in 1951 arrived in Melbourne, Australia in 1970, married a Croatian woman but later abandoned her and their child and moved to Sydney, eventually settling in NSW country town of Lithgow, where he met Bebic.

Beram wanted to take his claim to the Ombudsman, presumably in the state of New South Wales, but had second thoughts after the Australian Federal Police did not express any interest in the matter.

The Croatian Six all did a decade or so of jail time before being released. They are still fighting to clear their name and have their convictions overturned 35 years later.


Also, another Tanjug correspondent who had worked in Sydney in the 1970s by the name of Vjekoslav Krsnik had allegedly "switched sides" in 1989 and gone over to the independence seeking Croats in Toronto, Canada after allegedly being an UDBa / SDB officer…

In 1986 - a shadowy pro-Independence and separatist Slovenian group was monitored in Australia by the Yugoslav Embassy…and Martin Trenevski !

Monday, June 08, 2015


De-classified Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) files on a leading Australian expert Paul Dibb reveal:


In 1987, a visiting Soviet strategic expert, Kim Vladimirovich Malakhovsky, predicted that Australia would in the 20th century not face any external threats but would have a confrontation with Indonesia next century.

In 1999, at the twightlight of the 20th century and threshold of the 21st century, Australia was involved in a proxy war in East Timor in supporting its independence after 24 years of brutal Indonesian occupation.

You can read more about the "expertise" of Professor Paul Dibb - link here and here


GEORGE SEITZ (1941-2015), Member of the Victorian State Parliament for Keilor 1982-2010 (Australian Labor Party). 

George Seitz, Croat Australian and a long time supporter of the Australian Macedonian community has sadly passed away.

George gave me a lot of assistance when as a young reporter in the 1980s I began to investigate the activities of Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa /SDB) in Australia. His tips and names of key players led me to later find a lot of ASIO material in the National Archives of Australia.

He gave a lot of support to the late George Kostrevski, who established the independent AUSTRALIAN Macedonian Welfare Council, away from Belgrade's front organisation the Australian Yugoslav Welfare Society, sponsored by another Labor MP Dr Harry Jenkins senior and Labor Federal MP turned Yugoslav intelligence operative Lewis Kent. see link to Kent story here & here 


Thursday, June 04, 2015

PUTIN CARD - played in Macedonia?

by Sasha Uzunov
Did the spectre of Russia or the Putin card save the Gruevski government in Macedonia from falling ?
British writer Aldous Huxley wrote "There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception."
In politics and world diplomacy there are perceptions of reality in which the people or masses believe something to be true and therefore it is, even though it may be actually and physically true or not.
Regardless if you believe the Russian line that the West was going to take down the Gruevski government or divide Macedonia, the important thing is that Russian President Vladimir Putin ably supported by his wily Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talked up a confrontation with the West and used the media effectively to do so.
Those perceptions, regardless if they were true or not, would have factored into the European Union's calculations in trying to diffuse the crisis in Macedonia.
If Gruevski had fallen, and the EU's deal on ending the crisis involves early elections in Macedonia is yet to be finalised, it would have given Moscow the "Ukraine template" it needed to hit Washington over the head with.
PM Gruevski has reiterated that he supports EU and NATO membership for Macedonia. The valuable lesson for any future Macedonian government is not to be naive and follow every single directive from Brussels nor to blindly accept what the Russians say.
Mature and responsble adults always retain a small sense of healthy scepticism towards their own government (either VMRO-DPMNE or SDSM) or a Super Power.
Sometimes your country's national interest coincides with either of the Super Powers: Russia and the US, sometimes it doesn't.
For all we know Moscow may have been 100% right about the West's intention for Macedonia or simply wrong.

See previous story for background to the Macedonian crisis - link