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February 1, 2002
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 476
Who is Goran Petrovic

Professor of Dead Languages

by Petar Cvijic

Petrovic himself who is said to resemble more a professor of dead languages (like George Smiley, a character in John le Caree’s novel’s), is a complete opposite to his manly predecessor who was respected even by criminals.  He regularly takes his two daughters to the theater; he is a passionate lover of good films and often reads good literature.  Still, this high intellectual rating, perhaps too high for a policeman, did not help him is avoiding a staged disciplinary proceeding which cost him his job when Markovic took over the Service.  There are unofficial reports that Petrovic’s family is related to the family of the Federal Minister of External Affairs, Goran Svilanovic.  (The brother of Federal Minister Svilanovic married the sister of Petrovic’s wife.)

The new Chief of State Security was an analyst in counter intelligence, in charge of the American Sector, deeply steeped in facts and papers, and that is likely why he chose for his assistant his colleague and friend, Zoran Mijatovic, who until a few days ago, since the time he left the Security Service, worked as a journalist.  Even though there are countless such examples, it would be unfair to conclude that all members of the media enjoy snitching and police work, that is to say that this profession is the dream for many journalists.

In the ranks of professionals there is quiet grumbling about the fact that Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, Serbian Minister of Police Dusan Mihajlovic (despite his five years in the Service) and the new Chief of State Security have demonstrated an unacceptable level of amateurism in a job in which mistakes are unacceptable.  If they really have serious intentions of dealing with organized crime (let us point out that it figures in close cooperation between criminals, politicians, policemen, judges, customs officials and influential people in the ministries of finance and trade), then they will have to forget about “conspirator’s meetings” at unofficial places which are secured with cameras.  If Petrovic’s predecessor had four bodyguards around him at every moment, this one must have twice as many, at least in the beginning.  The new Chief of the secret police should know that he is dealing with criminals who stole and murdered without mercy and are now trying to put on a disguise and to join the new government.  These are people who continue not to stop at anything in achieving their objectives.

The top policeman in Serbia has a few things to pursue.  For instance, who tortured brutally, arrested and maltreated his colleague Vlada Nikolic?  There are probably no great mysteries and secrets in this, because it is known who did what, who was responsible for what (by name), regardless of how highly placed they are in the Service.

Recently, Zoran Djindjic accidentally stated that the new Chief of State Security should not be followed by journalists and that he should be left to do his job quietly.  And just as many people began to think that we have a new Markus Wolf, a professional without a face and an identity, it turns out that the people who know him best and who are following him closely are the very ones he will come into conflict soon.  It seems that they know him a lot better than most of us can imagine, which is hardly recommendable for a man in his position.

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