(Im)potent state? (part two)

Messages from the Internet:

There will be gunshots these days, your brain should be spilled!

Order the cross and coffin yourself!

Two, three knives in the stomach stand, the fans of Rad fear none!

A brick in the head around the corner, watch out for the dark!

Murders, drug sales, inflicting serious body injuries, extortion, kidnapping, robbery, slaughter threats, killings and rapes are no virtues of fans, but of those individuals who only hide behind fan groups, i.e. extremists and hooligans.

Individuals who are accused of various criminal offences are, according to official information, leaders of various fan groups and subgroups. According to the official database of the police, based on the offence and criminal complaints, between 2500 and 3000 extremist fans are registered. They are under the command of the following leaders according to the initiative of the Prosecution for the banning of certain groups:

“Ultra boys” subgroup, leaders, Marko Vučković, Veljko Stajić, Marko Mitrović, Miroslav Janković and Ivan Bogdanov

“Belgrade boys” subgroup, leaders: Velibor Dunjić, Uroš Avramović, Željko Božović and Dražen Dragaš;

“Ultras” subgroup, leaders: Vladimir Šavija, Dragan Vasić, Milan Ćopić and Vukašin Popović;

“Alkatraz” subgroup, leaders: Nikola Dedović, Vladimir Maljković, Aleksandar Vavić, Ljubomir Marković, Đorđe Prelić and Miloš Radisavljević;

“Ludaci – Padinska Skela” subgroup, leader Dragan Ćurčić;

“Anti-Romi” subgroup, leader Predrag Simić;

“South family” subgroup, leader Alen Kostić;

“Head hunters” subgroup, leader Branislav Penčić;

“Irriducibili – NBG” subgroup, leader Žarko Vidaković;

“Shadows” subgroup, leader Goran Klještan;

“Extrema boys” subgroup, leader Ljubiša Stević;

“Brain damage” subgroup, leader Dragan Đurđević;

“United force” subgroup, leaders: Dragan Supurović and Marko Bulatović.

The republic prosecution has filed an initiative for banning these subgroups. As stated, it is exactly these fan groups that rally extremist fans. However, as you might have seen in the previous episode, according to the research done by “Insider”, in the past several years, more than one hundred criminal complaints have been filed against certain leaders for different criminal offences. Lawsuits, however, are not processed until the end, so a question poses why does the state suggesting a ban of entire fan groups, when there are individuals who are accused of many criminal offences.

Snežana Samardžić-Marković, minister of youth and sports: I certainly think that at least 2 things need be done. So, subgroups are the target because the prosecutor has exhibited evidence, and the court will, I hope, determine that the leaders of those subgroups are people with records.

B92: But criminal complaints against them were not processed?

Snežana Samardžić: You see, the initiative was directed to the Constitutional court and that is the fact I am institutionally aware in that council. I think we should continue with that, because it is also a kind of message if there is legitimacy for those subgroups which have, in my opinion, even some hideous names. I am not saying all of them do, but some really have de facto hideous names, something which the prosecutor could have shown us from the operative database of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and they also have de facto criminal records. I also think that there should be a signal to indicate that their behaviour is not desirable, you know. On the other hand, guilt should be individualised and those with criminal records should be brought to justice as soon as possible.

According to the research done by “Insider”, the functioning mechanism of the fan groups is the same for Partizan, Red Star, Rad. Fan groups are organised like a classic army with established hierarchy on whose top is the commandant, below are leaders of the subgroups, and below them are fan groups. Members of the group are blind devoters to the leader.

Therefore, young people are mostly involved in the violent behaviour because it is the only way to advance through the hierarchy, prove themselves to the leader by being ready to fight the police or anyone, to use guns or do what their leader instructs them to.

The leader has to be notified about everything which is going on, and every leader has to have the commandant’s permission for every action. This means that between 2500 and 3000 extremist fans are always on the lookout, wearing masks over their faces, baseball bats, fireworks, knives and guns and awaiting for the commands of the leader. Sometimes the command is just embarrassingly calling out names which is actually a call for lynch of a certain person, sometimes it is for demolishing a city, sometimes it is aimed at those who they proclaim as traitors.

”If Arkan the legend were alive, B92 would have been destroyed by now, employees would be in the street where they belong, and they wouldn’t behave irrationally and humiliate true Serbs”.

This comment, signed by a Lazar Mladenović as a reaction to the previous episode in which the criminal offences of individuals were presented is possibly the best illustration of the values those who belong in the extremist fans stand for. Their paroles are killings, slaughters and rapes, and their heroes are Legija, Arkan, Ratko Mladić, Radovan Karadžić.

Ivan Čolović, anthropologist: Along with the parole “Kosovo is Serbia” they added the parole “Death to queers” or “Kill, slaughter, annihilate the Shiptar”! As such, they participate in our social life and precisely due to this, they represent a problem because they are integrated in the society, therefore making the society difficult to fight against a legitimate part of its own.

Slobodan Vukolić, chief of Police for the city of Belgrade: The mass or a group of people gives participants anonymity, they consider themselves as unrecognizable, gives them greater power. You have seen situations at the stadium when there are several thousands of people at one place and there are always those who, sort of speak, lead, and dictate the way of cheering, shouting... A group of thousand people subconsciously bows to their, let’s say, call to cheer in a certain way or behave in a certain way. A wise man once said: “To find thousand Socrates at one place is to find thousand fools”. Therefore, the crowd is easy to manipulate and unfortunately, sport stadiums and sport objects are just a breaking point for a certain devastative behaviour.

Both on the field and outside it, violent fan groups turned into hordes of hooligans with so easily, ready to become weapons in the hands of those ready to control them in an organised and unique fashion.

Such groups greeted Slobodan Milošević’s rule in the last 20 years, going to war, being in the first lines on October 5, burning mosks and embassies, demolishing the city, robbing stores in downtown Belgrade. Cheering has often turned into “serbing”, and the fight for the Serbian issue served as a cover for the attacks of demolition.

Politicians who managed to win them over usually had to pay the price and return debts, because these groups demanded that due to their merits many things had to be turned a blind eye. So today no one can confront them.

Željko Ražnatović Arkan became a role model for the young in the 90s, highest authority and a symbol of power. Turbo-folk weapon, gold-diggers, whiskey, Marlboro “5” became status symbols of a certain time, whose reverse side was Vukovar, Sarajevo, Knindžas, Scorpions and Berets. As it would turn out later, all this had influence upon the fan groups today.

“Delije” were the biggest opponents to the regime of Slobodan Milošević for the entire second half of the 90s. However, no one was against their riots, confrontations with the police back then, because it was all seen as the fight against Slobodan Milosevic. They had the support of the opposition at the time, and today’s authority, for their deeds, and the song “Save Serbia and kill yourself” was made in the north of the Red Star stadium.

They were in first lines on October 5. Fan groups took the weapons from the police in the police station at Majka Jevrosima street, they were the first to enter the Parliament and the national television RTS. After October 5, they were practically proclaimed heroes. No one had anything against their violence. What is interesting, is the fact that in 2000, fans “Delije – sever” received a plaque for the contributions in the Fifth October revolution from Radio B92, i.e. the show “Heartbeat”.

B92 award ceremony:

- The winners of this special prize are...

- Red Star fans, our “Delije”!

- Good evening, congratulations... Let’s ask something, say something.

- Well, we would like to say thanks for the prize and we hope that there will be no more occasions for such a prize, and we will try to win some other prizes.

- And some championship titles. The prizes are torches and...

The euphoria that lasted after the leave of Milošević lead to the fact that the new government concluded that democracy came and that there is no need for the Red Star and Partizan derby to be held with the presence of the police. Havoc wreaked. That was the first and the last time for the derby to be held without the police, but the first time for the riots between fans to cancel the eternal derby between Red Star and Partizan.

Prime minister at the time, Zoran Đinđić had to get involved personally in order to organize the next match even better and at that time, it was announces that the Law on Prevention of violence on sport manifestations is to be passed. At the same time, the fans, i.e. hooligans expected to be protected because they participated in the changes on October 5.

Both very soon realised that the cooperation was impossible. So the leaders of various fan groups and subgroups stood aside to those who were giving their best to slow down the accession of Serbia into the European Union, ever since 2001.

There is not even an event in which there were incidents without the participation of extremist members of fan groups. The same groups used to beat up the supporters of Slobodan Milošević during his arrest, which were gathered in front of his house giving him support. However, they changed sides very quickly and were against the arrest of Veselin Šljivančanin and recently, against the arrest of Radovan Karadžić.

Ivan Čolović, anthropologist: It was shown, stadiums, that is, fans on stadiums or outside the stadiums... Because those fan organisations gather and the members of the teams gather on the stadiums and outside the stadiums and they have, they are interesting to every political manipulator, group. Therefore, they are of interest to be manipulated, because sociologists, anthropologists who investigate and who investigated around the world the nature of function of the fan groups noticed that they are well organised.

For years back the behaviour of the extremist fans was justified by the managements of the clubs, politicians and the media and the Church, so it all lead to real extremism.

The managements currently have no control over them. The managements used to create them once, and today the fans rule the managements. They used to beat up players or smash their cars. Apart from the fact that there are all laws, the politicians often seize for negotiations with the leaders of the fan groups in order to stop riots. It remains unclear why they don’t just apply the law. For years back, there has been an impression in the public that the football clubs, and therefore the fans as well, who have a good cooperation with the management are protected because the chairs in the board of directors and football and basketball clubs are taken by many politicians, judges, public figures.

Mirko Marjanović who was the head of a state company called “Progres” was the president of Partizan during the 90s. When he was elected president of the Government of Serbia, Mirko Marjanović became an honourable president of the football club “Partizan”, and remained at the same function until his death in 2006.

At the same time, the member of the Red Star management was Tomica Raičević, vice president of the federal government at the time as well as Dragan Tomić, president of the Parliament of Serbia. During the 90s, Radmilo Bogdanović, Minister of Police at the time, attended the meetings of the Management board.

Partizan had in its lines Vlastimir Đorđević, former chief of Public security, but also his predecessor, Radovan Stojčić Badža.

The Management board also seated Dragoljub Janković, minister of justice, and even Rade Babac, public defender of the municipality Savski Venac, in which the club is situated. The Red Star management seated Dobrivoje Gerasimović, investigative judge of the District court.

After October 5, Red Star had Oliver Bogavac in its Management board, director of the Board for hindering money laundry, and Božidar Cerović, dean of the Faculty of Economics. Saša Kozić was first in the Management board, and later as the secretary general of the club; deputy chief inspector of the Tax board in Belgrade at the time. Miodrag Đorđević was among the members of the management, former chief tax assessor, then director of the Privatisation agency, then director in the newspapers “Večernje Novosti”. Milan Tomić was in the management of Red Star, director of the Direction for property of Serbia.

The management of the football club Partizan seats Rasim Ljajić since 2007, minister of labour and social issues. However, Ljajić decided to leave the club management last year.

Nenad Popović took over the function of the president of Partizan in December 2006, from Ivan Ćurković, the chief of the economy team of the Coordination centre “Kosovo” at the time in the Government of Serbia, a functionary of DSS and the leading man of “ABS holding”.

Tomislav Karadžić, economist and a former functionary in the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro and the Football Association of Vojvodina took over the position of the president of the club from Popović,

Toplica Spasojević, owner of the ITM – group lead Red Star for a brief period of time. Marko Mišković, the son of Miroslav Mišković and Dragi Mićović, who is close to DSS, by the way, officially became members of the Board of directors. They officially became finance managers at the time, but for years back there were rumours that Mišković and Mićović were running the football club Red Star.

Both clubs have politicians in today’s managements. Aleksandar Antić has a function of vice president in Red Star. He is the president of the City council of SPS (Socialistic Party of Serbia) and the current president of the Belgrade city Assembly. The management also seats Dušan Mrakić, current state secretary in the ministry of mining and energetics.

According to the words by Vladan Lukić, president of the club, the club often hosts the deputy president of the SNS (Serbian Advance Party), Aleksandar Vučić, though he has no official position in the club. Zoran Ivošević, former judge in the Supreme Court of Serbia is recently in the Management board of the football club Red Star.

Apart from the president of the “Zekstra” company, Dragan Đurić, the management of Partizan also seats Branko Ružić, member of the parliament of the Assembly of Serbia and a member of the Socialistic Party of Serbia (SPS). The supervisory board of the club seats Dragan Penezić, assistant minister of trading in the Government of Serbia.
There is a big number of directors and owners of private companies in the Assembly of Partizan, but there is also Novica Peković, Supreme Court judge. There is an unusual large number of judges in the Assembly of Red Star. The chairman of the Assembly was Ante Bošković, who was also the president of the Sixth municipal court, Tomislav Zeković, judge of the Third court and Zoran Pašalić, city judge for violations.

Today’s minister of police Ivica Dačić used to be the president of the basketball club Partizan at one period and the Management board in Red Star was lead by Živorad Anđelković, high functionary of the Democratic party. Honourable president of the basketball club Partizan is Milorad Dodik at the time, and Andrija Mladenović, PR of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), is the vice president of the club.

Snežana Samardžić-Marković, minister of youth and sport: The answer to your question is that there is a recommendation to the politicians not to be...not a penalty, but a recommendation not to be in the Management boards of clubs, which stands in the Action plan for which all members of the Advisory body for the fight against violence voted for.

B92: For what reason is that recommendation given?

Snežana Samardžić-Marković: Precisely for the reason so that they wouldn’t in any way create an impression that, for example, someone has privileges, that they were treated in a privileged manner at courts and so that they wouldn’t create responsibility in any way, adding political responsibility. If they have it, they should stand up for their deeds, if they don’t have it, they shouldn’t be sitting where they are sitting now.

B92: Do you possibly have any knowledge about, for example, the managements of clubs bailing fans out of prisons? “Bailing”, as in influencing?

Snežana Samardžić-Marković: I found out that, I heard about it, as a citizen, not as a minister, no one ever said anything to me as a minister in the form of: The situation is this, do something. But as a citizen, yes, I heard it.

The official response for the “Insider” from the management of the FC Partizan was that their stand is that no one will participate in a show about extremist fans. The management of Red Star appointed Marko Nikolovski as a spokesperson. An interesting fact is that there are 19 fans in the Assembly of Red Star, among which there are those who were accused of several criminal offences in the past years.

B92: How do you, as a club, make the difference between those who are... How do you know who is a hooligan and who is a true fan?

Marko Nikolovski, spokesperson of the FC Red Star: The difference is made through work.

B92: How?

Marko Nikolovski: When he commits an offence, he is no longer a fan, he is a hooligan, and from that moment ho goes into the hands of the police.

B92: And which offence would that be?

Marko Nikolovski: ...judicial ... Offences regarded by the law as illegal: storming on the field, lighting torches, fights, hurting other people, everything which is under the law and is considered to be normal in Serbia, but someone is not doing their job, and FC Red Star is certainly not one of them.

B92: But wait, you have a man in the Assembly of FC Red Star who was arrested, for example, violating the law and for the criminal offence of unauthorised possession of... Let me finish, possession of arms, he is Dražen Dragaš, is he a member of the Assembly?

Marko Nikolovski: Yes, that’s right.

B92: Did you reserve yourselves from that? You said that he is... Here, even according to your definitions, he is a hooligan, he broke the law?

Marko Nikolovski: No, hold on a second there, no one is guilty until proven – as far as I know, until the end of the process. Let’s wait for the process to end, to have some final verdicts, and then we will use certain names for that boy. For now, he is just a suspect, without a final verdict. So let’s wait for the process to end, let’s be legal and lawful in the FC Red Star. There is a council that gathers all members of Red Star who have a membership card. The council meets and appoints the Assembly. A certain number of delegates enter the Assembly, and those delegates appoint the Management board at the Assembly meetings. So, we cannot go the other way round, make the Management board relieve a member of the Assembly. The Assembly of Red Star will discuss the issue of all members of the Assembly on its next meeting.

B92: What do you mean by “discuss”...?

Marko Nikolovski: The discussion will take place in case Dražen Dragaš becomes the accused of crimes...

B92: And the fact that he is a suspect is not good enough for you?

Marko Nikolovski: No, it is not good enough for us, because we do not have the right to exclude him from the Assembly even if we wanted to – that would be an illegal act, his father could come and sue Red Star for barring him out of the Assembly.

Apart from 19 fans, there is a seat in the Red star Assembly for Zoran Pašalić, city judge for violations. The police have filed several hundreds of criminal complaints against the fans. Those processes usually end with much more efficiency than the criminal processes which, as you might have seen in the previous episode, last for years.

Zoran Pašalić, city judge for violations: As far as criminal complaints against the fans are concerned, all criminal complaints were processed and all fans were sentenced. There is just one question; how many sentences were executed, bearing in mind that we could not have located some people, I am talking about those people who were not processed during the emergency process, i.e. where the regular process took place and where it was difficult to perform the sentenced verdict.

B92: So when we read that the process is cancelled, dismissed, which happens often, why does it happen?

Zoran Pašalić: To tell you the truth, I don’t know where you got the information that it happens often, it is just present...

B92: Well, take for example Alen Kostić – the process is at a halt, the process was dismissed. Then Ljubomir Marković, halt, dismissal, dismissal. I mean it is here, Valić Aleksandar, halt, dismissal, halt, halt, halt, halt. Why halt, what does it mean when it reads “process is at a halt”?

Zoran Pašalić: When it reads “process is at a halt”, it means that a person is no longer living at the address where they are registered and that it is practically impossible to lead a process because that person is impossible to find. When the process comes to a halt, it does not mean that it is finished. After finding the person, the process will continue and it will be finished. That is why there is the emergency process, when the execution comes before final verdicts about which I spoke, for the cases where you have verified knowledge that the person is not living at the address where registered, i.e. they do not have a place of residence, i.e. they may hinder the execution of the sentence, and in that case we have emergency processes and then such persons are sentenced immediately.

B92: But how, how, here, I just read for one person at least 10 times “the process is at a halt”, how is it... If you know that such a person is difficult to find, how come that the next time they are not under the emergency process but in a regular, and then each time the process is at a halt because they can’t be reached?

Zoran Pašalić: When a person after several unsuccessful attempts is found, then all those criminal complaints are taken into account, processed immediately and all those processes are joined together if conditions for such a thing exist.

B92: An interesting thing is that you are a member of the Red Star Assembly. There are also fans in that Assembly. How do you look upon it all? Why are you there?

Zoran Pašalić: Let me tell you something, I can’t look upon it all as someone leading Red Star because the Assembly is one body which is quite broad, there are several hundreds of people in the Assembly, not just fans. I have to tell you, I have attended the meetings of the Red Star Assembly only two times and only because I was invited...

B92: All right, but in general?

Zoran Pašalić: In general, I can say that when I see a man and someone tells me: right next to you, or 6 feet next to you sits someone with a criminal complaint for which there are final verdicts, of course it would trouble me, as it would trouble me to have him on the bus with me.

B92: Well take Dražen Dragaš for example who was arrested recently...

Zoran Pašalić: Yes?

B92: ... is a member of the Assembly, who might be sitting right next to you.

Zoran Pašalić: I haven’t had the honour of meeting him, really.

B92: The last time he was arrested was for finding guns he didn’t have licence for.

Zoran Pašalić: I really haven’t met the gentleman

Slobodan Vukolić, Chief of police for the city of Belgrade: Clubs should unambiguously and in practice very conspicuously hold back from individuals, not fans, but individuals who cause violence on sport manifestations, because of those who are penalised in front of our judicial institutions, so to speak, but also in front of all those international discipline institutions of the International football association, UEFA, FIFA, so it seems to me that there is not enough of unambiguous holding back from such individuals who shed violence on sport manifestations.

Fans of Red Star did not back up the new director of Red Star Vladan Lukić, who was elected 6 months ago in the Red Star Assembly, but they were not opposed even. When it came to voting, they were abstained.

B92: An interesting thing is that dialogue which took place at the Assembly between Vladan Lukić and representatives of “Delije” and at one moment Vladan Lukić said: “I did everything the fans wanted to”, mobilised the veterans, broke into many companies, went to see the state institutions”. The representatives of “Delije” replied: “You went to see Divac and Dačić” after which Lukić said: “I went to see them because you demanded me to”. Why...

Marko Nikolovski, spokesperson of the FC Red Star: Whoa, Brankice, you are misinterpreting certain sentences and certain moments. Here, I will explain now.

B92: This is a dialogue.

Marko Nikolovski: Vlade Divac is the president of the Olympic Committee of Serbia, Red Star is a football club and as such, it is one part of the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It is quite normal to go and talk to people in charge, if I am not mistaken, Ivica Dačić is the vice prime minister of this country, so it comes normal to seek help at the moments of disasters from state institutions, sport institutions.

B92: Well, Ivica Dačić is the minister of police, among other things, I am just asking why...

Marko Nikolovski: Deputy prime minister, as...

B92: Why does Lukić, as a director, go and see the minister of police on the demands made by the fans?

Marko Nikolovski: No, no. no, no, you are misinterpreting the word “demand”, there was no demand such as...

B92: Well the man said: “I went to see, I went, when you demanded me to?”

Marko Nikolovski: Well yes, but do you know what kind of demand is in question here? The kind which I heard in my neighbourhood, while going through the city, through life, that Red Star fans in general, who are 4 million in number, dissatisfied with the condition in the club and that they want a man to come who will change something, who will talk to everybody, who will not have a situation in his hands because... Let me tell you this, the previous management stated that they wouldn’t think of solving the crisis in Red Star by asking anyone, and then came Vladan Lukić’s argument: “I will ask anyone, whoever, just so I can find a solution to the crisis in Red Star, because solving the crisis in Red Star and the quality of my beloved club is above my own vanity:. That was the meaning of the sentence by Vladan Lukić: “I have solved all demands by the fans, I went to beg”.

B92: No, no, that wasn’t what he said, well, OK. Maybe it was. Maybe you know what he meant by that.

Marko Nikolovski: That’s the point. You are asking me what the point is, and I am explaining the point to you. So, we shouldn’t take words literally, it is not about a literal demand, it is about a desire.

B92: You know, it is a public secret that managements of clubs are simply helping out fans in various ways even when they should be arrested and in prison...and I am asking you this just because of this matter.

Marko Nikolovski: This is an absolute lie.

Ivan Ćurković publicly said that the management of Partizan helped the fans for years back in various ways.

Insider, “Rules of the game”, 2008:

Ivan Ćurković, president of FC Partizan 1989 – 2006: We gave them in a way in the 90s, we took them to trips with us, leaders of the fans I have to say again. Then we gave them for their iconography as they call it some money, so they can make it, buy it: Gives us this and we will stand by you. Of course there were insults – and then we said no more. That’s when we said no. We put a stop to it then.

Afterwards, the Partizan fans requested the management to be changed, which eventually happened. The first action started with calling out names against Zečević and the management from the stands. It finally ended with Žarko Zečević’s public funeral which was organised by the Partizan fans, although it was practically the call for lynch. Institutions on charge did not react.

Calling out names which implies calling for someone’s death, murder or messages on banners are nothing less then calls for lynch, especially if one takes into account that from ’99 until today there have been as far as 9 murders in which individuals from fan groups were involved.

On December 10, 1999, on FC Partizan stadium, a fan of Red Star, Aleksandar Radović was killed on the match between Partizan and Red Star. Radović was killed when a fireworks rocket hit him which was fired by Majk Hlakijević, one of the leaders of the Partizan fan group “Alkatraz” from the southern stand of the stadium. He and a group of fans were not charged with murder, but for the act of causing general threat, so Halkijević was convicted to 1 year and 11 months in prison. The judge of the Second municipal court who reached the verdict was Nataša Albijanić.

On May 11, 2002 the Partizan fans beat Živorad Šišković to death at the train station for trying to defend a Chinese citizen who was being attacked by the fans. The charge against Dragan Spasojević, Aleksandar Ignjatović and Dušan Veljković was raised in 2005 but they were not charged with murder but for suspicion of participating in a fight. The process is still in progress in the First municipal court.

On January 14, 2005, a Partizan fan, Marko Radovanović was killed in Obrenovac in front of the Engineering-technical centre. He was killed by a knife by M. K., a Red Star fan who was under age at that time. According to the verdict of the District court in Belgrade, the Council for juveniles from December 2005, M. K. was found guilty for committing murder and was sentenced to serving his crime in the juvenile prison for 4 years. Slavka Mihajlović was presiding the Court council of the District court. In the appeal process, the Supreme Court of Serbia reduced the first instance verdict and charged M. K. to the sentence in juvenile prison for 3 years and 6 months. This was a final verdict.

On August 4, 2010 there was a fight between the fans of FC Napredak and FC Rad at the train station in Rakovica, in a train going from Belgrade to Bar. Bojan Majić, a fan of FC Napredak was killed by a sharp object. In a first instance sentence of the District court in Belgrade, Bojan Hrvatin was sentenced to 30 years, while Aleksandar Kovačević was sentenced to a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison for the criminal offence of participating in a fight.

On October 19, 2005, a Partizan fan Radovan Milošević was killed. He was murdered by a Red Star fan S. I. with a knife. Milošević first tried to get the scarf bearing Red Star markings from S. I. after which S. I. took out a knife and stabbed Milošević. The process at S. I. who was under age at the time was finished by sentencing him to 3 years of prison and after the District prosecution appeal, the sentence was commuted to 4 years and 6 months of prison.

On October 29, 2005 there was a fight between the fan groups of FC Čukarički and FC Bežanija in a bus travelling on the 71 line. Golub Balašević, a Bežanija fan was stabbed by a knife in the chest. He died due to contracted injuries. A complaint against A.Ž. was filed to the District prosecution, juvenile department, and A.Ž. was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months of prison. Olivera Pajić was presiding the court council.

On July 27, 2006 there was a scheduled fight between 10 fans of red Star and 5 fans of Partizan at the FC Žarkovo football field which occurred after some verbal attacks about the fan groups. Aleksandar Panić, a Partizan fan was killed when Marko Blagojević stabbed him in the chest with a knife. Blagojević was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison, but the Supreme Court cancelled the verdict. One week before this episode in a mistrial, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

On April 14, 2008 the fan groups of Partizan and Vojvodina clashed next to the train station in Futog. Dejan Dimitrijević, a fan of Vojvodina was killed. He was killed by a gunshot by Stevan Stanković, a Partizan fan. Stanković was sentenced to 15 years in prison according to the verdict made by the District court of Novi Sad in March 2009. The appeal process under the Supreme Court of Serbia is in progress.

Dragan Supurović Supa, one of the leaders of the fan group of FC Rad “United Force” was charged with murder together with Srećko Paunović in 1994, because he shot a revolver into a group of people sitting in front of a café in the “Vidikovac” mall on September 1994. Ivan Pavlović was killed and Aleksandar Mandić and Mihajlo Nenadić were injured. The charge for murder was raised on October 21, 1994. However, according to an official statement made to Insider by the District prosecution, the process is still in progress. This means that the process for murder lasts for full 15 years.

Individuals from fan groups were charged with various criminal offences in the past years, and not just murder: extortion, kidnapping, robbery, inflicting heavy body injuries, drug sales. More than 100 criminal complaints were filed against individuals from fan groups of Rad, Partizan, Red Star. As you might have seen in the previous episode, the ministry of internal affairs have filed complaints, prosecutions have filed indictments, but in most cases, everything came to a halt when it reached court. Lawsuits last for years so final verdicts are often none.
B92: You said that only 2.4% of people were convicted based on an analysis which you conveyed. What does this tell us?

Snežana Samardžić-Marković, minister of youth and sport: It was a shocking piece of information for myself personally even. In order for us to prepare the report for the forming of this council, my ministry has asked the Ministry of internal affairs, on one hand, to give us an independent report on the application of the Law against violence at sport manifestations in 2008, and the same kind of report from the Ministry of justice on the other hand, which gathered data from courts. What was the result? It turned out that the police were arresting and the courts were not punishing. What is the problem? Part of the problem could lie in gathering evidence but I think that there is obviously not enough coordination, because the message we are sending is that one in every 40 people are guilty. Come on, please! This can’t be the truth.

Such statistics made enough room for those who call themselves fans to think that they can kill both on the stadium and off.

At the match between Red Star and Hajduk on December 2, 2007, Nebojša Trajković, a member of the gendarmerie was seriously injured. The trial against a Red Star fan, Uroš Mišić began in 2008 in front of a council which consisted of 5 people presided by judge Velimir Lazović. Mišić denied having put a torch in the mouth of Nebojša Trajković, member of the gendarmerie. He claimed that he didn’t know that Trajković was a policeman, but, quote “thought he was a Grobar”. “I was furious to find such arrogance and bravery in a Grobar to come to the northern stand, so I approached him and kicked him in the thigh”, said Mišić. Nebojša Trajković said in trial that the fans as though commanded to do so, put on their scarves and caps over their faces and went towards him.

Nebojša Trajković’s, member of the gendarmerie statement:

”They surrounded me and Mišić said: “Where do you think you’re going, you son of a bitch of a cop”. He kicked me in my genitals and in the head with the fist. Then everybody hit me, dragged me across the ground and pushed me off the stands. I fell off some 10m, 15m and then Mišić put one of the torches behind my back and the other in my mouth. He said: “You want a torch, I’ll give you a torch”. I screamed with pain.

The District court council, presided by Judge Velimir Lazović reached the verdict in September 2008 sentencing Uroš Mišić to 10 years of prison. Lazović stated in the exposition of the verdict that the given sentence was adequate for the fan, but also that such assaults, that have become an epidemic, will not be tolerated. Judge Lazović also pointed out that the morale had been declining for some time in the society and violators are declared heroes.

Judge Velimir Lazović’s exposition:

”The assault was a lynch against an official. To fry a living human being, to put a torch of 1000 degrees on his face, put it under the jacket is monstrous. The tape from the match clearly shows Mišić holding a torch in his hands and frying a living human being. This assault was brutal, barbaric and presents pure rancour of hooligans. The verdict is also a message that such acts will not be tolerated”, said Judge Velimir Lazović in the exposition of the verdict which sentenced Mišić to 10 years of prison. Such verdict was, however, cancelled by the Supreme Court and returned to a mistrial. Dragiša Đorđević presided the court council of the Supreme Court that cancelled the verdict.

In the exposition regarding the cancellation of the verdict against Mišić, the court council of judge Đorđević stated, among other things, that it should be determined whether the lit torch could have caused death by pressing it against the face. The judges of the Supreme Court are unclear about the temperature the lit torch can achieve, so they asked the court experts to determine this. The mistrial against Uroš Mišić is in progress.

After the final verdict by which Mišić was sentenced to 10 years, a group of Red Star fans who were in the courtroom began to insult judge Lazović. One of them said to the judge: “I’ll be seeing you”. Goran Ćorić, Miloš Zimonja, Ivan Raković, Predrag Panić and Jasmin Došen were threatening the judge. Došen is a member of the FC Red Star Assembly.

Ever since then, the fans at the north keep singing: “Uroš Mišić is one of us”, and there are graffiti around the city which say: “Justice for Uroš”. A banner was placed into the stadium which read: “The justice that you hand out will get you Lazović”!

Gordana Jekić-Bradajić, deputy district prosecutor in Belgrade: Let me just point out, the verdict that the court estimated in the non-final verdict, for Uroš Mišić specifically, is the legal minimum for a criminal offence for which he is prosecuted.

B92: 10 years?

Gordana Jekić-Bradajić: Yes, and only because it a person who is not yet 21. For such a criminal offence the sentence is at least 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years of prison. This is one of the most severe criminal offences in the Criminal law, but the fact is that entire Serbia rose up with banners “Justice for Uroš” and that even football players came out on the field in T-shirts after reaching the verdict.

Siniša Važić, president of the District court in Belgrade: The message sent was so wrong that... If we can actually speak about messages as such it is simply about the attitude and no one can convince me that it didn’t happen, how should I put it, that it couldn’t have been avoided, I simply think that isn’t right. And that’s where I would put an end to it.

Red Star players came out on the field in T-shirts which read: “Justice for Uroš” and greeted the fans. After this event, the Second district prosecution in Belgrade asked the police to identify the persons holding the banner which read a threat to Velimir Lazović, District court judge in Belgrade. The prosecution has also instructed that the police do interviews with Red Star management members in order to determine who allowed the banners to be smuggled in and who allowed the wearing of the T-shirts with the face of Uroš Mišić, the fan who was at the time sentenced to 10 years in prison by a final verdict.

When asked about the investigation, Tomo Zorić, the spokesperson of the republic public prosecutor said for the Insider that the identification of the persons holding the banner could not have been done because they were wearing hoods. The lawsuit did not begin due to this. Based on the hearing of the members of the management, it was deduced that no one from the club allowed for that to happen, and that the banner was smuggled in illegally.

When the issue about the process regarding the “Justice for Uroš” T-shirts is concerned, the Prosecution found no basis for criminal prosecution according to Insider information, because they deduced that the players wearing the T-shirts threatened no one’s safety, and their gesture was in fact a campaign, rather than a criminal offence.

Marko Nikolovski, FC Red Star spokesperson: I would like to see just one piece of evidence saying that FC Red Star was protecting hooligans, just to see evidence.

B92: Do you consider players coming out on the field and wearing “Justice for Uroš” T-shirts at the moment of reaching the first instance verdict, by which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempted murder of a member of the gendarmerie as protection of hooligans?

Marko Nikolovski: And did you call the District prosecution, Savski Venac I think, yes, and the police of Savski Venac to ask them about the investigation, because absolutely everyone at that time, at that time, it happened, it has nothing to do with the management of the club... I gave you the stand of the current management, they do not support hooligans, do not support violence and support the country in fighting against...

B92: I asked you about the T-shirts in which the players went out on the field?

Marko Nikolovski: I have no comment on what happened 3 years ago, do you understand me?

B92: What do you mean 3 years? It happened now, 1 year ago.

Marko Nikolovski: Nevertheless, I have no comment.

B92: How can you not have a comment on that? Either you think it is the right thing or you don’t. There is no other option.

Marko Nikolovski: No, no, I as a citizen called Marko Nikolovski, by name and surname have a comment and I will present it when we are done with the shooting.

B92: Why?

Marko Nikolovski: Because I am here as the spokesperson of Red Star.

B92: So, Red Star does not want to...

Marko Nikolovski: Red Star does not want to comment, the current management does not want to comment on what happened a year ago, 6 months ago.

B92: OK, I asked you about your opinion? There, about your opinion, I am interested in your opinion exactly?

Marko Nikolovski: You will hear my opinion as Marko Nikolovski on a coffee break later, no problem.

B92: No, I am asking you as a spokesperson?

Marko Nikolovski: No, the spokesperson has no opinion about what has not happened in the previous 6 months.

B92: You do not have an opinion on that?

Marko Nikolovski: No, I have no opinion on...

B92: Do you have an opinion about the banner “The justice that you hand out will get you Lazović” which relates to the judge who reached the verdict for Uroš Mišić?

Marko Nikolovski: Red Star, the football club, does not interfere with the work of the court, the banner was a stand by an association of citizens, the fans of Red Star.

B92: Wait, I’m not asking you to run the process, I’m not asking you to do that, I’m just asking you to comment on that banner? Is that a call for lynch?

Marko Nikolovski: When was that banner?

B92: I don’t know, a couple of months ago.

Marko Nikolovski: Well, we have a problem again.

B92: Well, is it important that it happened a couple of months ago, or a year and a half ago?

Marko Nikolovski: Well, it is important because I will not speak in front of the B92 camera as Marko Nikolovski, I only want to speak as the Red Star spokesperson...

B92: All right, I am asking you as a spokesperson?

Marko Nikolovski: Yes, yes, but my opinion is limited. It is very limited, limited within 6 months.

B92: Does all this point out to the fact that the management is somehow afraid of those hooligans and fans?

Marko Nikolovski: No, absolutely not. The club management, as well as every citizen of this country has defence mechanisms. Do I have a problem? I report it to the police who do their job and I am at peace.

B92: And can you report it to the police?

Marko Nikolovski: We can, of course. Of course we can.

The initiative of the republic prosecution for banning fan subgroups:

”The managements of certain sport clubs behave in an acquiescent manner towards the hooligan demeanour, and often take their side. Leaders of fan groups have a large influence on the management of clubs which participate in bringing all major decisions which concern clubs and organisation of spot manifestations. Due to their activities, the fan leaders of Belgrade clubs very often change their mobile phone numbers and have several SIM cards which they change due to the need. They also own expensive motor vehicles which they change often, and which are not registered on their names, which is a kind of a rule, but on members of their families or people close to them, who have often not been charged criminally or offensively. The jurisdiction is aware of the need to reply to challenges which are set by open or hidden exposure of hatred towards those who do not share the same opinion, moral opinions, view upon the world, way of life or any other form of exhibiting human nature, especially gay population”.

Such an initiative of the republic prosecution occurred after the murder of Bruce Taton. The murder happened 2 days prior to the scheduled “Pride parade”. State institutions couldn’t have secured safety for the participants, so the “Pride parade” was cancelled.

Snežana Samardžić-Marković, minister of youth and sport: Apart from using the opportunity to say that this was a test for the institutions, it is also important that the institutions show their power continuously, because that is why the citizens are paying them.

B92: They have not shown power in this case?

Snežana Samardžić-Marković: That’s right, they haven’t.

B92: But this means backing up on front of the groups. How can the state, just several months later, deal with such violence?

Snežana Samardžić-Marković: They can’t several months later, I think it has to go on for years. By saying this, I don’t mean that we should stall for a year, I think that the action should be quick and immediate, but the fight will last for a long period of time, because this happened over night and it will not be eradicated over night.

There are about 2500-3000 extreme fans. There are about 1000 extreme right-wingers. As by definition, they participate together in all events that end up by incidents, burning down and demolishing the city, with dozens of beaten up and hurt citizens and policemen. Since they call themselves patriots and Christians, they often go to receive blessings in church. At the same time, those same individuals have no problem with dealing drugs, behaving violently, extortion, racketeering, robbery, but also have no problems as grand patriots in destroying the city and the state.

What connects extreme fans and extreme right wingers is the hatred towards the enemy. They decide on the enemy depending from the situation. Sometimes it is a foreign citizen, sometimes a member of another fan group, other nation or race, sometimes it is those who are, according to their estimate, traitors, and very often the members of the gay population are seen as the enemy.

Last time the state has shown its weakness and retreated before the hooligans and the extremists prior to the scheduled “Pride parade” in September 2009. In such an atmosphere, in which the extremists publicly threatened the participants of the “Pride parade”, which the state prosecutor defined as disputes rather than a call for lynch, the Partizan fans beat up a French citizen in Belgrade downtown who eventually died due to suffered injuries. “Pride parade” was cancelled because the state could not have guaranteed safety to the participants in Belgrade downtown. The extremists publicly announced victory then.