MUP investigates own investigations

BELGRADE -- Vladimir Božović says the Inspectorate has completed investigations into the police handling of a number of homicide cases.

“We have submitted our reports both to PM Koštunica and the government”, Ministry of the Interior (MUP) Inspector-general told the press at the Blood transfusion institute, where he volunteered to donate blood.

He said the MUP had completed its investigations regarding the previous investigations into the murders of Nedeljko Kosović, a policeman, and Branivoj Milinović, a student, on March 9, 1991, and that of Milorad Nikolić, also a policeman, on June 1, 1993. All the homicides took place during massive opposition demonstrations.

Božović added that the report on the murder of Predrag Stračević, killed during citizens’ protests in December 1996, has also been completed. The list includes the reports on arrest, torture and the beating of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) leader Vuk Drašković and wife Danica, in the night of June 1-2, 1993.

Božović reminded that there is an ongoing investigation into the cases of the murdered journalists Slavko Ćuruvija and Milan Pantić. An investigation into an earlier police investigation in the case of Ibarska route murders of four SPO activists has also been undertaken, at the request of the victims’ families, demanding that the police actions be clarified.

Božović said there were obstructions on the part of Žandarmerija [a MUP elite unit] in the investigation of the Partizan – Crvena Zvezda basketball match riots in Belgrade. “At first, they said all was according to the regulations, then it turned out some things were after all not, and that some Žandarmerija members overstepped their orders and have been punished for that. What we need to know now is what those transgressions were, and which members suffered consequences”, Božović said.

Božović commented that the memorandum on the surveillance of the so-called significant personalities at border crossings, issued by the former head of Public security Miroslav Milošević, was a question for the Minister of the Interior, Dragan Jočić.

“I expect progress report on Mladić arrest”

Vladimir Božović expects to soon receive a report on the police action of locating and arresting Ratko Mladić and warned that, should such a report fail to be submitted, it will signal that the Action Plan implementation had reached an impasse. “I have no intention of roaming around Valjevo to investigate while someone hovers in a helicopter over suspicious bee-hives looking for Mladić. What I do intend to do, according to the Law on police, is request a progress report on the investigation, after its completion”, Božović said.

Božović told the journalists that he requested this report from the MUP once again, as well as that he was unwilling to accept previous explanations dubbing the report “official secret”. “The General Inspectorate is a part of the MUP, and this cannot be classified as secret”, Božović said and added that he was not familiar with any segment of the Action Plan. Božović concluded that he deemed an arrest warrant against Mladić superfluous, since one, issued by the Interpol, already exists.