Cafe Umbrellas, Angola, foto: Volkmar K. Wentzel, National Geographic

Cafe Umbrellas, Angola, photo: Volkmar K. Wentzel, National Geographic

Let’s try to be rational. I know it’s difficult. But still…

When we wish to talk about something, presumably we will first attempt to determine the undisputed facts. What do we really know about the affair everyone is talking about?

First, we know with certainty that the Minister of the Interior had contacts with a high-ranking drug lord. How do we know? The Minister himself said so.

Second, we can safely assume why a drug lord would wish to have direct contacts with the Minister of Interior at the time of criminal proceedings against his organization.

We do not know what was discussed at these meetings. But in public, seemingly credible parts of the audio transcripts have been appearing (the authenticity of which authorities are not denying). If they are authentic, their content would prove that (a) the Minister knew well who he was meeting and (b) these contacts were of criminal nature.

The Minister is currently hiding from the public the reasons for these meetings as well their content. It would be very sensible that, since such police contacts with drug dealers always raise suspicions, he explains his actions without delay. Nonetheless, the Minister is refusing to do this. He is not allowing the public to ask questions. Instead, he claims that he said all he needed to say (just like Kostunica did a while back when the prosecutor signalled that he intends to question him regarding the armed rebellion of the Special Operations Unit). However, it is simply not true that everything that needed to be stated was said.

Please, allow me to address you: Mr. Dacic, whether you knew or not (although this is hard to believe) who “Misha Banana” is, can you tell me what was the purpose of your meetings and what did you discuss?

The special prosecutor would need to question Mr Dacic about these meetings, in the least as a citizen, and if he’s not satisfied with his answers, then as a suspect. So he would need to know if and when the meetings took place, how often did these meetings occur, on whose initiative, under whose eventual arrangement, and what was discussed during these meetings? In case the audio transcripts are authentic (the special prosecutor should know this) the special prosecutor should present them to the Minister and ask him for an explanation. This would, for procedural reasons, have to be done as soon as possible, that is, before presenting any other evidence, so as to have a record of Dacic’s statement; information from the transcript is being leaked daily, and this is significantly impeding a successful investigation.

Given the level of public concern, the sequence of proposed steps is just common sense.

As long as this is not occurring and as long as we do not know the facts, although they are available – out of place, paranoid and pointless discussions are being led in public, and there is much political speculation and “analysis” of misstatements. Who has an interest to “vilify” Dacic, why was no process initiated by the former government, who knew and who did not know about Dacic’s meetings, what is the political objective of this affair, what are the interests of political parties and so on. Imagination is running wild, conspiracy and counter-conspiracy are being revealed by the second, and even “official judgements” are being made before and outside any official proceedings: guilty, not guilty, “a setup”. These rulings have even been coming from top government officials, and considering the proclaimed independence of the prosecutor, this is extremely alarming.

If the reason for this lies in the lack of trust in official authorities (prosecutors and courts), then the situation is hopeless. One will never be able to find out anything, there will forever be speculation and decisions will be made and spun according to personal political preferences regarding the truth.

In other words, the same old morass.

Pešč, 13.02.2013.

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Srđa Popović (1937-2013), jugoslovenski advokat ljudskih prava. Branio mladog Zorana Đinđića, Brigitte Mohnhaupt (Baader-Meinhof), Vojislava Šešelja, Dušana Makavejeva, Milorada Vučelića, Mihajla Markovića, Miću Popovića, Predraga Čudića, Nebojšu Popova, Vladimira Mijanovića (Vlada Revolucija), Milana Nikolića, Mihajla Mihailova, Dobroslava Paragu, Milana Milišića, Vladimira Šeksa, Andriju Artukovića, Beogradsku šestoricu, profesore izbačene sa Filozofskog fakulteta... Pokretač peticija za ukidanje člana 133 (delikt govora), ukidanje smrtne kazne, uvođenje višestranačja u SFRJ... 1990. pokrenuo prvi privatni medij u Jugoslaviji, nedeljnik Vreme. Posle dolaska Miloševića na vlast iselio se u SAD, vratio se 2001. Poslednji veliki sudski proces: atentat na Zorana Đinđića. Govorio u 60 emisija Peščanika. Knjige: Kosovski čvor 1990, Put u varvarstvo 2000, Tačka razlaza 2002, Poslednja instanca I, II, III 2003, Nezavršeni proces 2007, One gorke suze posle 2010.

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