Former president makes statement in court

BELGRADE -- Boris Tadić made a statement before a judge on Friday related to the charges filed by the former head of the Military Security Administration.

Boris Tadić is seen in front of the court (Tanjug)
Boris Tadić is seen in front of the court (Tanjug)

General Aco Tomić sued for being forced into "groundless retirement", during the period when Boris Tadić was Serbia's president.

After the hearing today, the former Serbian leader, now honorary president of the opposition DS, told reporters that he still believes his actions were justified in the case of retirement of Tomić.

He added that he "has no attitude regarding the fact that the proceedings have lasted for over nine years" and recalled that he responded to all court summons and even paid fines.

“At no point during my service as the Serbian president did I suspend the work of judicial institutions, I even encouraged it. Involvement in the proceedings is my civil and legal obligation, but it is also my contribution to the establishment of rule of law in Serbia,” Tadić said.

Tomić did not appear before the court on Friday since, as his lawyer Goran Petronijević said, he is being treated at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade, which is why his hearing was scheduled for January 31.

Petronijević believes that Tadić stalled the proceedings for nine and a half years and hid behind his immunity, which is why the case will grow obsolete in six months.

The retired general accused Tadić of abusing his office as minister of defence when he forced Tomić to retire after being arrested without cause during Operation Sabre, launched by the police in the wake of the assassination of Zoran Đinđić in 2003.

Tomić's suit also includes former Interior Minister Dušan Mihajlović, head of the Government Information Bureau Vladimir Popović and Chief of the Serbian Armed Forces General Staff Branko Krga, but the statute of limitations on the charges against them has expired.

They might still be called to testify in the case, Petronijević told Tanjug.

In the lawsuit, Tomić wrote that the former officials brought him in connection with the Zemun Clan without basis, which resulted in him being illegally detained for 100 days.

He was later paid RSD 6 million in damages for the time spent in prison.