The fourth episode transcript
The interrogation of Radomir Marković lasted from April to June 2001. Marković revealed a lot of information about the Service, especially from the time when Jovica Stanišić was its chief. He explained the ways the Service had organized assassinations and interfered with investigations; he talked about the involvement of Radovan Stojičicć Badža, Željko Ražnatović Arkan and Marko Milošević, about coolers, mass graves and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, and the big scams in the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs by usage of false payment lists. Marković explained how Milošević during the sanctions had organized the state smugglings and how he divided the sectors- who got to deal with oil, or cigarettes. Furthermore, he revealed the officials from Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service who at the time of hyperinflation misused the multimillion loans from Komercijalna Bank, and how these loans were never returned. He also exposed who had carried bags full of money to deposit in Cypress and how Žika Petrović, director of JAT was killed because of that. He explained also the origin of 600 kilograms of heroin, found in the safe box belonging to the Service in Komercijalna Bank on October 5th.
Assassinations, steals, and smugglings wherein the members of the Service had participated since the 1990’s, are reduced to the justifications: they had to obey the orders and perform the state service and therefore they had been given the authorities to prepare and participate in assassinations. In return, they were awarded with positions, benefits and possibility to gain wealth.
With the exception of the chief of Service, Radomir Marković, who was jailed after the democratic changes, no one until today has questioned the responsibility of other individuals employed by the secret services, who had obediently engaged in various felonies, justifying the deeds by “the state service”. In order to reveal the truth about what was happening, at least partially, and to discover all participants and accomplices in crimes, it was necessary to expose all the files after the changes brought about by October 5th.
However, the documentation was destroyed, by the order of the former chief of Service, Radomir Marković, a day after the October 5th changes. The evidence about the destruction of documents was gathered in 2001 but so far, no one was prosecuted.
At the same time, the law, in addition to the short term act, restricts clearance of the files. In the transitional period, a book containing the names of the Service’s associates was taken out, revised, and then returned. Until today, it is still not known who has a disc with the files about the leaders of Democratic Opposition of Serbia, taken out from the Service in 2000.
Albeit even the representatives of Government frequently stated that by exposing the files, revealing the snitches and all misusages, the country’s history would change, it remains unclear why even today, those who had destroyed the evidence about felonies remain protected.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: After the October 5th , the State Security Service was- and I found out about this matter through conversations I had, from the interrogations of Radomir Marković, in jail…At first, the Service simulated the usual work activities, in an effort to adjust to the changes, so they relied on the then state officials in Yugoslavia, that is, to President Koštunica, the former President Koštunica, and Radomir Marković headed in that direction.
Vojislav Koštunica became a president of Yugoslavia and Military Commander in Chief after the election on September 24th 2000. From this position, he had the Military Service under his command, and he was the only one from the entire Democratic Opposition of Serbia in power. Elections for the republic parliament were scheduled for the end of December. The Milošević’s government was dismissed, and the transitional government formed, which meant that each ministry has three ministers. One of them had to be a member of Socialist party of Serbia. Decisions to replace officials turned out to be an impossible mission, since a representative of Socialist party of Serbia was always against the decision, and the rule was the decisions had to be unanimous. Therefore, Koštunica was the only one who could dismiss the then chief of the Service, Radomir Marković but also the chief of Army Headquarters, Nebojša Pavković. He refused such a request by the Democratic Opposition of Serbia and public, justifying his refusal by not being authorized to do so. This was an ideal opportunity for the State Service to destroy not only evidences of its crimes but also of the Milošević’s government malversations. This was also an opportunity for the Army- to keep the Milošević’s officials.
Srđa Popović, lawyer: October 5th was no revolution. Koštunica had an enormous support, I think he had around 80% support, the unprecedented support. He had a bigger support than Milošević ever has had, and this thesis was nothing extraordinary had happened, the elections were regular, normal elections wherein one candidate lost and another one won, that there will be no retaliation, if you remember, that we should keep a continuity with that criminal state and with these attitudes, he managed to block many necessary actions, one of them being a cleaning up of these services.
Bogoljub Milosavljević, professor of Administrative Law: It seems that a deal was then made between Radomir Marković and Vojislav Koštunica, at least that’s what it says in the resignations by Marković, that he will remain as the chief of the State Service until the changes. And that’s how it was enabled that the Service clear away its Archive for the full four months, to put away evidence pointing out and accusing the Service. In addition to the people involved in this cleaning, no one knows what was really happening. We still don’t know for sure, albeit many years have passed, simply because the Service I still in control over it.
After 2001, Zoran Stijović led an investigation within the State Service about the spoliation. He collected all the evidence against many people from the State Service, and submitted everything to the authorized personnel in the Service. Stijović was chased out of the Service two months prior to the assassination of the Serbian prime minister, when Legija’s men- Milorad Bracanović and Andrija Savić- came to the Service as top officials.
Afterwards, he sued the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs and State Service for concealing the crimes. He was a witness in the process against Slobodan Milošević but also Ramuš Haradinaj. Today he an employee by the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs but without specified work location. After seven years, for the first time he accepted to discuss in public the spoliation after October 5th and the reasons behind the concealment.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: All written paper documentation was destroyed, all documentation on microfilm also, as well as the documentation in electronic form, in the software. Hence, it is not true the documentation was kept intact on the microfilm and software, this could be easily checked out.
After the formations of Zoran Đinđić’s Government, Goran Petrović was appointed as the new Service chief and Zoran Mijatović became his deputy. Mijatović, when Jovica Stanišić was the Service’s chief, had an important position as the chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998. Mijatović initiated the investigation about the spoliation. In the 2001 investigation, Zoran Stijović found out it was Radomir Marković, the chief of the Service, who ordered the spoliation, while the Service top officials: Nikola Čurčić, Miloš Teodorović, Mikloš Đurović and Branko Crni, as well as the majority of chiefs in the main Serbian cities, executed the order. Interestingly, even though Miloš Teodorović, whose name was on the list of those who destroyed the Service documents, he became a consultant to the new chief of the Service. The evidence never went out of the Service and the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Miloš Vasić, journalist of “Vreme”: Some things are inevitable. Milos Todorovic was a man who knew everything about and what was in the Service’s documents. You cannot….otherwise you are totally blind. I think he was worth keeping until the rest find their way, if they managed at all.
B92: Did this end in someone’s drawer or did it result in a criminal charge?
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: As far as I know, we did the first part of the job, and as far as I could remember, Stijović had the complete documentations. So, Goran Petrović or Zoran did not have it….
B92: Well, he delivered it to you.
Zoran Mijatović: Well, he cannot deliver it to me, why would I need it?
B92: I think, how…he did deliver it to his superior chief, but…
Zoran Mijatović: He was authorized to do it.
B92: Yes, and when he had finished it, he delivered everything to you.
Zoran Mijatović: No, no, no, well, what would I do with it?
B92: Right, but did you know where….?
Zoran Mijatović: What’s the most important? We couldn’t finish that part regarding the spoliation, we couldn’t finish it up. We had taken individual statements, within the centers. Goran and I went in November, and I don’t know, so, it wasn’t burned, it exists.
B92: How many criminal charges so there would be?
Zoran Mijatović: It all depends on what would the prosecution office do. It’s easy to say: “Did you file charges”, for only after you file a criminal charge and documents, then you are having a hard time, then an investigative judge appears…
B92: OK then, but as far as you remember, you didn’t…
Zoran Mijatović: We didn’t file a criminal charge, if that’s what you’re asking.
B92: You didn’t file a thing, right?
Zoran Mijatović: We didn’t have time, we didn’t make it.
B92: And that was left for some later time?
Zoran Mijatović: We didn’t make it on time, it was a huge job, requiring capacities of the Service, and those capacities were directed to these things we discussed, foremost, assassinations, that’s the hardest, but the fact remains the documents were burned out. That’s a fact, and it’s a criminal act in that sense.
The public has learned about the spoliation for the first time in November 2004, when the evidence was reported in “Insider” show. Afterwards, the representatives of the Government and ministers claimed they’ve seen in for the first time in the show and that they had no prior information about it. However, since 2004 it is known the Services’ documentation was destroyed on purpose but until today no criminal charge is filed regarding this matter.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: They are protecting the structure of the Service, they are protecting their buddies, colleagues, people they’ve worked with and the rest, without realizing that in fact, they conceal many crimes as well, and that a difference between a witness and accomplice is minimal. So, it’s very easy for a witness to become an accomplice in concealing evidence or helping the perpetrators after the crime has been committed. Hiding evidence about a crime or some illegal activity is a felony and this is my call to everybody who knew what was happening to come forward, to open the story and tell what this was all about.
At that time, in 2001, when the internal investigation within the Service revealed the documentation was destroyed, the non-government sector, lacking though this crucial information, demanded from Democratic Opposition of Serbia to fulfill the promise and expose the files.
Biljana Kovačević Vučo, KKK: We thought that the transformation of the security services, the way they operated during the Milošević time, has to begin with clearance of the secret files, but that this should not be the end of it, this should have been a start, showing a good will of the state to expose those files in order to transform the Services from the Milošević’s time. Democratic Opposition of Serbia initiated this even before 2000, when they promised all the secret files will be exposed immediately after October 5th.
Despite the evidence pointing out the State Service documents were destroyed on October 6th 2000, the government of Serbia several months later, ruled an act to expose certain files. The vice president of the Đinđić’s Government claims the Government was never informed about the evidence the documents were destroyed. Later on, it turned out that Dušan Mihajlović also had the knowledge about the evidence, and as the Minister of Police, he had an obligation to inform the Government of Serbia about it.
Žarko Korać, vice president of the Serbian Government 2001-2004: I’ve never seen such a document in my entire life, nor it was ever adduced to me. So, the Minister of the Serbian Internal Affairs, Dušan Mihajlović, was…
B92: The evidence was adduced to him, I’m interested if he had ever, as the chief of police then…
Žarko Korać: No, I calm he had never on the Government meetings…If he had shown it to the Premier, it’s only his word now, for the Premier is unfortunately dead and cannot answer…But none of us, vice-presidents, and the Government collegiums, the political part of the Government, I never seen such a document, ever. I was even surprise to hear there was an investigation going on.
B92: What was exposed by the order of the Government of Serbia?
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: Nothing.
B92: How come “nothing”? People went to inspect files about themselves.
Zoran Stijović: Well, go and ask those people to say what they saw and if that’s connected with reality at all. That’s one thing which…That was an order which in fact served to manipulate the then state officials, it was a manipulation, represented to the wider public as exposure of the Service’s archives, but that has nothing to do with it.
Since the governmental act failed to expose all the files, the representatives of non-governmental sector initiated an evaluation of the act in front of the Constitutional Court, seeking in effect, to provoke the bill adoption. The Constitutional Court, led by Slobodan Vučetić, however, ruled against the act in 2003; the bill, written and suggested by the non-governmental sector was never adopted.
Bogoljub Milosavljević, professor of Administrative Law: We were met with strong resistance from the beginning inside the services, but I have to say, the key political parties within Democratic Opposition of Serbia also failed to support us in 2001 and 2002. Their main goal was not to expose the files. The files clearly point out who was responsible for some bad events from the past, they directly accuse some people from the services and their associates outside the services, belonging to , let’s say, members of parliaments, justice system or some other social institutions.
Biljana Kovačević Vučo: Regarding the files clearance, we were interested in participation of the Service in assassinations, war crimes, participations in the Milošević’s politics, the role of Jovica Stanišić, and all the rest top officials, mighty people, a support at certain moments to the politics and in which ways, all these were very important; of course, many things could have been revealed, through those files which were destroyed or taken away by Rade Marković. Not everything though, but many things would allow to reveal illegal activities of that service.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: Did someone ask to open up the files by the Yugoslav Army, led by their security officers? The Army did as we did, by the same criteria, made files for inner enemies and for people, regarding oppositions to intelligence services. They had files made for officers and citizens within the Army. The Army had a rich fond of files, fantastic files. When a child by some of our enemy, I hope people won’t get offended, I don’t look at them in that way, anyways, when such a child would go to serve the Army, it would be noted down that the child is a son of this and that person, filed under that or this cause, hence the Army would take over, put him under surveillance, send reports and everything else…That’s the truth.
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: Expecting to find some considerable files in the Military Service- I think that’s a miscomprehension.
B92: But the people from the State Service say that the Military Service engaged in the same things as they did, identically.
Aleksandar Vasiljević: How could they know? I don’t know what the Military Service had done, then how could they know what we had done? Personally, I support files clearances the way it was done in the Department of State Security.
B92: Well, there was nothing in there?
Aleksandar Vasiljević: Therefore, you cannot find something that does not exist.
Svetko Kovač, chief of the Military-Security Agency: I think that both civil and military security files should be a subject to clearance. I don’t think the Serbian citizens would live any better if the services expose their files to the public, for I think this is much more important issue for the services themselves- they are often groundlessly accused for misusages regarding these files, and I think this would be a good way to clear the past burdens.
Žarko Korać, vice president of the Serbian Government 2001-2004: It is very rare for a country to expose its files. For instance, Eastern Germany did it, which was considered occupied by the Russians. Slovakia discovered their former president, and chief of Evangelistic Church, the leader…That they were associates to the State Security. The Slovakians were in shock. I also think that in our country, many people will also be shocked if they would find out who the associates were. You have people in power right now, who are the associates to some services, and that’s undoubtedly confirmed. For instance, in Serbia that does not appear as some special problem. I think that in normal, democratic countries, these people could not have the positions they are holding right now.
B92: To whom are you referring?
Žarko Korać: For example, the people who until recently held the power etc., they have very clear…There are data about them. Therefore, the file clearances…yes, they cannot do more than that. I don’t know, Brankica, you have to try to understand, when you become a member of something, then you become obliged, and that obligations is not against my consciousness, but I cannot publicly say: “That particular man does what interests your audience the most”, for such society would be horrible. Firstly, it would be my word against his, because the man would say: “It’s a lie”. Then, I would end up in court, and be convicted, for to prove it, his file would have to be exposed, but the Government won’t let his file to be exposed, since the file contains many other things as well.
After the change of government and formation of the Đinđić’s government, it was established that not only the documentation of the State Security was destroyed but that while still the chief of the Service, Radomir Marković during the interim government, removed the disc containing the files of the opposition leaders from the Service. A criminal charge was filed then against Radomir Marković, Nikola Čurčić, Branko Crni and Milan Radonjić, for revealing the state secret.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: The discs contained information about the opposition leaders. Now we are back on the beginning of our conversation: on one hand, you destroy the documentation and on the other hand, you record everything, and that was, as far as I can remember, around 8.000 pages on the disc. That’s a lot. We haven’t found those discs, they said they hadn’t taken it out, and that they don’t know where it was. We filed a criminal charge for revealing state secret.
Žarko Korać, vice president of the Serbian Government 2001-2004: So, they had fun in the Koštunica’s office while reading our files. That’s for sure. Regarding the disc, that’s very interesting, it’s gone and it’s somewhere around. There were like 3 recorded discs, one of them was about me…A very strange choice. Also, there was…There was one about Koštunica, furthermore about Đinđić, and I think also…I just have to remember, I think also about Independent Syndicate, Bane Čanak, I also think Dragan Milovanović, leader of that other syndicate…A peculiar choice of people, indeed. That’s an example of amateurism of the Service but a very interesting question remains-for what reason, and to whom they had delivered the discs.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: Everything is written on those discs…
B92: But, if it’s true this was taken to for instance, the Koštunica’s office, then…
Zoran Mijatović: We don’t know that.
B92: OK then, let’s suppose it was taken to someone’s office and now that someone has…
Zoran Mijatović: It could be, if it was given to someone, it could be misused. But, in such a case, it would be known who is responsible, the one who is released now.
The indictment regarding the disc removal was, in the past seven years, the only indictment connected with misusages in the State Security Service. The procedure, however, was classified under “state secret” and hence remained closed to the public.
Recently though, Radomir Marković, Branko Crni and Milan Radonjić were found free of charges by the decision of County Court. At first, they were released, then the Supreme Court returned the case for retrial, and finally, afterwards County Court ruled acquittal of the charges. This news did not earn very much attention from media. The procedure included Nikola Čurčić as well, but it was suspended after he died in November 2006. After Čurčić’s death, his case was archived, hence the Insider crew has requested from Slobodan Radovanović, the republic prosecutor, an insight into the case. The request was denied despite being in the public interest.
The request by Insider: “We consider that after the suspension of procedure against Čurčić, an insight into the case would not compromise the procedure. We hope our request will be granted since the citizens of Serbia have the right to know about the natures of indictments, considering the seriousness of felonies, which could affect many. We also consider it is important for the citizens to learn what the state institutions have done in order to reveal misusages and punish the perpetrators”.
This request was denied, for, as explained to us by the republic prosecution office, the case is still very active. This implies that the case, even after the verdict has shown data about misusages within the Service, has remained the state secret. Stijović says it is amazing how, in spite of all the evidences pointing out to the files removal, the employees of the Service got acquittal of the charges. He emphasizes though, that Miloš Teodorović, today a retired State Service employee, appeared in the case as a witness supporting the defendants.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: The man who had organized the spoliation of documents testified on that trial as a witness claiming the spoliation never happened. Court obviously believed him, while this information, and what I have done along with many other people about revealing misusages and criminal, are stuck in someone’s drawers and no one deals with it, no one thinks about it, not even to check or to send it to a court for procedure, to say whether this is true or not.
A judge in the County Court, Milena Rašić, who ruled the case and acquitted the employees of the State Service, in a brief statement said the court found the felony could not be proven. According to her, the law explicitly envisages the existence of harmful consequences to the state or a possibility of the same, but in this particular case, she claimed, it could not happened. Furthermore, she stated the State Security Service classified the particular documents as state secret, that the court read the files and determined they refer to decisions to process certain individuals who were in the 1990’s and 2000 in the opposition parties and Otpor (anti-Milošević movement “Resistance”), and that in October 2000, the decision had been made to suspend processing of the mentioned people.
Considering the opposition parties won the elections on September 24th, even if the data from the discs were made available, it could not cause any consequences to the political aspect of the state. The judge Milena Rašić holds the Prosecution did not prove what would be the harmful consequences for Serbia if the scanned data were made available. Hence, in spite it was proven the files were removed from the Service, it remained unproved who has them.
B92: Hypothetically, how much power a person having the files would have today?
Bogoljub Milosavljević, professor of Administrative Law: That person would have a lot of power, lots of power. This is especially so since we assume that the last period, the last several years of the Milošević’s regime, the last years of Jovica Stanišić as the chief and of those who came afterwards, like Radomir Marković- we assume the Service was very active in that period on the Serbian political scene, and also we assume that political parties, some of whom are even today very active in the Parliament for example, we assume some parties were involved with the Security Service, that is, the State Security Service had helped some of these political parties.
Zoran Mijatović became a deputy to the Service chief after the formation of the Đinđić’s government; previously, from 1993-1998 he was one of the closest associates of the then chief of the Service, Jovica Stanišić.
Miloš Vasić, journalist of “Vreme”: The fact is it was estimated at some point in 2001 that a combination of Mijatović, an old fox who knows everything, which is extremely important for the job, and that of Goran Petrović, a man of honorable and clean past, but very capable, is a very good combination to lead the Service; this was shown already in the first few months of their appointments, all until the end of their mandates, that they are a good combination for the Service.
Until 2000, the Service dealt mostly with the opposition leaders. Later on, however, the same people that Mijatović knew everything about from the past processing, became ruling politicians and superiors to him and other people from the Service.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: They perhaps thought I knew everything about them. However, I new some things, more or less. Perhaps I knew the most about Vuk, because we were wiretapping him. Maybe either Batić or Koštunica, or someone else from those people- I cannot remember now who were the people whose names and cases were on the disc, I cannot remember exactly which one- perhaps they thought: “Perhaps Mijatović knows what we ate and what we had for breakfast, and if we did this or that”. I never perceived those people in such way. Not even Vuk Drašković. For me, he was an individual, and by chance, we were on different sides: he was on one side and the Service on the other. I have never manipulated in any way, not even upon my return and when I was in the Service, with this document in public.
Žarko Korać, vice president of the Serbian Government 2001-2004: Once, I told to one of those men something about myself, and he said to me: “Oh, professor, don’t talk about it”. That’s how it was at that time. I told a story about how a waiter once said to me, while I was sitting with Rasim Ljajić and a Swedish girl, the waiter was afraid I guess after October 5th, and he said: “Prior to your arrival here, men from the State Security Services were here too and they placed a wiretapping device into a salt cellar, and the salt cellar is placed on your table so that’s how it’s done and then you get wiretapped”. It tuned out the men from the Service told the waiter to place the salt cellar on the table. The three of us ordered mineral water. Rasim, myself and the Swedish lady. It was an unpleasant meeting, Raskim asked me to translate and to be there as a friend. We had unpleasant conversation and in the middle of it the waiter placed the salt cellar in front of us, I remember, it was in “Majestic Hotel”, then I though “Why is this guy placing a salt cellar? He must be crazy or something”. We were sitting there in the afternoon and then again I though that perhaps he is setting the table for tomorrow’s breakfast…The waiter reminded me: “Professor, do you remember sitting here with the Muslim guy from Democratic Opposition of Serbia”? and I said: “With Rasim and there was a lady…” The waiter said: “I do remember that meeting and I had placed that salt cellar on your table for the State Security had asked me to do so.
It was a wireless device, that’s the way it was done”. And I told to the man from the State Service: “What kind of Service is this? You were dealing with me”. The guy responded: “Sorry, professor, we had to”.
Just prior to the formation of the Zoran Đinđić Government, the then top officials of the State Service, led by Radomir Marković, in addition to spoliation and removal of the disc with files had also taken out and changed a book containing names of the Service’s associates. This book was very valuable, perhaps the most important to the Service.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: That book is in fact a registrar of all the associates of the Service, about the people who had secretly worked for the Service. It exists since 1945 onwards, and when one book gets filled up, another one is used, and that document is kept in the safe box, with the chief of Center. So, that’s the most confidential document not only within the Serbian State Security Service but elsewhere too. People who work secretly for the Service. So, the book was removed, re-written, a new registrar was made. This happened on November 3rd 2001, one could tell the registers were re-written by one and the same handwriting. So, the same man did it. So, a graphologist could easily determine by ink used and the rest, hence a doubt was cast that many of the associates’ files and many persons, files about many persons who used to work for the Service, that they are in illegal possession.
This means that after October 5th, the list of the Service’s associates, which included some of the present journalists, analysts, experts, representatives of syndicates, church and justice, was put away. The registrar is at someone’s possession. It is not known who has it, so that person can use it for various purposes of manipulation and blackmail. The person in possession of the registrar simply has it all: who was who, who did what etc. And hence, depending on who has this list- for instance, various politicians from the past or people from the Service, or maybe some tycoons- that person or persons can blackmail the associates and so get anything they ask for, ranging from political positions to monopoly. Nevertheless, Stijović claim it would be relatively easy to find out who has the list.
Zoran Stijović: It’s just the matter of the good will to solve a very important issue for the state security, for the national security of this country. I wouldn’t go this far, but just imagine this list is in possession of a political party? Or, in a possession of a foreign intelligence service?
The State Security Service and Military Service recruit associates in various ways.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: The truth is that the Service until 1990 was an ideological service, and many of its associates were engaged on that same ideological, that is, patriotic basis. Some associates were engaged in so-called disreputable material, which could cause some negative consequences for the person involved. To recruit an associate is very complicated, having different basis. So, there were patriotism and blackmail involved, and also money.
Vlada Nikolić, agent RDB 1982-1999, consultant to the chief of RDB 2001: There are many people who are registered as associates without even knowing it. It’s simply…in practice, this has happened a lot.
Vlada Nikolić: Because I am an agent in the secret service. You are my friend for a long time for instance, and we see each other, have coffee and hang out together, but I register you as an associate. Do you get it? You have no idea you’re an associate while in the Service, I register you as my associate.
B92: Yes, but is that allowed to do so?
Vlada Nikolić: Allowed, that’s…It is allowed in a sense that…
B92: Well, no, isn’t it that…Doesn’t that associate have to provide some information, in order to be an associate.
Vlada Nikolić: Com’ on, you provide information by having an informal conversation with me, and then I later on misuse it, to make a report.
Military Service has associates among civilians too, albeit the core of its engagement should be limited to Army. Yugoslav National Army had civilian associates.
Aleksandar Vasiljević, chief of Army Security Service 1991-1992, deputy to the chief 1999-2001: Many military associates were engaged in the course of their serving in the Army. When these young men finished serving in the Army- those that were engaged in the Military Service as well- well, many would express their desire to continue a contact with the Military Service and so they were kept in the evidence as associates of the security service.
B92: Right, but those solders later on became, for instance, professors, entrepreneurs etc. Did they remain as the Military Service associates?
Aleksandar Vasiljević: Absolutely. The remain, for the most part, as “conserved” associates, “conserved” for some emergency states or war. However, we also had a lot of cases wherein soldiers, the Military Service associates did not remain in the military evidence but were, consensually, transferred as a contact to the State Security Service in the republic or county of residence.
After the Security Service documentation was destroyed, the representatives of the Service, led by Radomir Marković had found ways to present themselves as important and irreplaceable to the new Government. In the beginning of November in 2000, almost simultaneously, massive jail rebellion hit almost all prisons in Serbia. It still remains unclear whether the organization of the rebellion was initiated by the top Service officials. Radomir Marković, accompanied with human rights activists, went from jail to jail, and had a key role in pacification of the convicts.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: The fact is that the rebellion in the South, in Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa in November 2000, then the jail rebellion, then the story about spoliation and many other stories that happened actually were met with overly relaxed attitude, like “let it go, let’ go forward, what happened-happened, move forward”. However, people who deliberately started fire cannot be use to put out that fire. They cannot be firefighters.
Second major crisis after the jail rebellion during the course of the interim government was an armed rebellion in the south of Serbia, which also errupted in November 2000. In this event too, Radomir Marković had a key role, touring the zone with Legija and representatives of Democratic Opposition of Serbia. In this way, they demonstrated that no one but Legija and Marković could pacify the rebellion in the south of Serbia. Furthermore, no one ever questioned, for he past eight years, why in the first place the rebellion broke out and what was the role of the Service in the event.
Zoran Stijović: Regarding November 2000, when several cops were murdered and later massacred, I think the essence is that no one knows who gave an order to withdraw the police forces from the border with Kosovo and Metohija. After the killings of the four cops, the terrorists from so-called Liberation Army of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa went to Veliki Trnovac and there they had made a base against the Serbian government. This was happening right after the changes, right after October 5th. Someone gave the order to withdraw the police forces via radio station or Motorola, and the police did withdraw…
B92: And how come no one knows who gave that order?
Zoran Stijović: That could be determined easily. I have to remind you, similar case was in Racak also. Again, the terrorist had made their base in Trnovac, the police had withdrawn and left the area. This cast a doubt in good intentions of everything, and if it was about fear, or amateurism or just someone’s deliberate attempt.
Stijović claims the State Security Service had its role in the rebellions. He reveals how the Service attempted to cross the future prime Minister, Zoran Đinđić, in one very unpleasant event, on December 31st 2000.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: On that day, the premier candidate, late Zoran Đinđić, was supposed to go to Bujanovac, to talk with the local populations. At the time of his arrival, the Albanian terrorists, in consent with the officials, with the Serbs, unfortunately, unbelievable, wanted to pull up the Albanian flag in Veliko Trnovo. So the plan was when late Đinđić appears in Bujanovac, there were to put out the flag on a school, in order to present him as Albanian liberator and someone who collaborates with the Albanian extremists and that was…
B92: Wait a minute, was this in consent with the representatives of the State Service, the Serbian, or with…
Zoran Stijović: The representatives of the Serbian State Security Service from the local department in Bujanovac had obstructed and hidden information about this event. I went to Bujanovac, to straighten things out by the usual system, I informed the Service officials and others, those structures, and finally, the late premier, then the premier candidate was informed about the whole idea and plan.
Some twenty days later, Zoran Đinđić became a premier of the Serbian new government. The first decision by the new government was to replace Radomir Marković, chief of the State Security Service. Soon afterwards, Marković was arrested. He is still in jail. New management of the State Service, Goran Petrović and his deputy Zoran Mijatović, started immediately to investigate possible misusages of the Service during the previous regime. Zoran Stijović, then assistant to the chief of Belgrade State Security Center, was in charge of Radomir Marković interrogation. During the interrogation, Stijović was responsible directly to Mijatović. He reveals how important were some statement by Radomir Marković, which, for some reason, were never used to initiate criminal charges.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: In accordance with the Service regulations, I collected information and submitted that material to my superiors. Radomir Marković…The interrogation lasted for several months, and I think what he told me then was of great importance to the country, maybe not so much like the spoliation of documents, but still, those things he said could have explained many events and happenings in Serbia in the past periods.
The interrogation of Radomir Marković lasted from April to June in 2001, in a strictly confidential form, in a special room of Central prison. Marković revealed a lot of information about the Service, especially about the time when its chief was Jovica Stanišić. He explained the ways the Service had organized assassinations and interfered with investigations; he talked about the involvement of Radovan Stojičić Badža, Željko Ražnatović Arkan and Marko Milošević, about coolers, mass graves and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, and the big scams in the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs by usage of false payment lists. Marković explained how Milošević during the sanctions had organized the state smugglings and how he divided the sectors- who got to deal with oil, or cigarettes. Furthermore, he revealed the officials from Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service who at the time of hyperinflation misused the multimillion loans from Komercijalna Bank, and how these loans were never returned. He also exposed who had carried bags full of money to deposit in Cypress and how Žika Petrović, director of JAT was killed because of that. He explained also the origin of 600 kilograms of heroin, found in the safe box belonging to the Service in Komercijalna Bank on October 5th.
Zoran Stijović: He was ready to appear as a witness in court for many of these events, for all 15 statements. So, only two statements went out to the public, the rest 13 did not.
B92: And what are those statements about? What did he tell about?
Zoran Stijović: Well, if you look at the two which appeared in front of public, you will see, you can then only imagine what’s in the rest.
Since then, only two statements by Radomir Marković appeared in front of the Serbian public. The first regards removal of Albanian corpses, which will be used later in the Hague court processes, and the second regards Milošević’s orders against the opposition and the story about how Uroš Šuvaković, through Dragan Karić, transferred 2 million of German marks to Marko Milošević in Moscow. This is all published in a book “Povilenske magle I vidici” by Dušan Mihajlović. Mihajlović, former Minister of Police, claimed that Marković was a major witness-insider:
“As an insider, he could explain in details what we have assumed and sketch as some criminal pyramid, made of politics and criminal. I heard Marković is cooperating thus providing valuable information which shed light on the period of the Milošević’s regime”.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: I had a conversation with Marković in prison, which lasted around seven hours, and with his permission, I recorded it, transcribed and then outlined to Stijović the elements of the future interrogation he was suppose to do with Marković. Then Stijović made, he probably told you, I cannot remember exactly, but I think some 15 statements in accordance with the Criminal Law. But do not think that when someone gets a statement the Criminal Law from someone else that it’s valid. According to the regulations, everything he had written down should have been sent to analytical team, formed for these kinds of things. It must be send to the team. I can hardly say to you, for I left nine months after it, where are those papers. The papers must be somewhere. Stijović has to know this, he didn’t take the papers home, I believe him so.
B92: Stijović gave the material to you and Goran Petrović.
Zoran Mijatović: Well, to see what he was doing and to refer it to the analytical team.
B92: So, it got lost somewhere within the analytical team?
Zoran Mijatović: Well, it cannot be lost. I claim it isn’t.
B92: Well, yes, but why then it was not used to initiate a procedure?
Zoran Mijatović: If you would put me now, if the current chief running the Security Information Agency would say to me: “Mijatović, come here to find it:, I would find it. It cannot be that it’s not there.
B92: Is that important, those 15 statements, are they important?
Zoran Mijatović: Well, I cannot evaluate particular importance for each of the statements.
B92: Right, but have you read them all?
Zoran Mijatović: This for Hague Court was important for it referred to terrain readjustment.
B92: But all the statements were like that, important.
Zoran Mijatović: Not all of them have the same importance, not all of them.
B92: But Stijović, the man who did the interrogations, says…
Zoran Mijatović: He did the interrogation, and Stijović is a very good man, diligent man, but he claimed for himself to redirect the worth of what he was doing. He was not the only one doing it. I don’t even dare.
B92: Do you think the statements should be taken out from the analytical department, and then do something about it, or that’s not so important anymore?
Zoran Mijatović: There’s nothing to be done regarding that question. Rade Marković was convicted for what he had done.
B92: But he did reveal so many other things.
Zoran Mijatović: Rade Marković did not reveal spectacular thing, those are some…I don’t know what Stijović said. I repeat, I do respect him.
B92: All that was recorded too?
Zoran Stijović: Everything was recorded.
B92: And where it is? You delivered it to- whom?
Zoran Stijović: To the State Security Service. This means, to my superiors in the Service…I was an assistant to chief of Belgrade Centre Security Service, my superiors at that time were deputy to the chief Center and the chief of Center of the Service. So, these people should answer where are the material and documents and everything else.
B92: Was that enough to initiate various investigations?
Zoran Stijović: Absolutely. Absolutely.
In the beginning of June 2001, Petrović, Mijatović and Mihajlovic inferred from prison Radomir Marković, for a secret diner. Afterwards, he stopped providing information. Marković’s defense lawyers, during the court cases for Ibar highway and Stambolić assassination, claimed Marković was given a dishonorable offer to falsely blame Milošević and few other people for the hardest crimes, in order to save the other accomplices. Mihajlovic, Petrović and Mijatović testified that during the diner, nothing important was discussed.
Zoran Mijatović, chief of Belgrade center RDB 1993-1998, deputy to chief RDB 2001: I’ll explain it now. So, I took the order to take Marković out of prison, went and pick him up, put him in my jeep, there were my driver and two other escorts and no one else. So, I brought the man without any trouble to Security Institute. Rade and I talked about many things, it wasn’t a diner…No way, we didn’t invite him for diner but to discuss things. The conversation lasted some time, I cannot remember anymore for how long, nor it is important anymore.
B92: And why you didn’t have that same conversation in jail?
Zoran Mijatović: Well, a Minister won’t go to jail. I went from jail to jail, to interrogate, my while life, but we did it according to the regulative. Yes, perhaps, I returned him a bit late back to jail, we offered him a diner, the Minister asked him: “Would you like a diner”?. He said: “Where to have a diner”? He wasn’t into diner at all.
B92: Well, did he say at least something?
Zoran Mijatović: I wasn’t into what was for diner but what we had discussed.
B92: Well, did he say something important?
Zoran Mijatović: No, nothing important. What could he say that was important?
All fifteen signed statements by Marković, three official notes based on his informal testimony were recorded and submitted to the top officials of the Service. It is not known what has happened with these statements and why they were never used to initiate criminal charges.
Žarko Korać, vice president of the Serbian Government 2001-2004: Obviously, a lot of effort was invested not to stir things up too much because…No one was ready to change the entire Service, for you had no replacements, and to make things even worse, only few people were removed from the Service, the top officials, and the Service, in its characteristic mode of behavior, continued to serve every master, that is, the service just started to serve another master.
Zoran Stijović, long term agent of RDB: There was a pronounced effort to downplay the whole story and all procedures were ran with the same aim, for many had interest and still have in these stories after October 5th. I think the key to the story is the spoliation of documents, files clearances, clearance of the service associates network, for these could point out to the level of difficulty of the problem, the depth of that tank and that could allow a for healthy basis to make a serious, respectful security service, needed so much in this country.
Zoran Đinđić was labelled a traitor and foreign mercenary, thanks to the mechanism established during the Milošević’s regime among politicians, the Service and journalists. Due to the same mechanism, after the changes, he was labeled a criminal. After 2000, a lot of tabloids are being published, in contrast with the time of Milošević’s regime when only those dealing with folk singers existed. It was logical that behind such magazines were various representatives of civil and military services. The Service, as you have heard, had various journalists as associates, serving to create various affairs. Vojislav Šešelj claimed Đinđić was a criminal in one of the newly published tabloids. In these accusations, Šešelj referred to “Laufer”, that is the State Security Service. That is how, even after the changes, the Service, politicians and media created an impression wherein Djinjdic appeared as the major criminal in Serbia. That campaign was so strong that even today, there are some people who believe the Serbian Prime minister was killed because he was a criminal.