The third episode transcript
All these assassinations happened when Radomir Marković was the Service’s chief. By the decision of the elected Yugoslav president, Vojislav Koštunica in 2000, Marković remained at the position of the Service’s chief for almost four months after the Milošević’s regime ended.
Slobodan Milošević and Mirjana Marković ruled over Serbia for the entire decade. They had used the state resources for assassinations, smuggling, scams, plunder of the citizens and personal enrichment, aided all along by the loyal individuals.
In the last Insider’s episode, you’ve seen how the Secret Service, when Jovica Stanišić was the chief of Service, had participated in the Dafiment Bank scam, plundering so the citizens. You’ve also seen the Service’s role in the cigarette, oil and weapon smuggling businesses, and how the Service created black funds at the expense of the state, to support its military units.
In this episode, you will see the Service method regarding political assassinations, which marked the period when Radomir Marković was the Service’s chief.
The top state officials, led by Slobodan Milošević, Mirjana Marković and their party comrades, made decisions who was an enemy, betrayer and foreign mercenary. Then, they would order the secret services to engage in surveillance of the person. In practice, the assassinated individuals were previously under surveillance and wiretapped. The operating agents most of the time did not know what was the ultimate goal, but their chiefs within the Service knew very well. In this way, a preparation was made to create Special Operation Unit, whose members in cooperation with criminals, mostly engaged in the executions.
Special Operation Unit was a military unit in the Secret Service, formed to perform dirty business. In general, several minutes before the assassination, the agents were ordered to cease with surveillance and wiretapping. Prior to this, suitable journalists prepared, by the order of politicians or the Service, a public lynch atmosphere for the person whose assassination was being prepared. After the assassination, the police mostly served not do engage in investigation but to declare a brief announcement a murder had happened involving unknown perpetrators.
When necessary, logistics was provided by the Army representatives, that is, Military Service. After the crime had been committed, politicians publicly defended the crimes, media reported on it, the investigations did not go very far and so the circle was completed- it was so suggested, through media, that the murdered person should have been murdered. Almost all the people, who participated in this method, remained employed in the Service and media even after the changes brought about by October 5th. The scheme was applied also in the case of preparing the assassination of Zoran Đindić, Serbian Prime minister.
Radomir Marković was appointed the chief of Service in October 1998, replacing Jovica Stanišić from the position. Marković was a man of trust for both Mirjana Marković and Slobodan Milošević. Previously, he was employed in the police, from 1997 at the position of chief of Public Security. In June 1993, he personally commanded the arrest of Vuk Drašković, SPO leader, and his wife Danica, when the couple was brutally beaten. He was very close to the family Milošević-Markovićs, because he went hunting with Marko Milošević and taught him how to shoot. At the same time Marković became the Service’s chief, a representative of Serbian Social Party also became appointed into the service’s important position, against all rules and regulations.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: When Jovica was replaced, Uros Šuvaković was brought in to the Service. I always found it very funny when Šuvaković, in his TV appearances, claimed “I wasn’t employed in the Service”, because he was appointed at the same time as Rade Marković, as an assistant for information and analysis, and he had an office above mine, and the two of us were…He called me after his appointment, after several days, due to some business matter, we had a coffee, I told him my view about the thinArmy Headquarters, and that how we parted. So, at the time of Jovica Stanišić, no one from Socialist Party of Serbia or Yugoslav left Party was not in the Service…There were some attempts to place with us some people close to Yugoslav left Party, not so much to Socialist Party of Serbia, Socialist Party of Serbia did not pushed around to place its people there, but Yugoslav left Party tried it in every possible way.
Uros Šuvaković was a member of Socialist Party of Serbia Board. Since November 27th he was employed in the Service’s analytical services. Today, he is the main activist of “Sloboda” association, he defends Slobodan Milošević’s heritage and writes columns. Judging by the position he has had in the Service, he had to know about all crimes and preparations for assassinations, since the analytical services is the most important segment of the Service, where all information collected by agents come in and where files are made. Šuvaković was a deputy to the chief of analytical services when Slavko Ćuruvija, four officials of SPO, and Ivan Stambolić were all assassinated and when Vuk Drašković’s attempted murder happened in Budva. The representatives of Socialist Party of Serbia and Yugoslav Left party, after the governmental change in 2000 and when the crimes committed by the Service started to uncover, claimed they had never had anything to do with the Secret police.
Nevertheless, these claims were denied by the fact that Uros Šuvaković in person was a deputy to the chief of analytical services.
Zoran Mijatović: I remember, before he called me, I knew he is coming since I saw people painting that office, redecorating…I was there for 30 years, I know everything, including the people redecorating, and I asked: “Hey, what are you doing?” They said: “We are preparing an office”, in a low voice, Jovica just got replaced, fear was everywhere….That’s how it is within the Service when a top official gets replaced, another one coming, a lot of people are scared then. Then, when you ask a handy man, he first crossed himself and then said to me: “You know, Uros Šuvaković is coming to work here, he is suppose to be a chief etc”.
Radomir Marković was introduced to the Miloševićs’ family by Nikola Ćurčić, Milošević’s man of trust and long term friend. Later on, it was Ćurčić who suggested Marković should be chief of the Service.
Vlada Nikolić, agent RDB 1982-1999, consultant to the chief of RDB 2001: Rade Marković was formally chief of the Service while Nikola Ćurčić was his deputy, however, we knew-the people who were in the Service at that time, that the brain behind it was, I think, now deceased Nikola Ćurčić. In this profession, the deputy is in fact the main agent in the Service. Here, the problem was that both Marković and Ćurčić were people outside the profession. The problem was created when the two incompetent men, but politically suitable and loyal to the Miloševićs family, came to lead the Service and practically, they had ruined it. They ruined it in a sense that even today the public has this perception about the Service being evil and wicked, which actually it was, during their time in the service. They transformed the institution, important for every state functioning, into an evil, because they have misused the state resources and the Service resources to bury political opponents.
Nikola Ćurčić died in 2006. Radomir Marković is in jail since 2001, sentenced to many years of prison. Marković and Ćurčić, prior to their engagement in the Service, had worked together for many years. While Ćurčić was a deputy to secretary of the city police, his assistant was Radomir Marković. Several years later, when he got appointed as the Service’s chief, Marković appointed Nikola Ćurčić, his long time friend, as his deputy, while Milorad Ulemek Legija got appointed as the commander of Special Operation unit. This military Unit was an integral part of the State Security Service; it was founded in 1991 and in 1996, it formally became a part of the State Security Service.
Bogoljub Milosavljević, professor of Administrative Law: My impression is that the service had become a very important factor in the Serbian political scene at the moment when Milošević started to lose support. So, because the loss of support among voters, the services became very important to Milošević for maintaining power, and from that moment the services were used for various aims in order to keep the regime in power.
Biljana Kovačević Vučo, Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights: In the Milošević’s time, the system functioned really like a criminal gang, especially so the Services. So, anybody could come under the pressure of law, without knowing how he/she got there, and anybody could be proclaimed as an enemy.
In addition to non-governmental organizations, journalists and media who did not conform to the control of the Milošević regime were persecuted as well, from the very beginning. The peak of this hysteria started to unfold at the end of 1998. At the time the Kosovo conflict intensified, prior to NATO bombing, the regime had to find ways to ban criticism which could be reported only through independent media.
Therefore, the government formed by Socialist Party of Serbia, Yugoslav Left Party and Serbian Radical Party, ran by Mirko Marjanović, decided to enforce Law on Information, along with various legal acts, against the Constitution, as a means to suppress the independent media and journalists.
In October 1998, the anti-constitutional Law on Information was ratified, which suppressed the first Constitutional Right: freedom of speech and thought. Aleksandar Vučić, former secretary general of Serbian Radical Party, will be remembered as the then Minister of Information who had helped the enforcement of the Law. Sentences and fines amounting millions of dinars were ruled overnight against the independent media. Since no one could afford the payments in 24 hours deadline, it was logical to shut down newspapers, while among other media which escaped the punishment, it led to auto-censure.
At the same time, the Kosovo conflict intensified, evoking the real threat of NATO bombing since peaceful political devices seemed wasted. At the beginning of the bombing, Slavko Ćuruvija, journalist, got assassinated. Prior to the assassinations, he was designated, through the state media, as a betrayer. The representatives of the Government announced they will, in a case the bombing starts, confront all betrayers in the country, and this attitude, aided by the Service, media and politicians, helped to create an atmosphere which was, later on, used to justify the assassination of the journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. During the Milošević’s regime, the Service’s attitude was that all proclaimed alleged betrayers should be killed. This is illustrated the best by a comment made by Dragan Filipović, then the top official of the State Security Service.
Dragan Filipović Fića, former chief of Intelligence department within the Service, fled the country during “Saber” operation: “Slavko Ćuruvija, globally oriented journalist, led the way in supporting the NATO intervention. He publicly supported American bombing, labeling it as a democratic act. This was probably the reason he got assassinated at the onset of the war, in a break between two democratic air strikes. Globalists blame exclusively the State Security Service for his assassination, even though, objectively, the assassination could have been executed by any of the patriotic groups, numerous in Serbia at that time. I personally did not have anything to do with the execution of Slavko Ćuruvija nor I knew who did it, albeit my name probably is on the suspects list; who ever did it, knew very well the reasons behind it”.
The murder announcement of Slavko Ćuruvija appeared on April 6th 1999, in “Politika Ekspres”. A journalist, Miroslav Marković, wrote a text “Ćuruvija saluted the bombs”, written by the order of Mirjana Marković. Dragan Hadži-Antić was “Politika” director at the time. This was a public threat and sentence to Ćuruvija at the same time.
The comment was aired in the second “Dnevnik” (daily news show) of RTS:
“In this situation, those who wished for the bombing of Serbia are wisely quiet. Of course, this is about Slavko Ćuruvija. Today, when the greatly expected and called for bombs are killing Serbia, the betrayers are silent. If they are waiting for the Serbs and Serbia to become conquered, they are waiting in vain, but if they hoped their betrayal will be forgotten, they hoped in vain”.
Slavko Ćuruvija was killed five days later, on Easter in 1999, while he was entering the hall of his apartment building. He was accompanied by Branka Prpa.
Branka Prpa: “Already, in the next moment, the other man hit me with his gun right on my head, and I fell next to Slavko, who was already on the ground. The one who shot, came near and right in front of me shot Slavko in the head. I found out, the day after the murder, there were 17 bullets, ricochets, the bullets were flying around. I don’t know how I stayed alive. Obviously, a baffler must have been used, since I didn’t hear shots”.
Everything about this murder pointed out to the State Security Service.
However, media were silent, the bombing ran on, and the country was in the state of emergency. Goran Matić, official of Yugoslav Left Party and federal minister, in May 2000, stated for “Tanjug” that those who pose a question of who killed Slavko Ćuruvija actually destabilize the country.
Only a month after the October 5th changes in 2000, a file “Gobbler” became available to the public; this was a document by the State Security Service, where it is clearly seen Ćuruvija was under surveillance two days before the assassination by the members of the Belgrade Center of State Service, ran at that time by Milan Radonjić. Approximately five minutes before the execution, the agents were ordered to withdraw. A member of the State Service, who apparently did not hear the order to withdraw, testified about seeing a white “golf 3” vehicle on the street where Ćuruvija was murdered, identical to the vehicle at disposal to the members of the 9th department. It was determined that the vehicle in question, the white golf, was under the charge of Ratko Romnić, member of the Service. Media reported that Ratko Romnić and former member of Special Operation Unit, Miroslav Kurak, were seen, according to testimonies, in Svetogorska Street at the time of the murder. They are runaways.
The murder of Slavko Ćuruvija demonstrates the best the misusage of the Service but also its power, due to which still today, no one is accused of the murder albeit numerous evidence clearly pointing that the members of the State Service were involved in the murder. Many issues were clear to the new ruling management still in 2001.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: Undoubtedly, secret surveillance was in order for two days, the first day it failed, Radonjić was dissatisfied. They were called by Radonjić at the evening, he was angry at them for not doing their job well, he said he will get them arrested tomorrow, or shoot etc.
B92: And what happened with Radonjić, that is not known?
Zoran Mijatović: Nothing, Radonjić gave the order, he claimed he was ordered by Rade Marković and that’s how it all spun around.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: I participated at a meeting held in the office of the then chief of State Security Service, Goran Petrović, attended in addition to the people from the Service by the people from District Prosecution Office, and a conclusion was drawn to being in Milan Radonjić and to prepare a criminal charge. I don’t know what had happened, but at the end that whole story was reduced so Radonjić’s was handed over to District court, as an addendum to the criminal charge for Ibar highway.
B92: And the murder of Ćuruvija was given up or what?
Zoran Stijović: I do not know.
Milan Radonjić, former chief of the Belgrade State Security Center was in the meantime freed of indictment regarding his possible participation in the assassination of the four SPO officials at the Ibar highway. Officer on call in the Belgrade centre at the day when Curuvuja was murdered, as well on the day of the murder of the four SPO officials, was Cvijetin Milinkovic, who died in 2006. Miroslav Marković who signed the text “Ćuruvija saluted the bombs” was employed until recently in “Politika”’s documentation centre. Dragan Hazdi-Antic has withdrawn from the public; he engages in representation of Cuban interests in Serbia and together with Uros Šuvaković, promotes books by Mirjana Marković. She fled the country prior to the murder of Zoran Đinđić albeit a criminal charge was filed against her. The charge was filed by Jovo Ćuruvija, Slavko’s brother, accusing Mirjana Marković of being a brain behind the murder. She was never interrogated. Today, she lives in Russia, where she was given a political asylum.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: You simply cannot interrogate individuals regarding some criminal act with political background. So, I say, for instance: let us start from the family Miloševićs, on one hand, and on the other hand, let’s start from Socialist party President and then president or vice president of Yugoslav Left Party. And what do you think about calling Mira Marković, so she can say: “What is wrong with you?” And then we part. There are certain senseless thinArmy Headquarters…
B92: The question is what would you ask her?
Zoran Mijatović: There’s some…Well, whatever you ask her, do you expect to work on the Ćuruvija case, hence you first call Mirjana Marković, so she can say she isn’t…She won’t say: “Well, I did or did not know. I said it too strongly and they’ve heard…
B92: No. You said the investigation reached Rade Marković?
Zoran Mijatović: So, Rade Marković, along with him, etc, but we still haven’t got any data from witnesses, from the people who participated, which would imply this leads to Mira Marković. We performed the investigation seriously, to prove that behind it there was a person who ordered it, for instance, Mira Marković. Perhaps she is behind it, perhaps she is not. Perhaps we would get to her, perhaps we wouldn’t. but don’t forget, Goran Petrović and I have been doing this for only nine months.
The method in all political assassinations was always the same. The State Security Service would put under surveillance and wiretapping a potential victim, information about the person’s whereabouts and the present location would be submitted to the chiefs of Service or chiefs of particular Service’s departments. Prior to assassination, chief would order a withdrawal to the field agents. In this way, agents often did not know why they are surveying someone but by constant reporting about the person’s location, they were actually, preparing the murder. According to the available data, a person who gives the order to agents to withdraw from the surveillance- also knows the murder will follow and who the killer is.
Vlada Nikolić, agent RDB 1982-1999, consultant to the chief of RDB 2001: People at the top of the Service give orders of this kind and also chose people who would do it, and the process goes in the direction…The best examples are the Ibar highway case, that par excellence example for this I’m talking about, but…Regarding the Ibar highway case, there was a duplicity there, because all agents involved in Vuk Drašković surveillance did not know what the aim was, they thought the aim was to do a surveillance of the man, like they did with any other case, but they didn’t know everything was leading into a murder of political opponent. The Service had under surveillance and tapping this case you’re asking about, this is a starting point for a prosecutor to initiate a case.
After October 5th, a priority to the new Service management was to discover the murders of Slavko Ćuruvija, Ivan Stambolić, the four SPO officials and well as the perpetrator in the attempted murder of Vuk Drašković. In the meantime, indictments have been made in the cases of the Ibar highway, Ivan Stambolić and attempted murder of Vuk Drašković in Budva in 2000. A joint indictment was made for the murder of Stambolić and attempted murder of Vuk Drašković, and in this procedure Slobodan Milošević but also Mirjana Marković appear for the first time as the authorities behind the acts. This procedure was the first to reveal also the role played by the Army in the preparation to assassin Vuk Drašković.
Svetko Kovač, chief of Military Security Agency: Well, I wouldn’t say the Army participated in that.
B92: But it did help?
Svetko Kovač: Well, the Army provided certain logistic support actually it wasn’t the Army, but some individuals, that is known exactly who did it and who participated from the Army. In 2002, we got some information that it is possible someone from the Army participated in the logistic support in the attempted murder of Mister Vuk Drašković. We checked the information, but we needed a lot of time to gather data this was really true. We worked on it, and finally gathered all the data and around March 2003, we submitted everything to Anti-organized Crime Administration, in charge of the case, so all was handed over to prosecutor and a court procedure followed. Therefore, we found out who participated and in what way.
B92: Živko Terzić is mentioned, he’s your deputy today, that he was providing those military uniforms?
Svetko Kovač: He worked in documenting those misusages.
B92: So, he is not mentioned as a participant, as a helper?
Svetko Kovač: No, he worked in documenting the misusages and thanks to his good work and some others who have worked with him on this matter, all these was proven and handed as firm evidence to a prosecutor.
Živko Terzić, a deputy to chief of Military-Security Agency at present, was an assistant to chief of security in the Navy in Tivat at the time when the members of Special Operation unit attempted murder of Vuk Drašković in Budva. Terzić provided lodginArmy Headquarters, military uniforms, vehicle, permit to travel from Budva to Cetinje as well as three military IDs to the members of Special Operation Unit, so they can get back to Serbia. The order which Terzić executed was given by admiral Milan Zec, with an explanation that the colleagues from Serbia are working undercover and so need some assistance.
At the trial for the attempted murder of Vuk Drašković, Živko Terzić recognized the accused Nenad Ilić as a person who goes by the name of Predrag Đorđević, employed in RDB. Terzić stated he did help the members of Special Operation unit but he also said that he told his supervisor his task seemed weird because it was really unusual for their Service to provide such assets for needs of Serbian Ministry of internal Affairs. All the Navy officers testified that no one connected this visit and the attempted murder of Vuk Drašković.
Nebojša Pavković, accused of being an accomplice in the attempted murder of Vuk Drašković, is in Hague, standing trial for war crimes so there is no trial against him in the country. Pavkovic was appointed chief of XXX after NATO bombing.
Slobodan Milošević’s regime was ready for anything. This is illustrated the best by the fact that 16 employees of RTS were sacrificed during NATO bombing. They were ordered to sray in the building even tough it was known the building will be bombed. Dragoljub Milanović, then general director of RTS, was the only one accused of this murder and sentenced to 10 years of prison. During the entire investigation, Milanović denied he could have known the building will be bombed. However, then chief of analytical service in the Belgrade Centre of State Security Service, Vlada Nikolić, reveals what was happening on that night:
Vlada Nikolić, agent RDB 1982-1999, consultant to the chief of RDB 2001: I remember coming to my work that night at the Belgrade Centre, I went by the destroyed television building, and I saw all the terrible scenes in Aberdareva Street, so I came to my work place and told my colleagues, I told them Dragoljub Milanović should be arrested right that moment, for he allowed this much people to be killed.
B92: As a member of the Service, did you know if Dragoljub Milanović was aware the bombing will take place?
Vlada Nikolić: We assumed, based on firm assumptions, the television will be bombed. NATO openly proclaimed the television as a legitimate target, we knew that the bombing was possible sooner or later.
B92: As Service, did you do anything to warn those people?
Vlada Nikolić: Of course, those that happened…All the information the Service had about it, were presented to the higher instances of power, exactly because we had expected something like this to happen, and it was creepy for me that those people were practically sacrificed.
This statement by Vlada Nikolić practically confirms the claims made by the families of the killed RTS employees, who, for many years, demand from the authorities to punish all those people who knew and who are guilty for the sacrifice of the RTS employees.
In June 2002, Dragoljub Milanović was indicted for he was found responsible for death of 16 RTS workers. However, it is very likely he was not the only one to blame for death of the RTS workers, the question is who is still protecting whom? By the decision of the Serbian Supreme Court, he was a free man until the final verdict. This decision was made by the Court Council, chaired by Ljubomir Vučković. This judge was sentenced to 6 years of prison last year for bribery, illegal mediation and abuse of power in the case of criminal gang of Zoran Jotić Jotka. Branimir Gugl, Milanović’s lawyer, claimed Milanović will not flee and that he will hand his passport to the state. However, Milanović, using false ID’s, fled the country. Only after “Saber” operation, after the assassination of the Prime Minister, he was arrested in Montenegro; he was helped by Milorad Ulemek Legija and the Zemun gang in his 2002 flight. They enabled him to cross the Montenegrin border with a false police ID. This serves as the best example to show how much the ties among Milošević’s men from media, Zemun gang, police, State Service, judicature and Special Operation Unit, were strong, even at the time he was out of power.
Vlada Nikolić, who, in the night of the bombing, said in front of his colleague that Dragoljub Milanović should be arrested immediately for he had sacrificed lives of RTS workers, was removed from the Service at once.
Vlada Nikolić, agent RDB 1982-1999, consultant to the chief of RDB 2001: I, for instance, I was given a decision to remove to Prizren, to some unspecified work place, that what it said in the decision. Then, I didn’t want to comply to it and I asked for an explanation. Milan Radonjić, who delivered it to me, did not know to explain. A discipline measure was enforced against me and I was out in the street in 24 hours, which I had experienced it, at that time, as a reward, because I realized that the Service and I have nothing in common anymore.
Afterwards, Vlada Nikolić left the Service and got employed in XXX, under jurisdiction of SPO. Three days prior to the assassination on Ibar highway, he was kidnapped by members of the Service.
Vlada Nikolić: I was told by much older colleagues, who still remember the time when OZNA, The Department of State Security Service and cetera were active, that my case is unique because the Service never dealt in this way with its members, it was done much more elegantly, in the sense: get away and retire. But this was the time wherein I served as an example of how everybody else will also get into trouble if they dare to leave the Service and get an employment in some city institution and at that time, the city was ruled by the opposition.
The court procedure for kidnapping Vlada Nikolić is still on-going. The persons who interrogated Nikolić, according to the indictment, were Miša Miličević and Goran Živaljević, who were in 2002, by the decision of Zoran Đinđić, appointed to the top positions in the State Security Service. Interestingly, Živaljević, in the procedure for kidnapping Vlada Nikolić, former Service employee, until 2005 was a witness, while later on he became the accused one.
Vlada Nikolić, agent RDB 1982-1999, consultant to the chief of RDB 2001: During the preparations for the Ibar highway case, it was believed the officials of the Service had said, or though: why we need Vlada Nikolić in that opposition vespiary, if we proceed to do as planned, he could eventually help to reveal our plans, so let’s put him away where there’s still time, in some basement, so we don’t have to think about him anymore.
The members of the Serbian Service and some criminals were assumed to be involved in the murder of BBC journalist Jill Dando during the bombing, according to the British media and London court. The journalist was killed only three days later after the RTS television building was bombed and several days after the bombing of Ušće business Centre, wherein television “Košava” had its offices. “Košava” was owned by Marija Milošević. This murder case is not well known in Serbia.
During NATO bombing, on April 26th, Jill Dando, a star of BBC television was murdered by gunshot outside her home. London media already then had reported the killer came from Serbia, and that he was connected with Željko Ražnatović Arkan, former associate to the Federal Security Service. British police ruled out all these allegations and arrested Barry George, ex-convict, and in 2001 he was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, at George’s first trial his lawyers quoted from British National Criminal Intelligence Service report which stated that Arkan had ordered her assassination in retaliation for the bombing of “Košava” television station, then owned by Marija Milošević. Allegedly, the killer came from Yugoslavia, via Germany and France, by boat because a flight was considered unsafe, according to this report.
In the meantime, NATO bombed the television station in Belgrade and 16 RTS employees got killed. After the journalist Dando was killed, studio BBC got several anonymous calls, which connected the Dando killing case with the bombing of RTS. In an anonymous call, a man allegedly said: “We retaliate for the massacre you did. You had your first victim yesterday”. In August 2008, George was released while the murder remains unsolved.
Željko Ražnatović Arkan, who in the 1980’s executed a number of assassinations by the orders of the Federal Service and later State Service, was killed in 2000, in front of Intercontinental hotel. He was also associated with the murder of another journalist, Dada Vujasinović. She was found dead in her apartment on April 8th 1994. The authorized institutions proclaimed immediately it was a suicide. Albeit all the facts point out Dada Vujasinović was murdered, her killer has never been identified.
Milošević had people in the Service who were willing to perform just about any order, even felony, in the beginning of bombing, he decided to make some changes within the Army as well. Milošević decided to reactivate and bring back to the military service the retired general Aleksandar Vasiljević. In 1992, Vasiljević was, by Milošević’s order, replaced, arrested, then released and then retired after several months.
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: It was assumed that I was reactivated by the help of Yugoslav Left Party, Mira Marković or Milošević in 1999. I was not a member of any party. Officially, I was reactivated by the president Milošević, he did sign the document, but it was not his initiative.
B92: And whose it was?
Aleksandar Vasiljević: It was initiated by general Ojdanić, since he though that a man with my profile- he knew me from that earlier period of Yugoslav National Army- would be useful to the Army. I though about it, should I accept or not. I was pleased in a way, for this would be a tactile way to acknowledge the damage done to me and others, other security officials since they were also later released in their criminal procedures.
In the same year, Milošević removed the chief of Military Service, Aleksandar Dimitrijević and appointed Geza Farkaš instead, while Vasiljević became his deputy.
Aleksandar Vasiljević: You imply I was loyal
Aleksandar Vasiljević: That’s because I was not, in the meantime, engaged in any party, that’s the first thing, the other is that I wasn’t exposed anywhere or claimed openly about taking this or that side. So, I lived quietly, and the most important was, this was not about my political suitability foremost. Foremost it was about being a professional and they needed professional officials. Therefore, I was reactivated because of that.
Aleksandar Vasiljević was later on a witness in the court process against Milošević in Hague. At that time he was receiving threats from people employed in the State Service.
During the bombing of the country, Milošević’s secret service contended not only domestic traitors but also the individuals marked as sponsors of independent media. In his book, Dragan Filipović Fića, former official of the State Service, described in details how an assassination of Geroge Soros, the most famous world sponsor of non-governmental organizations, was planed. When the bombing started, Filipović was, according to his own words, a special consultant to the chief of State Service for secret operations abroad.
Excerpts from the book by Dragan Filipović, former top official of the State Service:
“The estimation was that by removing Soros, the strongest global network in the Balkans would be destabilized, consequently diminishing the power and propaganda influences of the Western alliance within this part of the world. In the situation of the intense NATO aggression, where Soros was an initiator, the justification of radical approach towards him was not questioned. According to the available data on Soros whereabouts, habits and plans, the Service learned he is preparing to visit a small, attractive tourist location in one of the European states, which he used to visit occasionally. For the realization of action, an experienced member of the reserve team of our special forces was chosen, registered under the code name ‘Mungos’”.
Filipović stated that “Mungos” had crossed the border illegally and applied as an army deserter to the officials of the neighboring country. This status allowed him to move around, and according to the book, after he arrived at the destination he rented an apartment with a view of the object where Soros was suppose to arrive, and a garage right behind the object, which was to serve him as a hiding place and for evacuation after the performed action.
“However, due to many obligations, Soros kept postponing his arrival, first for a month and then for two more months. I contacted ‘Mungos’, he was determined to wait for him at any cost. Time went by. We had estimated the NATO aggression would last a lot longer than three months, but it was ceased after three months by signing a fictive peace agreement. The chief Marković called me regarding this matter and told me to redirect my tasks, to either stop them completely or to redirect them to the classical intelligence operations, because every radical action in these new conditions would be politically counter-productive. When I analyze George Soros current activities, I have to admit it would be selfish to call him “Serb-hater”, since he equally hates Russians, Arabs, Chinese and Africans. It would really be injustice if that skunk outlives his many victims. I firmly believe that some other people, from another patriotic service, will decide, sooner or later, to contend with him. I wish them more success than we had, and ‘Mungos’ is still in top form. He is currently unemployed, at disposal”.
Dragan Filipović, top official of the State Service, played a considerable role in obstruction of the independent media, along with members of the Army. This was published in a book named “Military Secret” in 2004, when the public for the first time, had a chance to find out about the Army’s doinArmy Headquarters regarding the protection of Milošević’s regime. The book, authored by Vladan Vlajković, presents shorthand from ARMY HEADQUARTERS from 1999-2003. Vladan Vlajković left military service in 1993; helped by the people employed in ARMY HEADQUARTERS, he collected the unabridged shorthands and submitted them to the government in Montenegro and Serbian opposition. After the democratic changes, he published everything in his book. However, the book was confiscated and Vladan Vlajković arrested on March 18th 2004. The court procedure against him is still on-going. When Vlajković was arrested, the chief of ARMY HEADQUARTERS was Branko Krga, while Boris Tadic was a Minister of Defense. And so it turned out that surveillance of the opposition, obstruction of the independent media, and the assassination in Budva, represent in fact, the state’s secrets, and that Vlajković, by publishing these secrets, committed a felony.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: Various manipulations were seen at that time. Different people went public, some of them even wrote some essays
B92: Are you referring to Vladan Vlajković?
Zoran Mijatović: Well, yes, including him too.
B92: But those were not essays, but transcripts from collegiums.
Zoran Mijatović: I’ve briefly looked inside of one of those books and I was interested to check some thinArmy Headquarters he wrote about from my evidence. I’ve checked some dates, which I had in my notebook. So, I have two cases, one regards a speech by general Ojdanić on some meeting, presented as that commanders of Navy were present or so…I don’t know who was there. General Ojdanić was not present at the meeting that day for he was in Zlatar. Secondly, I found about myself too, that I was allegedly present on one of those meetinArmy Headquarters cited by Vlajković, but I wasn’t there at all.
B92: Well yes, but why was the book confiscated? It was stated the state secret was revealed.
Zoran Mijatović: You know what, every “secret” service involved in state security matters, whether they are in America, England, Russia, it doesn’t matter where, they engage in state security matters. In jargon, they are secret services and a secret service cannot be, I would say, a news-stand, wherein every activity is publicly daily stated.
B92: But wait a minute, what if the documents hide for instance, a crime? It turns out that the one who discovered the crime is guilty but not the one who committed it?
Zoran Mijatović: Oh my, which crime are you talking about?! That was the first time someone stole documents from the collegiums meetinArmy Headquarters.
B92: Well, but that was your problem, the Army problem?
Zoran Mijatović: I agree it was a problem the documents got stolen.
B92: Yes, but the public would like to know what’s in those documents.
Zoran Mijatović: There are, there are true secrets but also some issues which could be cleared, so they will not represent a secret anymore.
B92: Red herring! I am only interested if the documents contain important issues. And now you are telling me about another thing.
Zoran Mijatović: It’s important, important it is, I’m not saying it’s not important what’s in those documents.
After NATO bombing, the priorities of civil and military services became the opposition leaders, members of “Otpor”, independent media and non-governmental organizations.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: No opposition leaders was under any surveillance by the military service at the time when I was reactivated and prior to that, while I was in Yugoslav National Army service.
B92: How’s that so?
Zoran Mijatović: This means no one was under surveillance measures, but if the military service came to certain information without introducing analysis or wiretapping, without ordinary measures, let’ say for example that someone’s son, involved, tells to his father what they are up to, and the father tells that same thing to a security official, and then the service takes over the data and submits it to the state service so that they know what’s going on in there, because, objectively, activities were to violently change the order in the country, organizations of mass rallies and arming. I don’t know why are you smiling like that, because I can laugh too, but those who seize weapons and make disorder, I was…Let’s be clear now: I know about the issues going on in March 1991, March 9th, and I know about the issues unfolding here on October 5th, and we from the military service, we had stated our position, not from fear of what could happen to us but for the country as a whole, that the Army must not repeat the mistake from March 9th, to go out and confront people on the streets, since this would lead to bloodshed and civil war.
Albeit still today the public has an impression the Army, thanks to Nebojša Pavković, refused Milošević’s order on October 5th, this was not entirely as it seemed to be. According to unofficial sources, several generals had to persuade Nebojša Pavković not to employ the Army that day, and to refuse the order by Milošević.
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: There were several speculations about my possible role on October 5th, but there’s no need for me to discuss it.
B92: Did you attended that meeting on October 5th, and discussed…
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: : First of all, there was no meeting, so we were not call on a meeting.
B92: You went by yourself?
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: No, I went with general Đaković, chief of Security Administration, general Krga went with us, who was the chief of Intelligence Administration, on my initiative we went to see the chief of ARMY HEADQUARTERS and into ARMY HEADQUARTERS, for we weren’t in the same building. We came, I would say, uninvited to ARMY HEADQUARTERS, and then general Pavković made a decision the Army will not be employed. Despite the pressure Milošević put on him. He called him three times regarding this, about the Army employment around studio, which already broadcasted in Košutnjak, and then Pavković said: “here, we’ll do it right now, mister President”. The last time he called- after that he hanged out- he said to Pavković: “Nebojša, will you tell me, as a man to man, will you do this for me or not?” And then the general said: “Well, mister President, they will come out in a minute”. And he hanged upon him. But general Pavković refused to do by the order of Milošević.
B92: Did someone persuade him to do so or not?
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: Well, it probably helped that the three of us came, to, I would day, support him in his decision.
However Insider has found out that several hours later, on that same night, the State Service made a decision to, aided by the Army, kill the opposition leaders. The plan advanced so far that even a list was made, brought to ARMY HEADQUARTERS by a member of the service. Only today, eight years later, Aleksandar Vasiljević confirms this information, in a way, but he still refuses to discuss who had brought the list or whether the list was a hit-list or with the names of people to be arrested. The fact remains the two most important Milošević’s men, Pavković and Radomir Marković, had a meeting on that night in ARMY HEADQUARTERS.
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: I already went to bed that nigh, for tomorrow I was suppose to go for a vacation, but I was called in again that night to ARMY HEADQUARTERS. That was around half past two, AM. In addition to the collegiums, there were two more men from the State Security.
B92: Who were those men, do you remember?
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: Rade Marković and Branko Crni, and the entire situations was very difficult, as far as I could see, he was…Marković was in a bad mood, absent minded, quiet and then he briefly asked to meet general Pavkovic alone, they went out to the other room, and immediately after these guys from the State Security left the meting. About half an hour later, a man came from RDB with an envelope for general Pavković. General Pavković told me and general Đaković: “ Aca, go and see what’s in this other room, next to the office. When we opened it up, it was just a list with some 40 names, on a typewriter, but no sender or receiver either.
B92: And what was that?
Aleksandar Vasiljević: Almost ever opposition leader, data about them, where they reside, where they usually go, where one could find them, which type of car they’re driving, about their security measures. So, that was the information about these persons. It was obvious Rade Marković had sent that to general Pavković, and general Pavković asked: “Did you look at it?” “Yes, we did”. “Well, what it is?” I responded: “Some rubbish, nothing else”.
B92: And why did you say that? What did you conclude from the list, so by not telling about its content, you prevented something or what?
Aleksandar Vasiljević: Well, I cannot claim I prevented it, for I wasn’t there alone, general Đaković was there with me, we shared the same attitude that the Army should not interfere, but the list was made for some obvious reason, so that those listed persons could be find, arrested or whatever. And general Pavković said: “I agree with your opinion, shredder it”. And the list was handed to the chief of cabinet, adjutant, who shredder it in front of us.
By the order of Radomir Marković, the list was brought in by the then chief of 6th department of the State Service, Aleksandar Đorđević. After October 5th, he started to practice law, so he was a lawyer ex officio to Dejan Milenković Bagzi. Today he works in the same office with the former Minister of Justice Zoran Stojković. In spite of all the crimes presented in this Insider’s serial, both Nebojša Pavković and Rade Marković remained at their positions even after October 5th.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: The story was set to have three supporting pillars: Milošević who gives orders and a small circle of people around him, the organizer- Rade Marković, with a small circle of people around him, Legija-the shooter, and some small circle of people around him. And they’ve all come clean. No one was guilty. This mean that some 15 -20 people, despite everything, came as clean.