RTS Chief Arrested for NATO bombing; Miloshevich Stripped of Security

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Sun Feb 18 20:20:00 MST 2001

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[Emperor's Clothes]

RTS Chief Arrested for NATO bombing;
Miloshevich Stripped of Security

By Milos Zorich - Special to Emperor's Clothes
Translated by N. Malich

BELGRADE, Thursday, February 15, 2001 – Several hundred demonstrators rallied
yesterday outside the Serbian Parliament in Belgrade. They were protesting
the arrest of Dragolyub Milanovich, former director of Serbian
Radio-Television (RTS).

Officially, Mr. Milanovich is being detained under suspicion that he could
have prevented the deaths of sixteen RTS employees killed when NATO warplanes
bombed the RTS studios on April 23, 1999.

The remarkable accusation that the Serbian TV chief is guilty for the NATO
attack originated from Carla del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor of the War Crimes

After her January trip to Belgrade, Ms. Del Ponte was asked what she planned
to do about NATO crimes like the RTS bombing. She countered by charging that
former Yugoslav President Slobodan Miloshevich was guilty because he had been
"notified in advance" of NATO’s decision to bomb the TV network in the heart
of Belgrade. She claimed that he and top RTS managers wanted workers to be
killed to score a propaganda victory.

Ms. Del Ponte promised to produce evidence; she has not. Demonstrators accuse
del Ponte of launching a propaganda campaign to shift the blame for NATO's
war crimes onto Yugoslav shoulders.

They charge that Belgrade District Court judge Vuchko Mirchich lent
credibility to del Ponte when he ordered Mr. Milanovich detained for a month.
The judge has justified his order on the grounds that the former national TV
network chief could 'influence witnesses' or perhaps leave the country,
though his passport had been voided.

Demonstrators answer that it is the judge and, behind him, the DOS leaders
who are trying to 'influence witnesses', that by arresting Milanovich DOS
hopes to create a climate of intimidation in which some RTS employees or
former employees may be induced to make scripted accusations against
Milanovich and/or Miloshevich. (1)

Parliament Sets Up Miloshevich

The demonstrations Tuesday in front of the Serb Parliament and a little later
at the Palace of Justice did not hinder DOS' legislative activities. The
coalition’s parliamentary majority passed several strange laws, mostly
nullifying previous legislation.

Alas, the Serb Parliament appears to function like an assembly line. The
Government sends proposals to the Legislative Committee which immediately
presents them as bills on the floor. Every government proposal is
automatically approved by all representatives of the ruling coalition's two
thirds majority. The opposition – Socialists and Radicals – disputes the
proposals fiercely, but is voted down. Many opposition deputies are so
frustrated and outraged, they simply abstain from voting.

Perhaps the most bitter debate on Tuesday resulted from certain amendments to
the law on "Special Rights and Obligations of Heads of State". These
amendments, passed by the DOS 19-party majority, were clearly aimed at former
president Miloshevich.

Under the newly amended law, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which controls
law enforcement, would reduce Miloshevich's security staff to one bodyguard.
Both Socialists and Radicals opposed this decision. Radical parliamentary
leader Tomislav Nikolich told representatives, "You do not need this law
unless you are setting the stage for Miloshevich’s abduction!"

Branislav Ivkovich, the Socialist parliamentary leader, (2) pointed out that
Washington has offered $5 million (US) for the kidnapping of Milosevich.
Therefore stripping Miloshevich of protection was an open invitation to
bounty hunters. Ivkovich called the amendments a "shameful insult to the

According to widespread public rumors, the amendments were ordered by the
so-called international community.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

In Yugoslavia, the DOS-controlled mass media presents the 'Miloshevich
Question' as a choice between trying him at home or turning him over to The
Hague. Yet the charge that Miloshevich is guilty of war crimes is supported
by exactly zero evidence. He is simply presumed guilty and the presumption of
his guilt and by extension of Serbia's is causing serious divisions in
Yugoslav political circles. There is a mounting feeling of injured dignity,
revulsion and contempt for those who close their eyes to the real crimes
(NATO's aggression) and its real perpetrators (NATO leaders). Federal Prime
Minister Zoran Zhizhich said two days ago that Miloshevich would not be
extradited to the Tribunal as long as he is head of the Yugoslav government.
Serbian Justice Minister Batich responded in the press, saying that the
Federal PM is not authorized to make such decisions. "Others will decide the
fate of Miloshevich," Batich stated.

"Others will decide"? What "others"? Where are they located? In Belgrade?

Or in Washington, London and Berlin.

I will discuss other legislation passed by DOS in a subsequent dispatch.

-- Milosh Zorich


Further reading

1) The War Crimes Tribunal has from its inception employed what might be
called 'Instructive Detention.' It works as follows. Prospective witnesses
are arrested and put through a Kafkaesque hell. This instructs them in the
importance (for their own consciences) of bearing false witness against
others. If the attempted instruction fails it is customary for the slow
learner to die. This is unfortunate, however his or her death may be
instructive for awakening the consciences of future witnesses.

See Prof. Kosta Cavoski's 'Unjust from the Start: The War Crimes Tribunal vs.
General Djordje Djukic' It can be read at

2) Emperor's Clothes has conducted two interviews with Socialist
Parliamentary leader, Branislav Ivkovich. The first part, entitled 'What's
happening in Serbia - the Other Side', has been published. It can be read at

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