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February 1, 2001
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 476

Kosovo's Shadow

by Dejan Anastasijevic

Let´s start off with lieutenant-general Sreten Lukic, the new head of the Department of Public Security. His official CV states that general Lukic was born in Visegrad in 1955, that until now he was head of the Administrative Office of Border Activities, and that prior to that he had “spent some time in Kosovo” and that “in police circles he is known as a lover of archery”. His CV, however, doesn´t list that Lukic, from the beginning of 1998 until the end of the war with NATO, was the head of the MUP headquarters for Kosovo and Metohije, and that in this role he coordinated all special and regular police forces during that period. That means that Lukic, according to his function, is responsible for everything that had occurred in that period, including the massacre in Drenica (villages of Cirez, Likosane and Prekaz) in March of 1998, as well as the massacre in Senik and Poklek in the summer of that same year. Finally, Lukic played a key role in the mass deportation of Kosovar Albanians during NATO´s bombardment, and at least a few massacres as part of that operation. In all that time Lukic was in direct contact with then acting deputy prime minister of the government Nikola Sainovic, who received commands directly from Milosevic. Both Milosevic and Sainovic were indicted by The Hague tribunal due to this, and while raising these indictments, prosecutor Louise Arbour mentioned general Lukic as well on a few occasions.

In January 2000 the Washington Post, calling upon western intelligence sources, published the details of a telephone conversation between Lukic and Sainovic. The topic of the conversation was the massacre in the village of Racak, and from the transcript it is evident that the two of them are agreeing how to eliminate traces of the massacre, or to at least lay the blame on someone else. The conversation is concluded with Sainovic´s order that Lukic is to take command of Racak once again as soon as possible (from which police forces moved out in the meantime) and to prevent the international investigative bodies to conduct an investigation. Even though the full investigation on what had actually occurred in Racak still isn´t accessible to the public – Helena Rant´s report remains under an embargo until the Tribunal´s investigation is completed – general Lukic would have to know more about it than others. In any case, Milosevic highly valued his work in Kosovo: On may 13th of last year, he was promoted and decorated and following that Lukic, as Milosevic´s delegate, handed out medals and decorations to the other MUP members who had distinguished themselves.

The story concludes with this. Doubt exists that Lukic is indirectly involved in the case of the kidnapping of the passengers from the train in the village of Strpci, for which by all accounts his distant relative Milan Lukic is responsible, the leader of the paramilitary formation from Visegrad. Sredoje Lukic, also a distant relative, had for years been the head of state security in Bajina Basta, suspected of being heavily involved in a number of crimes in eastern Bosnia in the spring and summer of 1992.

The other appointments also don’t give rise to optimism. Lukic´s associate will be Goran Radosavljevic who, until recently, was head of the Operative-Pursuit Group, special forces which were also extremely active in the deportation of civilians in Kosovo, and who, among other things, is alleged to have been responsible for the massacre in the village of Cuska during NATO´s bombardment, of which even documents exist. As potential associates of the new head of the State Security Service (DB) Goran Petrovic, David Gajic is mentioned, the former DB head for Kosovo, and Milutin Popivoda, a close friend of Milorad Vucelic, whose name is connected to illegal activities in Radio Televison Serbia´s marketing department during Vucelic´s management.

The election of such people is in serious discord with all the promises which we heard from DOS in the last few months.

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