TEXT OF SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC'S LETTER TO VECERNJE NOVOSTI
In March 2001, I was accused of imaginary crimes, so I could be arrested and delivered to The Hague.
These new accusations in
2003 have the same purpose: The Hague. Only this time, their goal is to try to
prevent, or at least minimize, the obvious fiasco of the false Tribunal, which
is serving as the weapon of war against our country and our people. This time,
unlike 2001, they have also begun to terrorize my family, fiendishly persecuting
my wife and my son. The criminal campaign against my wife and my son is being
mounted solely because of my struggle here.
It is absurd and shameful that they are hounding a woman, a spouse of a long-time head of state, a University professor; the author of ten books, translated into 30 languages and printed worldwide, so no one will be able to destroy or cover up her weekly testimonies on the Yugoslav crisis. Their worth has been time-tested and proven, to Mira’s honor and our pride. No other intellectual has raised her voice more against war, violence, primitivism, exploitation, and slavery and in favor of peace, freedom and equal rights.
They are hounding a young man who with an open and clear heart decided to make his way in life independently, through his own labor, intelligence and abilities, and has done everything to help others and make his town more beautiful and more humane.
A crime is being committed against two people who have treated others with nothing but goodness and humanity.
Their only crime is being my family.
People of Serbia and freedom-loving people throughout the world send me messages of support and wish me victory. It seems that only the Belgrade regime cheers on the Hague Tribunal, so much so that it does not balk from terrorizing women and children.
I have told the two men who came to interrogate me – five months after I publicly requested it – that only cowards attack women and children, that there is no greater shame. The political, media and police campaign against me and my family is the greatest infamy for any country; an infamy that will grow greater for its participants, but also those who witness it in silence, with time.
Legija and the Red Berets
No “Zemun Clan“ existed while I was President. It is the direct result of the current governments’ behavior, the role certain groups and individuals had in the October 5, 2000 coup, and their mutual arrangements.
Neither I nor any of my
entourage had personal contacts or acquaintances with members of the Special
Operations Unit, popularly known as the Red Berets. I believed it was an elite
anti-terrorist unit, common to any Security Service. I still believe that most
of that unit’s members were true to this description. Those who had a criminal
past or inclination thereto are certainly better known to the present regime, as
they used them on October 5.
My visit to the Kula facility in 1997 was ceremonial, a gesture of appreciation for the Service chief Jovica Stanisic, whom I respected as a professional and a man who endeavored to do his job in accordance with his position. That the visit was ceremonial, and that everything there was new to me, should be obvious to anyone who reviews the entire tape and pays attention.
The officer who reported to
me on the parade grounds was unfamiliar to me. Now I know his name was Lukovic,
“Legija.” When he came to arrest me in March 2001, I mistook him for the officer
who during my visit drove Stanisic and me from the headquarters to the outdoors
gymnasium, which they also wanted to show me. By the way, even today I cannot
recall any of the names of officers who reported to me on various occasions
before an honor guard. This goes even for the commanders of Yugoslav Army Guard
The first time I talked to Lukovic-Legija was when he came to arrest me, on March 31, 2001. Given that I had never been in any contact with him before, or even conversed with him, the only thing I could have “ordered” him would have been my arrest.
Clearly, those who used the “Red Berets” members for my arrest (and others, who jumped over the fence into the residence with stockings on their heads) have also used them before and after. I clearly could not.
Rumors that this unit also worked as my security detail are not true. Plain lies. My security detail at all time was the public security unit (not State Security), commanded by Senta Milenkovic.
I have been a friend of Ivan Stambolic for many years. We parted ways at the 8th Session of the Serbian League of Communists’ Central Committee, in 1987. We never quarreled personally.
After he was relieved, he
came to me and asked for one of the best jobs (in both our opinion) in the SFRY:
President of the Yugoslav bank for international economic relations. And he
received it, staying in that position for over 10 years despite the practice of
rotating the management, until his retirement – for which he was eligible long
before, on grounds of both work experience and age.
He had been completely
forgotten as a politician for many years. Thus the story of how he represented a
potential challenge in the elections is a blatant lie, since he was never in the
running. He was not even a candidate. Besides, in those ten years, has any harm
befallen any other candidates?
It is absurd to claim that I rushed to kill him as a threat, after I’d enabled him to hold a position of his choice for 10 years and he retired!
Especially puzzling for me is that his family has readily accepted this shallow lie. It seems they care more to blame me than find out the truth about the fate of their father and husband.
Ivan Stambolic was a forgotten politician, and at the time of his disappearance, a forgotten banker as well. No one in the state or the political apparatus had mentioned him for years. He belonged to the era of the former SFRY, and things have unfortunately changed since 1990.
No offense, but no one cared about Ivan Stambolic any more. There was no persecution of those who supported his position at the 8th Session. Desimir Jeftic, the chairman of the Serbian government who was also relieved, was for many years the Ambassador to Romania. Ivan’s best friend and neighbor Dragan Tomic, the CEO of ”Simpo” furniture company, remained a member of the Party and state leadership. I am certain he would confirm that I had told him, after Ivan was relieved, that I would think of him the worst if he’d renounced his friend and turned his back on him. So, the truth is quite the opposite from the story fabricated by several pathetic creatures.
I was informed of Ivan’s disappearance over the telephone, by interior minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic. I told him to use all the available resources to find him. He told me that Ivan’s wife and son reported his disappearance in the afternoon, though he went jogging that morning, which would make the investigation more difficult.
From what Stojiljkovic told me, everything that could have been done was done.
Draskovic, Pavkovic and the
I never believed that what happened in Budva was a real murder attempt, because it seems improbable that someone could shoot up all the bullets in a small room like that and miss with every one of them. Even Vuk Draskovic, with his talent for the dramatic, could not have turned into a fly or a mosquito. I believed that either someone tried to scare him, or that he made the entire incident up to gain attention and promote his role as the “victim of the regime.” It is not hard to see who could have benefited from such an incident, but it is abundantly clear that it did not serve the government. Quite to the contrary, in fact.
I never talked to Pavkovic about transporting “assassins” and “agents” from Montenegro. It is incredulous that the Commander in Chief would be involved in shuttling some alleged secret agents, especially through the entire chain of command starting at the Chief of the General Staff.
Are you not ashamed?
I asked him “Are you not ashamed?” He did not answer.
The Hague, 17 August 2003.
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