Controversy over events that triggered NATO attacks
Source: Politika, Tanjug
BELGRADE -- A Finnish forensic expert says in her autobiography that her report on the Račak deaths was written under pressure.
The person exerting the pressure, according to this, was U.S. diplomat William Walker, who in 1998 headed an OSCE monitoring mission in the province of Kosovo.
Walkers's mission said the victims in the village of Račak in Kosovo were ethnic Albanian civilians, and marked Serbian forces as the perpetratos of the crime.
The event is considered to have triggered 78 days of NATO's attacks on Serbia in 1999.
Now Ranta, a forensic dentist who headed a team set up to examine the January 1999 deaths of 40 people in the village, says that Walker pressured her to speak "more convincingly" of the alleged Serb crimes in Račak.
Promoting her book in Helsinki last week, Ranta said three Finnish foreign ministry officials also asked for "deeper conclusions" in her report.
Ranta said that Walker at one point snapped a pencil in two and threw it at her, unhappy that her report "did not use language convincing enough" when it came to alleged Serb crimes, Politika daily writes.
She also said she has kept e-mails from her country's foreign ministry, urging "deeper conclusions".
Last year, in a documentary entitled, "End – condemned to exile", Ranta hinted that she would reveal the truth about the Račak controversy, when she told Russian authors Yevgeniy Baranov and Aleksandr Zamislov that Walker was "horrified by the results of our investigation".
"I was confused and I wasn't ready to provide an answer for him. Those bodies belonged to terrorists, Serb soldiers and villagers. This report I am showing you now has never been published, and its contents are known to only a few. Now I am ready to speak publicly about the results of the investigation," Ranta said, showing the original document to the cameras.
But, in 1999, the Finnish expert also spoke in front of the cameras, to brand the Račak events as "a crime against humanity".
In the summer of 2000, Ranta sent her report to the Hague Tribunal, while the summary was sent to the EU member states.
In her book this year, she claims that then Finish MFA political sector chief Perti Torstila, who is today a state secretary, asked for a comment critical of the ministry's administration to be removed.
The MFA officials were also hopeful that Ranta would leave out the results of an investigation into the number of bullets fired, and the number of those that were in fact deadly.
Finnish journalist and Balkan expert Ari Rusila says in an article written recently that Ranta was focused on forensic work during the investigation, attempting to avoid political influence, but that she was under pressure from the beginning.
Rusila added that there is a widespread belief that the role of the Walker mission in Račak was to help the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, "create a massacre that would be attributed to the Serb forces", in this way providing an excuse for a military intervention.
The KLA gathered its dead after a battle, dressed them up civilian clothes and then called in the observers, the Finnish reporter says.
Ranta appeared in 2003 as one of the witnesses in the Hague trial of Slobodan Milošević.
She told Berliner Zeitung newspaper in 2004 that it was "negative" that a part of the indictment against Milošević was related to the Račak events, based mostly on the version given by Walker.
sreda 22.10.2008 | 17:42 | Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The energy minister has suggested to the Srbijagas board of directors not to make any decisions to confirm a contentious annex to a contract to buy natural gas.
sreda 22.10.2008 | 16:43 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BRUSSELS, BELGRADE -- A Serbian delegation is in Brussels today to hear the European Commission’s annual progress report on Serbia’s EU integration.
sreda 22.10.2008 | 15:06 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (20) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The head of Serbia’s legal team objects to the decision to invite the Kosovo Albanians to take part in the ICJ case on the province’s independence declaration.
sreda 22.10.2008 | 13:47 | Source: B92 | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- U.S. Under Secretary of State Daniel Fried has signed an agreement between the EU and U.S. in Brussels on the involvement of American officials in EULEX.
sreda 22.10.2008 | 13:45 | Source: Beta, Blic | Comments: (2) | Send comment
Head of the EC Delegation to Serbia Josep Lloveras says that Serbia will feel some of the impact of the global financial crisis.
sreda 22.10.2008 | 13:14 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Parliament continued its session this morning, but once again with little talk of the laws currently on the agenda.
sreda 22.10.2008 | 10:49 | Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- At the Serb Progressive Party’s founding congress, Tomislav Nikolić and Aleksandar Vučić were elected party leader and deputy leader respectively.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 17:11 | Source: B92 | Comments: (20) | Send comment
THE HAGUE -- The ICJ has decided to invite Kosovo representatives to participate in Serbia’s case before the court.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 16:39 | Source: FoNet | Comments: (16) | Send comment
KRAGUJEVAC -- President Boris Tadić says that Serbia wants “the historic conflict in Kosovo to be resolved with a compromise and in peace.”
utorak 21.10.2008 | 15:54 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Priština daily Zeri writes that UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has sent a letter to EU Foreign and Security Policies Chief Javier Solana regarding EULEX.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 15:40 | Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Boris Tadić is carefully analyzing the behavior of gas distributors after receiving information on the existence of monopolists.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 13:32 | Source: Večernje novosti | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- All the For a European Serbia coalition’s mandates are in the hands of Democratic Party (DS) leader Boris Tadić.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 13:09 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (11) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- NATO Secretary-General Deputy Assistant Larry Rossin says that peace and stability in Kosovo are vital for the region.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 11:54 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Parliament continues its debate on amendments to the draft law on the protection of the state borders.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 10:21 | Source: Beta | Comments: (29) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Serbian Helsinki Committee President Sonja Biserko says that Kosovo independence is a reality in the region.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 09:38 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The founding congress of the Serb Progressive Party (SNS) will be held today in the Sava Center.
utorak 21.10.2008 | 09:21 | Source: B92 | Comments: (14) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbia’s victory at the UN General Assembly is one of the greatest achievements of the government’s first 100 days, FM Vuk Jeremić claims.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 19:03 | Source: FoNet, Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Tomislav Nikolić will be the Serb Progressive Party's (SNS) only candidate for party leader, said Aleksandar Vučić.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 18:58 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- VS Commander-in-Chief General Zdravko Ponoš says that military relations with the U.S. must continue to develop for the sake of regional stability.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 16:07 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The government has announced a set of financial measures to be taken in the coming period to ensure stability.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 15:38 | Source: Beta | Comments: (4) | Send comment
JAGODINA -- JS leader Dragan Marković said indirectly that Serbia should accept the EULEX mission, stressing though that Kosovo independence was out of the question.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 15:11 | Source: Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- MPs reconvened this morning to debate amendments to the draft law on foreigners, but spent the first two hours discussing the price of gas.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 14:48 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- League of Vojvodina Social Democrats (LSV) leader Nenad Čanak says that the government has promised to postpone the increase in gas prices.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 12:56 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
PODGORICA -- Montenegro will continue dual citizenship talks with Serbia beyond the original deadline for reaching an agreement, which had been set for October 22.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 11:59 | Source: Politika, Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Čedomir Jovanović says that his party will support the government only on European integration issues.
ponedeljak 20.10.2008 | 11:36 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Kosovo Ministry State Secretary Oliver Ivanović says EULEX's deployment in Serb communities in Kosovo cannot be ruled out, but must be approved first by the UN.
nedelja 19.10.2008 | 17:21 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serb Progressive Party (SNS) says that it will support the ruling coalition in decisions related to cooperation with Russia and preserving Kosovo.
nedelja 19.10.2008 | 15:52 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Dragan Šutanovac says that the Defense Ministry has made progress in the first 100 days of the new government, with only one serious setback.
nedelja 19.10.2008 | 14:29 | Source: Politika, Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Vojvodina Executive Council President Bojan Pajtić is convinced that the Vojvodina Statute will receive the support of 140 MPs in the national parliament.
nedelja 19.10.2008 | 13:13 | Source: Beta, Večernje novosti | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- DSS spokesman Andreja Mladenović has confirmed that the DSS, NS and the National Party have agreed on cooperation and a coalition at the next elections.
nedelja 19.10.2008 | 11:48 | Source: Glas javnosti, Tanjug | Comments: (9) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Director of the Swiss Institute for Federalism Thomas Fleiner warns of disastrous consequences if the ICJ rules that Kosovo’s independence is legal.
nedelja 19.10.2008 | 11:09 | Source: Dnevnik, Tanjug | Comments: (4) | Send comment
NOVI SAD -- Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen says his country will be among the first to ratify the SAA once Serbia honors its pledge to arrest Ratko Mladić.
nedelja 19.10.2008 | 10:10 | Source: Tanjug, The Guardian | Comments: (64) | Send comment
LONDON -- Former international mediator for Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari says that Serbia must agree to Kosovo’s independence if it wants to join the EU.
nedelja 19.10.2008 | 09:40 | Source: B92, FoNet, Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Declaration of Reconciliation signed by the DS and the SPS has drawn a negative reaction not only from the opposition, but ruling coalition members too.
subota 18.10.2008 | 15:49 | Source: Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serb Radical Party (SRS) has accused President Boris Tadić of “willfully, outwith parliament’s decision” changing state policy on Kosovo.
subota 18.10.2008 | 15:22 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (7) | Send comment
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- UNMIK regional chief for northern Kosovo Gerard Galluci says he is leaving the post after receiving a transfer to the UN mission in East Timor.
subota 18.10.2008 | 14:53 | Source: B92 | Comments: (6) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- A Boeing 737 belonging to German XL Airways was forced to make an emergency landing at Nikola Tesla Airport at 07:47 CET after its left engine caught fire.
subota 18.10.2008 | 14:45 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The League of Vojvodina Social Democrats (LSV) will release proof of the existence of a “gas Mafia” on Monday, says LSV leader Nenad Čanak.
subota 18.10.2008 | 12:54 | Source: B92, FoNet, Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- DS and SPS leaders Boris Tadić and Iviva Dačić have signed a Declaration of Political Reconciliation, just a day after the division of the city directorships.
subota 18.10.2008 | 11:40 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Parliament has resumed its debate on amendments to the draft law on the Anti-Corruption Agency.
subota 18.10.2008 | 10:32 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (8) | Send comment
BELGRADE, VIENNA -- Vojislav Koštunica says that acceptance of the EULEX mission would be tantamount to accepting the Ahtisaari Plan, and thereby Kosovo independence.
subota 18.10.2008 | 09:17 | Source: Tanjug, Čačanski glas | Comments: (5) | Send comment
ČAČAK -- Friendship between the U.S. and Serbian people is at a satisfactory level, but there is clearly discord between the 2 govts. over Kosovo, says Cameron Munter.
petak 17.10.2008 | 17:10 | Source: Beta | Comments: (6) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- EULEX Chief Yves de Kermabon says that an agreement with Belgrade for the deployment of his mission in Kosovo “is not very far away”.
petak 17.10.2008 | 16:27 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Belgrade city assembly has appointed 18 directors of public enterprises and services for a period of four years.
petak 17.10.2008 | 16:18 | Source: B92 | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Daily Kurir has lost yet another libel battle to G17 Plus leader Mlađan Dinkić.
petak 17.10.2008 | 13:45 | Source: Deutsche Welle | Comments: (27) | Send comment
BONNE -- "Kosovo shouldn't expect the abolition of the EU visa regime for its citizens to come any time soon,” the Brandenburg state IM has told daily Deutsche Welle.
petak 17.10.2008 | 13:39 | Source: Danas | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- SEIO Director Tanja Miščević is to step down, writes Belgrade daily Danas, quoting sources close to the government.
petak 17.10.2008 | 13:15 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Parliament continued its session with more questions from the opposition instead of debating the laws on its agenda.
petak 17.10.2008 | 13:13 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- CoE Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg says certain progress has been made in the area of human rights, though he adds there is much still to be done.
petak 17.10.2008 | 11:18 | Source: Beta | Comments: (10) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- UNMIK has moved out of its head office in Priština after a nine-year stay to the former premises of the Yugoslav Army’s (VJ) Priština Corps HQ.
petak 17.10.2008 | 10:52 | Source: Beta | Comments: (17) | Send comment
GRAČANICA -- Russian ambassador to Belgrade Aleksandr Konuzin says that Russia is not happy with the current situation in Kosovo.
petak 17.10.2008 | 10:20 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- French Ambassador Jean-Francois Terral says that Serbia will never be asked to recognize Kosovo in order to become an EU member-state.
petak 17.10.2008 | 10:09 | Source: Beta, Večernje novosti | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- EU High Representative to Kosovo Pieter Feith says that the EU intends to deploy the EULEX mission throughout Kosovo.
petak 17.10.2008 | 09:22 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Although the Council of Ministers has still to unblock the Interim Trade Agreement with Serbia, the government has decided to begin applying it from January 1.
četvrtak 16.10.2008 | 16:18 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The government has unanimously decided that Serbia will begin implementing the Interim Trade Agreement with the EU starting January 1, 2009.
četvrtak 16.10.2008 | 16:08 | Source: B92 | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- On the day the government marks its 100th day in office, the tight majority it has in parliament has been brought into jeopardy.
četvrtak 16.10.2008 | 15:42 | Source: Beta, Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (10) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Boris Tadić says that a compromise could be reached over EULEX between Belgrade and Brussels.
četvrtak 16.10.2008 | 15:07 | Source: Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Parliament has resumed its debate on amendments to the draft law on confiscation of assets acquired through criminal enterprise.
četvrtak 16.10.2008 | 11:05 | Source: Beta, Večernje novosti | Comments: (12) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Boris Tadić says that the problems that currently exist with Montenegro and Macedonia cannot be allowed to last indefinitely.
četvrtak 16.10.2008 | 10:23 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (6) | Send comment
BELGRADE, ATHENS -- Serbia is coming closer to the EU with every passing day and important steps have been taken on that path, says Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.
četvrtak 16.10.2008 | 09:20 | Source: B92 | Comments: (19) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- The authorities in Priština have chose British expert Michael Wood to head the Kosovo team at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).