World Bulletin / News Desk
He was the president’s man for all seasons, prosecutors said, ready to organize hit squads, permit the killing of prisoners, sign off on covert weapon shipments or mediate the release of peacekeepers. Jovica Stanisic, the onetime chief of the secret police, was widely thought to be the second most powerful man in Serbia during Slobodan Milosevic’s presidency, reported New York Times.
Known for his dark suits and sunglasses, and a cool manner that impressed underlings as well as diplomats and politicians, Mr. Stanisic was nicknamed “Ledeni,” Serbian for “ice man.”
He was often seen with his deputy, Franko Simatovic, the head of special operations, a more effusive man who liked camouflage uniforms and could be heard bragging about attacks on villages. He was known as “Frenki.”
The two men have been portrayed by prosecutors as the masterminds behind the covert operations during the 1990s wars in Bosnia and Croatia that added a new term to the lexicon of warmongering: “ethnic cleansing.”
The verdict after their three-year trial at the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is due on Thursday.
Prosecutors argued that the two ran a large, covert network of paramilitary squads, trained and paid for by Belgrade’s Ministry of Interior. If the judges agree, the verdicts could provide the crucial link legally tying many war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia to the Serbian state.
The defendants deny the charges, and say the prosecution has failed to prove wrongdoing on their parts.Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2013, 11:29