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Last Thursday night Yugoslav Army counter-intelligence swooped down and arrested Assistant Serbian Prime Minister Momcilo Perisic and US Diplomat John David Neighbor. The Army charged that Perisic had been caught in flagrante delicto handing over Yugoslav state military secrets.
This stunning action was met with fury by the US State Department and top Serbian officials. (Yugoslav President Kostunica responded in his usual two-faced fashion, first criticizing and then seemingly defending the Army action, which enjoys overwhelming public support in Yugoslavia.)
In another article, we shall examine the pious claims made by US and Serbian officials, that the Army violated Serbian or International law in the arrests. We will show that these charges are false and hypocritical.
Below is the official Yugoslav Army statement, reprinted from their Website.
There is now overwhelming evidence that the Serbian government is being run out of the US Embassy in Belgrade. This is documented in two brief news articles, posted after the YA statement.
As United States officials increasingly assert their right to dictate to other countries, many people around the world feared that resistance had been crushed in Yugoslavia. They were therefore thrilled to see the Yugoslav Army acting like, well, the Yugoslav Army, that is, standing up to bullies and thereby showing us all how to deal with this new Empire that threatens ordinary people everywhere, including in the USA - the New World Order.
-- Jared Israel
YA [Yugoslav Army] General Staff Information Service Public Announcement
March 18th 2002
In compliance with the Law on criminal charges and the YA security service regulations, the YA security service and military police units arrested Momcilo Perisic March 14th on grounded suspicion of committing a criminal act of espionage, which provoked various reactions in the local and international public. Following the event, the YA General Staff Information Service issued a statement March 16th pointing to the following facts:
"By monitoring a person and his security-related activity regarding the leaking of secret information, the YA security service established that the person was keeping contact with Momcilo Perisic. There are irrefutable proof[s] that the person is Lieutenant Colonel Miodrag Sekulic, who illegally gave away highly confidential documents significant to the defense of the country to Momcilo Perisic. According to the procured evidence, Perisic handed over some of the documents to a foreign citizen. During one of such actions, March 14th at 7.35 p.m., the YA security service thwarted the illegal activity.
The YA security service procured evidence which confirmed grounded suspicion that the committed act was the act of espionage described in the Yugoslav Criminal Law Paragraph 1, Article 128. In compliance with the Supreme Court decision, some of the evidence could be presented in public.
It is a constitutional and legal duty of every citizen, institution and department in charge to, among other things, take measures against leaking of state, military or other secret information.
The YA security service and military police units are acting at all times, including this one, in compliance with the Law on criminal charges and the YA security service regulations.
All legally defined conditions for Momcilo Perisic, temporary in custody, to be arrested and placed in a military pretrial confinement have been provided for, because he was caught perpetrating a criminal act, which is punishable by more than five years in prison, according to the Law, regardless of any existing immunity.
Further proceedings are under the exclusive jurisdiction of military judicial organs under the authority of the Yugoslav Defense Ministry, as a competent Federal Government agency."
Reprinted from Yugoslav Army website at www.vj.yu
Regarding the charge that the Serbian government is being run out of the US Embassy in Belgrade, consider the following two texts.
This conversation between Yugoslav President Kostunica and Serbian Prime Minister Djindjic supposedly took place just before former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was abducted and taken to The Hague 'tribunal.'
It is important to note that this text was leaked to the press by Djindjic to prove that, contrary to statements by Mr. Kostunica, the two men had acted together in planning the kidnapping of former President Milosevic.
Whether the document is valid, by floating it Djindjic has confirmed that the US is basically running "his" government.
Alleged Transcript of Conversation Between Djindjic and Kostunica Just Prior to Milosevic's Kidnapping
The following, from a Belgrade newspaper, June 30, 2001, appears as a separate text at http://emperor.vwh.net/docs/partners2.htm
18:16 NEDELJNI TELEGRAF - the Exclusive Discussion between President Kostunica and PM Djindjic on Extradition of Milosevic
The NEDELJNI TELEGRAF Belgrade weekly in its special number dealing with extradition of Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague Tribunal, publishes a number of exclusive pictures and the transcript of the phone discussion about extradition between Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and Serb PM Zoran Djindjic before the departure of the latter to talks with William Montgomery, the U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia.
[START TRANSCRIPT FROM NEDELJNI TELEGRAF]
PM Djindjic: "What shall I say to Montgomery?"
President Kostunica remains silent...
PM Djindjic: "Very well then, in this case I will resign, and you rule alone!"
President Kostunica: "Come on, don't rush, we need no quarrels."
PM Djindjic: "All right, but what shall I say? Yes or no?"
President Kostunica (after a pause): "Yes."
[END TRANSCRIPT FROM NEDELJNI TELEGRAF]
Along similar lines, consider the BBC report of US Ambassador to Yugoslavia Montgomery's reaction to the arrests by the Yugoslav Army.
These arrests involve two most basic facts about national sovereignty. First any sovereign state has the right to protect state secrets. Second, any sovereign state must have the right to indict citizens accused of treason without judicial instructions especially from the foreign state allegedly involved in that treason.
As you may recall, Austria launched World War I after Serbia refused to carry out Austrian demands regarding the Serbian judiciary. The Serbian government correctly viewed this as an illegal attempt to take control of fundamental sovereign functions - those of the judiciary.
But Montgomery, who represents the country accused of organizing this espionage, not only dictates how Yugoslavia should deal with Mr. Perisic, the Serbian official charged, but also demands that Serbia arrest those behind the Yugoslav Army action and indeed that "all (!) those responsible for the Army] arrest be punished as a matter of [Yugoslav urgency."
Montgomery asserts his right to dictate not only arrests but also the outcomes of trials!
This raises the question, should Montgomery be called "Ambassador?" Perhaps an ancient word better describes his job in Yugoslavia:
[START BBC DISPATCH]
BBC Monitoring Europe -
Questioning of Serbian deputy premier accused of espionage completed
SOURCE: Radio B92, Belgrade, in Serbo-Croat 1000 gmt 16 Mar 02
Text of report by Belgrade-based
Radio B92 on 16 March
March 16, 2002
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