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November 7, 1994
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 163
The Security Service and Liquidation

Waiting for Monday

by Uros Komlenovic

In order to calm down impatient onlookers who were awaiting an explanation for the murder of Andrija Lakonic (a criminal suspected of being a police informant) in the "Nana" nightclub, exactly four years ago (Thursday, November 8, 1990), then Minister of the Interior of Serbia, Radmilo Bogdanovic, promised that:

In the report that is being prepared for Monday, the work of the State Security Service (SDB) and their associates will be discussed in order to counter suspicions caused by particular assassinations abroad of ethnic Albanian emigres.

The report was never issued publicly (however, who knows which Monday the Minister was talking about?), but in recent days the same subject was brought up by Bogdanovic's successor, Zoran Sokolovic. In response to a question posed by parliamentary deputy Aleksandar Cotric (Serbian Renewal Movement - SPO), who was interested in knowing if the members of the Serbian Police and Secret Services were involved in the liquidation of Serbian political emigres in Europe and the United States from 1969 to 1980, Sokolovic answered:

"This question is an attempt to link the mentioned cases with members of the Serbian Interior Ministry and is pure speculation."

Cotric mentioned particular cases of murder: Ratko Obradovic (Munich, 1969), Sava Cubrilovic (Stockholm, 1969), Jakov Ljotic (Munich, 1974), Boro Blagojevic (Brussels, 1975), Miodrag Boskovic (Brussels, 1976), Dusan Sedlar (Dusseldorf, 1980), Dragisa Kasikovic (stabbed to death along with his eight-year-old step-daughter Ivanka Milosevic in Chicago in 1977), and Petar Valic (1975, location unmentioned). In addition, it is interesting to remember the "unfortunate accident" in January of 1978, when the automobile of Mihail Naumovic ended up in Lake Michigan, as well as the murders of Bogdan Mamula (Gary, Indiana, 1977) and Borislav Vasiljevic (Buffalo, Michigan, 1978). Rade Panic, Petar Kljajic and Petar Manevic were assassinated in Canada during those years. None of the aforementioned murders was ever solved, and the victims were all journalists, editors or financiers of emigre media enterprises ("Iskra", "Srpska borba", "Vaskrs Srbije", "Beli orao", "Sloboda" and "Srpski radio-cas"). Perhaps some of them were truly "victims of settling of accounts within the political emigration", but the Security Service's "signature" is too noticeable in all of this. (Indeed, the SDB preferred to provoke bloody feuds in the emigre community, but, as can be anticipated, they did not refrain from "direct activities".) Seen formally, the problem is that Cotric is knocking on the wrong door: such "actions" were part of the activities of the federal police at the time, which, in keeping with the popular policy of "brotherhood and unity", did not spare the Croat (the murders of Bruno Busic and Stjepan Djurekovic, the attempted assassination of Nikola Stedula...) or the Albanian emigre communities. For this reason, Zoran Sokolovic and his ministry (republican) could easily claim a lack of authority in such matters.

"However, someone should be responsible for the mentioned murders or at least shed some light on those cases", Aleksandar Cotric told VREME. "The Federal police practically does not exist (around 100 employees compared to the 100,000 in the republican ministry), the republican police inherited its offices, facilities, money, and operatives, and should therefore inherit its responsibilities. I asked Zoran Sokolovic this question in order to find out whether the executors of these political murders are still with the Interior Ministry, who they are and how many of them there are. I am surprised by the fact that the Minister even blessed me with a response, but of course I am not satisfied with the answer. Isn't it the responsibility of the police to clearly confirm or deny the accusation instead of talking about 'speculations'?"

Aleksandar Cotric adds that the SPO will continue to insist upon this issue in addition to seeking the opening of the archives of the secret services. However, it is clear that the police will ignore these requests and that the Parliamentary Security Board will meet only in order to satisfy procedure , but that there will be no real control of the police and the SDB by Parliament for now. Radmilo Bogdanovic's "Monday" is still being awaited.

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