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The Serbian people want to bring Slobodan Milosevic to justice first

By Vladimir Sukalovic - posted Sunday, 15 July 2001

On October 5, 2000, the Serbian people, together with members of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) overthrew Slobodan Milosevic and his Socialist party, stormed the national parliament and proclaimed beginning of the new democratic era in our history.

So far, they have showed only one thing: they are worse.

DOS is a coalition made up of various parties united with one goal: to bring democracy, law and order to my country. But two men rule DOS. One is the moderate, law-abiding president of Yugoslavia, Dr. Vojislav Kostunica, but the other is the Premier of the Serbian Parliament, Dr. Zoran Djindjic. You may think that Kostunica, being the President of the Yugoslavia, would have greater rights and powers than the Premier, but that is not the case, since the police, special police, and secret service are under the command of the Serb Republic, not the Yugoslav state. That means the Premier can do what his heart desires and Zoran Djindjic is a selfish man, hungry for power and personal revenge upon his former allies (Vuk Draskovic of SPO, for example) and opponents (Slobodan Milosevic and the Socialist party). He has used the police and court to fulfil his dream: to be the one and only ruler of Serbia.


His first move was to change the police force so they would act on his command. His second move was to divide the DOS, by intrigue and gossip, and remove those who oppose him. He bribed Milan ST Protic to resign from the Nova Srbija party and go to Washington as Ambassador (this is the highest position one can have in the diplomatic service). Next to go was Vuk Obradovic from the Social Democratic Party, who was accused of sexual harassment and forced out of the DOS by a vote organized by Djindjic. Vuk Obradovic was framed, and so far no evidence has confirmed the accusations. Velja Ilic, chairman of the Nova Srbija party, hero of the October revolution, a man who endured the march from Nis to Belgrade, who fought the numerous police units along the road and who stormed the Parliament, was left without any key position in the new government. After gaining control of DOS at the republic level, Djindjic aimed at the federal level. His next victim will be Vojislav Kostunica himself.

Slobodan Milosevic, was arrested on April 1 in an action that was a great shame for the entire police force. We were used to seeing hooded members of the elite secret police killing and beating people in the name of Milosevic, but to use the same people against him, and against the law, was senseless act of personal revenge. The people who stormed the Milosevic residence were in plain clothes, hooded and had no visible police badges. Kostunica was furious about that, but the action was carried out without his knowledge and while he was away from the country. After the action turned into a total disaster, politicians started negotiating, and Slobodan turned himself in a day later.

A lot of noise was generated about three mass graves that were found all over Serbia and a cold wagon submerged in the Danube River. The Tribunal in Hague was the first to call those bodies "civilians, women, children and elder people, slaughtered by Yugoslav armed forces". I have to point out that most of the bodies are still not identified, nor the exact place, time and cause of death determined. So far no one knows whether they were terrorists or civilians; whether they were slaughtered or perhaps victims of "collateral damage". The presence of women means nothing because we know that terrorist women fought side-by-side with their men, children and the elderly.

It is strange that various generals, commanders, and ministers who participated in the command chain were left alone and the whole blame was put only on one man – Slobodan Milosevic. After the Markale market place massacre (the NATO excuse to attack the Serb forces and ending the war in Bosnia, which later proved to be Muslim mock up – they actually killed their own people), the massacre in the Racak village (NATO excuse to attack Yugoslavia and occupy Kosovo and Metohia, which was later proved by Finnish forensic teams to be based on forged evidence and false testimony – the people were brought to Racak village from all over the Kosovo and arranged to resemble a massacre), now we have mass graves and someone has to be guilty for that because innocent civilians were tortured and killed by the Serb forces – but no one knows exactly what happened.

Clearly there is no choice for NATO because NATO has to be the good guy, someone has to be bad. And the bad guy is Slobodan Milosevic, so NATO urged the Hague Tribunal to accuse Slobodan Milosevic and ask for his extradition. The Tribunal was established to investigate and try those who were involved in war crimes in Bosnia, and only Croatia and Kosovo were added to its jurisdiction.

The Tribunal says it is "still compiling" evidence in these other cases. How can they compile evidence against Slobodan Milosevic so quickly, while evidence of atrocities by Muslims and Croats 10 or 8 years ago is still being compiled? Both sides in the conflict committed crimes against humanity but only Serbs are put on trial in quantity. Why are Muslims who killed soldiers who surrendered and were permitted to leave Tuzla not on trial? Killing a soldier who surrenders is a war crime but Alija Izetbegovic is left off the list while Karadzic and Mladic are Carla Del Ponte’s "most wanted". Croats killed a number of refugees during the Flash and Storm operations; still no one has been charged over that. When Croats killed and expelled Serbs from Srpska Kraina that was an action against rebels, while Serbian actions against Albanians were atrocities. NATO aggression against an independent country is "not in our jurisdiction" and the actions NATO performed in Kosvo are "not documented and unclear". NATO twice strafed refugee convoys, killing a number of people, and admitted it in public (source: CNN) as a "mistake". Those who were killed in Serbia, by mistake were called "collateral damage", and so the Tribunal pressed no charges against the pilots who killed civilians, or the pilots’ commanders.


It is clear why Kostunica hesitated to cooperate with the Tribunal, even though the price was sanctions and isolation for the next 10 years. Under growing international pressure, Kostunica decided to pass an Act of Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal in the Federal Parliament and, if the Act was accepted, find the modalities of cooperation with Hague. Our law forbids extradition of our citizens to another country. Parliament rejected the act, calling it "unconstitutional and against the law" but Parliament is made up of political parties from Montenegro and Serbia, and since Montenegro is smaller then Serbia, DOS members loyal to Zoran Djindjic objected that the minority from Montenegro shouldn't decide the fate of Serbia, and that the government rather than Parliament should enable the Act of Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal.

The DOS members loyal to Zoran Djindjic voted for the Act, the rest against it, and a day later the Ministers from Montenegro resigned. The Act was enabled and Slobodan Milosevic was told that he was to be sent to the Hague. He had 15 days to enter a plea and his lawyers did it the very next day, asking for the constitutional court (the highest court in the country) to forbid the Act since it was against the Federal constitution. The Court ruled that the Act was against the law and stopped the extradition. At this point, Zoran Djindjic decided to take the law into his own hands. He made his Ministers sign an extradition warrant and ordered that Slobodan Milosevic should be kidnapped from jail and transferred to the NATO forces in Tuzla. Some hours later, he was handed over to NATO soldiers and sent by plane to the Hague. NATO offered a reward to the person or persons who would hand over Slobodan Milosevic to them. As you read this, someone is US$5million richer.

Reactions to this outrageous deed were immediate. Supporters of Slobodan Milosevic gathered in the street and marched through the centre of the city. They accused Zoran Djindjic of kidnapping and treason. Soon they were joined by the people from Srpska Radikalna Stranka (an extreme right party) and some other minor parties. They shouted "DOS is the worst!"

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About the Author

Vladimir Sukalovic lives in Belgrade and works as a Research Assistant while completing a PhD project on "Computer Aided Modelling of Dopamine Receptor Ligands". He was born in 1971.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Vladimir Sukalovic
Related Links
Article about Kostunica's refusal to co-operate
United Nations web site on the Milosevic trial
Photo of Vladimir Sukalovic
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