Croatian Investigative Journalist Beaten at Home

Zeljko Peratovic, a well-known investigative journalist, was attacked in his home in a village near Karlovac in central Croatia on Thursday evening.

Peratovic said that while he was in front of his house, three men drove up and started to insult him about articles written on the illegal excavation of gravel.

"They mentioned that I wrote about digging up gravel, though I did not. I didn't understand them. First they insulted and shoved me, while I tried to defend myself. I ran into the house but they went inside as well and beat me," he stated on Thursday.

He suffered concussion from the incident.

Using his description, police have since arrested two men while a third remains on the loose.

The head of the Croatian journalists association, HND, Sasa Lekovic, on Friday said he was appalled by the attack.

"I talked with him while he was still in hospital and from what he told me, I can only conclude that this is professional intimidation," Lekovic stated.

"It is a classic example of how professionals threaten someone; the reason that the attackers gave is only an excuse - a cover for the real reasons, which is something else," he said.

Peratovic wrote about illegal excavation of gravel back in 2010, when he filed criminal charges to the bureau for combating corruption and organized crime, USKOK, claiming that the city of Karlovac and state water company were illegally excavating gravel, creating landslides.

This month, Peratovic received an award from the HND for his investigative journalism in 2014.

He crucially reported an alleged murder in Germany in the 1980s by the Yugoslav secret service. Two former agents, Zdravko Mustac and Josip Perkovic, are currently on trial before a Munich court in connection...

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