I was born in the city of Prince George B.C., in Canada in 1967. My father Josip Katalinić from Vratnik came to Canada as a political emigrant in 1957, and my mother Marija from Plaščica near Brinje came to Canada in 1960. They were both very active in creating a Croatian community in northern British Columbia, so that really influenced my affinity for all things Croatian from a young age.
I studied at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver and graduated in international relations. In 1990, I participated in the summer school of the Croatian language and Slavic studies organized by the Croatian Heritage Foundation, then in partnership with the University of Kansas from the USA. That year awakened in me so many different feelings, realizations and predictions about the war. In the next couple of years, my life changed. The Homeland War was a dark shadow over all the events of that time.
After graduating from UBC, I worked at a law firm in Vancouver and took the law exam. In 2001, I signed a contract with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, where I worked in the prosecutor’s office first as a translator, and later as a “case manager” in the case against Vojislav Šešelj. I encouraged myself, and in 2007 I moved from the prosecutor’s office to work with the defense attorneys of General Ante Gotovina. At that time, my experience and knowledge of all court protocols and procedures helped me to firmly hold the three corners to the lawyers Luka Mišetić and Greg Kehoe, the winners of the special war against Croatia in the 21st century, throughout the proceedings for the Croatian generals.
When Generals Gotovina and Markač were acquitted of all charges in 2012, my heart and soul had final peace.
I returned to Canada, but Croatia still calls me…
March 30, 2023
Mississauga, Ontario Canada