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INFO::: Transitional Justice > Srebrenica > Almost all Belgrade Print Media Deaf Mute



The Day After the Videotape Depicting Cold-Blooded Killing of Civilians
in Srebrenica Was Broadcast

Almost all Belgrade Print Media Deaf Mute



Regardless of the fact that yesterday morning, June 1, viewers of the TV B92 - and, later on, audiences of other broadcast media - had the opportunity to see the shocking and exclusive videotape of the execution of civilians in Srebrenica, The Hague Prosecution showed during the cross-examination of former Serbian assistant interior minister Obrad Stevanovic, who has been testified in Slobodan Milosevic's defence case, editors and reporters for Belgrade-seated print media were, as it seems, somewhere else, assigned more important tasks. What made breaking news at global level - by its horrifying effect at least - did not happen at all, if it were for them. Their full attention was focused on various speculations of the withdrawal of Interpol's arrest warrant after Mira Markovic and other "sensational" revelations.

The Danas daily was the only exception. Dailies Politika and Novosti carried news agencies' reports: Politika run a front page story under the headline "The Witness Aghast" and a subhead "Stevanovic Negates that 'Scorpions' Made Part of the Serbia's Interior Ministry's Public Security Department," while the Vecenje Novosti run their story on page 17 and, true, took over a somewhat longer version of the agencies' news, "creatively" headlined "Key Denies Nice's Film."

Apart from a bylined story telling the readership in detail what is to be seen and heard in the film, as well as presenting most illustrative instances of the prosecution's cross-examination of Obrad Stevanovic, the Danas daily publicized the testimony of Nikola Fuks, private of the Yugoslav Army in the period 1992-93.


Danas, June 2, 2005
Unit for Special Operations Was in Bosnia, while the Army in Bajina Basta (excerpts)

.According to Stevanovic, except for police forces, military troops were not in Bajina Basta and surrounding area, while the Unit for Special Operations (JSO) of the Serbian interior ministry was not deployed in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Intent to deny such Stevanovic's claims, Nikola Fuks, private of the Yugoslav Army (VJ) in the period 1992-93, who served his term in Novi Sad and was later transferred to the 19th Borderline Battalion in Bajina Basta, called in the Danas newsroom. His testimony is diametrically opposite to Obradovic's statements.

"Stevanovic said only police forces were deployed, and that's not true. The Yugoslav Army was engaged in the field, i.e. its elite units such as Guard and the 63rd Parachute brigades, and the JSO was also there. Obradovic was in Bajina Basta at the time and must have seen all that army," says Fuks.

He points out that JSO troopers, led by Franko Simatovic-Frenki, have been accommodated in the Bajina Basta police station, the same as his unit.

"Few people knew about 'Frenki guys' at the time. While on watch duty I saw a Land Rover with the 'Frenki' inscription. I thought it was about a Bosnian Serb unit." .

"It's not true that only police forces have been deployed. I saw VJ artillery targeting the territory of Eastern Bosnia from the Yugoslav territory. Actually, a battery of rocket missiles was stationed nearby the 'Mitrovac' holiday resort for children at the Tara Mt. From that place they targeted Bosnia, and Srebrenica I suppose." .

On the grounds of his personal experience, Fuks is certain that the population of Eastern Bosnia could not have used mine throwers and siege guns for attacks. He says his unit was tasked with transporting seized Muslim weapons. They wanted to see what kind of weapons were transported, he said.

"We opened a case and saw arms made up of some tubes, resembling plumbing pipes. Such guns were more dangerous to shooters than to those standing for their targets," says Fuks.

"I witnessed the arrivals of volunteers, the so-called weekend-warriors. They used to come from Serbia and were armed from the VJ storage that was also housed in the Bajina Basta police station. I also witnessed the arrivals of Russian volunteers, who were given arms and then sent to the Eastern Bosnia battlefield," says Fuks.





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