Rare are the countries where crimes are used to spin the public opinion. It is difficult to understand what could be the reason for this. For a while, the issue of the perpetrators of the murder of Slavko Curuvija was being constantly spinned. After each new turn, the head of Zagorka Dolovac, or Miljko Radisavljevic (both prosecutors) would popup in some newspaper, to appease the public with the following words: “We will investigate, everything will be investigated”. The younger generation is also present, namely Malovic and Homen – bright young minds, still remembering what their textbooks taught them. Yes, everything will be investigated, every person who breaks the law will be punished. No individual is above the state, the young minds claim.
When the story of Curuvija became boring, next came Dada Vujasinovic. Same as in the case of Curuvija, two journalist association immediately start competing for the leading role in the story, just to make the game more interesting. Yes, really, who killed Dada? We will not give up, we will not back down, until her murder is solved. Those heads popup again, promising that this case will also be investigated and that the investigation has already been initiated. The famous pre-trial proceedings have been initiated – and all of us know that nothing will come of this. But this is not the point. A message was sent to someone. If you inquire about Curuvija, and thus take a shot at me (and they know what they are aiming for), then I will take a shot at you about Dada, and here too, the aim is well known. That poor guy from Jagodina, Milan Pantic, has been forgotten, because he wasn’t taking a shot at anyone, and when his name is mentioned, there is no message. To get rid of this superfluous name, Jocic, who was the Minister of Police during the rule of Kostunica, explained the issue and announced that Pantic was killed by mistake. No one asked any more questions. Why a mistake, what kind of mistake? It does not matter. Just a mistake.
Spinning crimes has no particular explanation, apart from the fact that our underworld is fighting and is divided into groups – and sometimes they clash and start yelling at each other through the press: if you decided to bother me with Curuvija, I will hit back with Dada. The same thing is done by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of Serbia himself. You hit me with Kosovo, I will hit you back with Baroness Ashton.
It is stupid to ask – how come there are so many unpunished crimes, since everyone knows they are in abundance. No one was punished for robberies, or any of those many affairs, murders, and war crimes (well done Hague Tribunal!). Members of the political underground are attacking each other mostly with crimes, they are not particularly keen to mention robberies. Money is money – it is sacred. There is so much of this, that people prone to philosophical thought believe that this actual blend of crime and robbery has metaphysical proportions. Like in the Dostoyevsky novel, when Raskolnikov’s conscience wakes up, and he rings the doorbell, several times, although he knows the door will not be opened, because he killed and robbed the old lady living in that house.
Let’s take, for example, the recent spinning of the story about the background of the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. Srdja Popovic, the lawyer representing the Djindjic family, has been insisting for a while that the background of the assassination needs to be investigated. Last year, he filed criminal charges against individuals who are suspected of being involved in the armed mutiny of the Special Operations Unit (JSO, a.k.a. Crvene beretke), which took place in November 2001, and which is believed t be the first act of the assassination. It was announced that the pre-trial proceedings were initiated. Minister Malovic gave big promises, petitions were signed to save Kostunica (who was on the list of people Popovic claims need to be interrogated). Nationalists were up on their feet, led by Dobrica Cosic himself. Months passed, and nothing happened. No one was interrogated, and it appeared that the issue has settled down, that everything went back to normal.
And then, out of the blue, Blic informs us that Milos Simovic (who got arrested a year ago while crossing the border), during the investigation “wrote on a piece of paper” the name of the person who ordered the assassination of the Prime Minister! He did this in the presence of the prosecutor Miljko Radisavljevic, who still has this paper in his possession. Simovic’s claims about the background of the assassination somehow made their way to Blic alone – several days ago, we could read in this paper that Simovic said that Coravi (guy with the glasses, tr.), or Coki, wanted to be Prime Minister, and that he gave the order to assassinate Djindjic, and that the following people knew about this: Borislav Mikelic, Aco Tomic, Rade Bulatovic, Vojislav Kostunica, Seselj and Dragan Todorovic. And on that piece of paper, he wrote the real name of Coravi Coki. Every person who read this had to shout out: “Coki is Nebojsa Covic”.
I am only surprised that Srdja Popovic swallowed this story. And Coki answered him rather stupidly. As if Popovic had nothing else to do but instruct Simovic what to say, and also where he was during the bombing of Belgrade. And so on. Coki was really talking nonsense.
Why was this story spinned? Who is the recipient of the message? It is obvious that someone has to be cornered and made to fail passing the parliamentary threshold on the next elections. But who is the target, and why? Here it goes: who has hit the wall with Kosovo? And has no control over Serbs, those in the north, up on the barricades, who are also interconnected in a concoction of crime and robbery, and who have their own political leaders and parties. Who cannot be heard talking about Kosovo, and instead spends his time watching Davis Cup? Who has a big problem with the Serbs down in northern Kosovo? It is clear – our President. Aren’t the leaders of Serbs from northern Kosovo all on Simovic’s list, didn’t they know about the assassination? Each and every one of them is on that list. Which are the two parties that have to be driven under the parliamentary threshold, so that they can be prevented from pestering us with Kosovo? The Serbian Radical Party and the Democratic Party of Serbia. And Coki has been marked as the person who ordered the assassination, although tomorrow another one of those who knew everything can be marked as the prime suspect.
The games have begun, messages are flying around, spinning crimes is the main weapon – what else would it be, as if there are some genuine political ideas on the scene! This is why the front pages of all papers will continue chasing after the unsolved crimes. Some will win, others will lose.
Translated by Bojana Obradovic
Vesna Pešić, političarka, borkinja za ljudska prava i antiratna aktivistkinja, sociološkinja. Diplomirala na Filozofskom fakultetu u Beogradu, doktorirala na Pravnom, radila u Institutu za društvene nauke i Institutu za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, bila profesorka sociologije. Od 70-ih pripada peticionaškom pokretu, 1982. bila zatvarana sa grupom disidenata. 1985. osnivačica Jugoslovenskog helsinškog komiteta. 1989. članica Udruženja za jugoslovensku demokratsku inicijativu. 1991. članica Evropskog pokreta u Jugoslaviji. 1991. osniva Centar za antiratnu akciju, prvu mirovnu organizaciju u Srbiji. 1992-1999. osnivačica i predsednica Građanskog saveza Srbije (GSS), nastalog ujedinjenjem Republikanskog kluba i Reformske stranke, sukcesora Saveza reformskih snaga Jugoslavije Ante Markovića. 1993-1997. jedna od vođa Koalicije Zajedno (sa Zoranom Đinđićem i Vukom Draškovićem). 2001-2005. ambasadorka SR Jugoslavije, pa SCG u Meksiku. Posle gašenja GSS 2007, njegovim prelaskom u Liberalno-demokratsku partiju (LDP), do 2011. predsednica Političkog saveta LDP-a, kada napušta ovu partiju. Narodna poslanica (1993-1997, 2007-2012).