Goran Radosavljevic-Guri: Legitimate action in Racak, indictments against Serbs are pressure to make them leave Kosovo

Goran Radosavljević
Source: Print Screen

No one was convicted for the events in Racak at the Hague Tribunal: Slobodan Milosevic died, and in the trials against Nikola Sainovic, Milan Milutinovic and the general of the FRY Army, The Hague gave up on Racak. 24 years later, an announcement arrives from Pristina that a warrant has been issued for 18 Serbs. Does the indictment have a foundation, if the Hague Tribunal also abandoned it? The interlocutors of the TV show “Oko” point out that the case is staged and that there is no evidence on the basis of which warrants would be issued, RTS reports.

General Goran Radosavljevic Guri, assistant commander of the Staff for Kosovo (1999), says that he does not know if he is among the 18 people for whom a warrant has been issued and that he is not interested in it because, as he says, he was just doing his job at the time.

"I received information about fifteen people who are on those indictments. Only four of them were police officers. They did not participate in the operation in Racak. All the others were civilians. This is not an indictment against people who have committed a criminal act. It is an indictment to make people to move out of Kosovo; pressure on Serbs to leave. Those people have to leave, bring their families, and then the rest will think about whether it is potentially them," Radosavljevic says.

Sladjana Zaric, the author of the documentary film "Kosovo Dossier – Racak", notes that those people, who participated in the Racak operation, have carried the burden of lies for the past 18 years, because of which the entire nation has suffered in some way.

"We should not forget that Racak, at least formally, was the reason for the bombing. After 22 or 23 years, those people spoke openly about everything that happened in the film. That those people who did something that was extremely legitimate, and which was subsequently manipulated, now they have the weight of the indictment - it hit me. I sincerely hope that those international warrants will not come to life, because I don't know on the basis of which evidence it would be initiated," Zaric points out.

Branislav Tapuskovic, a lawyer, a friend of the court in the trial against Slobodan Milosevic, points out that this is absolutely something that also happened with things related to the civil war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"These are the lists of people who participated in those armed conflicts. This practically means that all those who participated in those conflicts can be on one of those lists. It is intimidation that will lead to new evictions, at least of these people who are on that list," Tapuskovic says.

It is, he says, a kind of parade, because Pristina is not a member of Interpol.

"Which court is going to try them? Is it this court that was established in The Hague, where so far no accused has been held accountable for any murder of Serbs," Tapuskovic asked.

Regarding the case of the Racak trial in The Hague, which was an item in the Milosevic trial, Tapuskovic states that it was an unfounded indictment to such an extent based on the evidence presented, that while the prosecutor's evidence was being presented, until February 2004, none of the evidence was such that Slobodan (Milosevic) would be liable, because if he was liable, it would have been passed on to the others.

"No one else answered, nor was he accused, because they would be even more embarrassed. I would understand this indictment if there was one of the witnesses, someone who shot people," adds Tapuskovic.

Zaric: There is no court verdict for Racak

Sladjana Zaric says that the testimony of Shukrija Buja, who was the commander of the Nerodimlje operational zone, is crucial.

"He mentions that there were 47 fighters in Racak, how they were armed. When I started making the film, I approached those Albanian victims by personalizing them. Some of those victims were members of the KLA. I studied very seriously what was brought to The Hague, I dealt with the topography of the terrain, I looked at where each victim died. I found social networks, a page called "KLA Racak" where they proudly present photos of those who died on January 15, so for some people who died in gully, they state that they were KLA soldiers," Zaric said.

She reminds that there is no court verdict for Racak.

"There is only one trial for a man who was convicted in Pristina in 1999, and that was for a policeman who was not physically in Racak that day," Zaric said.

Radosavljevic: Legitimate action

Radosavljevic points out that Racak was a legitimate action based on the details they had.
"That action was being prepared for weeks. We observed that village. When we realized that there were no more inhabitants in the village, that only terrorists remained there, that's when we planned the action. We reported it to the OSCE, who were standing with vehicles on the road between Urosevac and Stimlje and who watched the entire action," Radosavljevic says.

Our delegation, he adds, was in Brussels and Stuttgart in 2002. The Secretary General of NATO received us twice. Afterwards, we went to the NATO base for Europe, where General Fulford asked me to speak about Racak in front of 250 officers.

"If that action entered their textbooks, it was a legitimate action. There were no shootings and no survivors. The only resident in the village at the time was an old man whom we found," states Radosavljevic.

Tapuskovic: The victims did not die at that place

Tapuskovic points out that everything he can say is based on the evidence presented before him and Slobodan Milosevic from August 2001 to February 2004.

"And what I can claim is that there is indisputable evidence that the victims of that skirmish did not die in that place. They died somewhere, but in that place, where the investigation was carried out, they did not die. There was no blood under their bodies in the videos, they had their hands raised above them, which was impossible. It was pure staging, which Helena Ranta was determined about when asked by the prosecutor," Tapuskovic points out.

Zaric reminds that, according to the indictment in the Tribunal, 45 people died.

"That manipulation of numbers started on the first day. We know that 40 bodies were found in the mosque and they were identified. We have one person who is missing and we have, according to Shukri Buja, a witness, that they came the same evening and took nine bodies claimed to be the KLA. Where did that story of 40-45 come from. When we add it up, it means that we have more than 50 victims in Racak. The story of 45 occured because certain people were reported under two names. It is symptomatic that when you look at the identities of the victims, social networks and journalistic texts, there were several families in Racak. These are repeating names. And you can see that they were both members of the KLA and logistical support. We are talking about a village above which trenches were dug", Sladjana Zaric notes.

"The trenches were made according to the textbook, they were expecting our arrival"

Radosavljevic adds that those trenches were dug in such a way that "they were facing the road to Prizren, because they were expecting our arrival".

"They were made according to the textbooks, so that a large number of people could be there. There were two huge dugouts, one of which had a machine gun that we captured. Those fortifications were made in such a way that the entire village could defend itself from that hill," says Radosavljevic. 

When asked how important it was what he would say after everything, Walker, according to him, answered that it did not matter at all.

"His mission was to stage it. He came for big money. A monument was erected to him in Racak. He is a man on a mission who did such missions in South America. The West will never admit that it was a legitimate and legal action by the police. As far as we who participated are concerned, the people who know about it, that book is null and void," Radosavljevic points out.

Tapuskovic states that Walker made a business out of it.

"Racak is a setup, as Helena Ranta established at the very start, there is plenty of evidence for that. And Walker was not at the scene and he is most certainly a direct participant in how those bodies will be arranged in that gully," Tapuskovic notes.

Zaric says that Walker did everything he was not allowed to do - came out with a conclusion about the massacre before the investigative authorities.

"It is something that goes against all legal and ethical norms," Sladjana Zaric concludes.