Photograph: HINA/ Dario GRZELJ/ iš

After the Telegram weekly published a non-classified document of the Security-Intelligence Agency (SOA) on Mirko Raskovic's role in the 1991-95 war, signed by Tomislav Karamarko, who was SOA chief from 2006 to 2008, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) on Saturday called on the state leadership, notably the leadership of the intelligence community, to protect former members of the intelligence community.

HDZ officials said that the document in question was signed by the person who at the time had the authority to sign it. Raskovic had the status of a member of Croatian defence forces and disabled veteran and the rank of a major in the intelligence unit of the Service for the Protection of the Constitutional Order, Croatian Television (HTV) reported.

The HDZ said it expected the media to check facts thoroughly and not rush with conclusions based on imputations, wondering why and how such a document could have been published.

"Somebody obviously dislikes all people who during the Homeland War defended Croatia and worked for it. They believe that such people need to be denounced and that the then keepers of Brussels corridors and authors of the Z4 plan need to be promoted as the fundamental values of today's Croatia," the HDZ said.

HDZ leader Karamarko said earlier that Raskovic was no longer safe due to details of his war record having been revealed. "That man worked for Croatia during the Homeland War, unlike (PM Zoran) Milanovic who was hiding in Brussels," Karamarko said.

Asked by reporters if he had signed any such document on Raskovic, Karamarko said that he had not signed a document that would testify to Raskovic's role in the war, adding that he could not speak about it and asking reporters to leave that topic.

In an interview with Vecernji List daily of Saturday, Karamarko explained his reaction.

"Everything related to Raskovic's war record is in the domain of the intelligence system and concerns national security, and it primarily concerns Raskovic's safety. As a former head of the intelligence service I cannot speak in public about such topics. Now that details regarding (Raskovic's role) in the Homeland War have been revealed, his life is in danger. And the man worked for Croatia in the Homeland War," Karamarko said today.

"The crucial thing is whether someone at that time worked for Croatia or against it," the HDZ leader stressed, calling on the state leadership, notably the leadership of the intelligence community, to protect former members of that community.

Karamarko said that Raskovic's courage and loyalty to Croatia were being abused for daily political purposes.

Elected member of Parliament Mirko Raskovic drew public attention to himself when he decided not to support the centre-left Croatia Is Growing coalition, which has been supported by his colleagues in the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), and when he asked President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic to protect him from pressures he claimed he was exposed to. A few days ago, he left his SDSS party.

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