The prosecution completed cross-examining former operative of the Uzice office of the Serbian State Security Service (DB) Radenko Novakovic. At the end of the cross-examination, the prosecutor tried to contest the witness’s claim that the role of the Serbian secret service in Operation Spider in 1994 and 1995 did not go beyond intelligence work. They were not involved in any military actions. The prosecution claims that the Serbian service did a lot more than that: it sent special units to Western Bosnia and Krajina. According to the prosecution, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, the then chiefs of the Serbian DB, actually ran the operation carried out by the joint forces from Serbia, Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina. The prosecutor contends that this proves the allegations that the police and paramilitary units under the control of the accused were sent to Croatia and BH. The indictment lists a number of crimes against non- Serbs committed before and after Operation Spider.
The prosecutor showed a report of the Serbian DB about the deployment of the Anti-terrorist Unit, also known as the Red Berets, from 10 December 1994 to 1 February 1995 in Operation Spider. The document claims that the unit carried out six missions, including providing escort to military convoys, setting up ambushes, reconnoitering the BH Army positions and ‘day and night sniper actions’ targeting enemy positions.
Confronted with the documents of the service in which he was employed, the witness claimed he knew nothing about that at all. As the witness said, he could only speak about his involvement in Operation Spider. The witness worked exclusively on ‘gathering intelligence’ during his stay in Krajina in late 1994.
In a bid to show that the Serbian DB special units were legitimately used in Operation Spider, Stanisic’s defense counsel Wayne Jordash asked the witness in the re-examination if during his stay in Krajina any crimes were perpetrated and if committing crimes against non-Serbs was stated as their objective. The witness tersely denied it, adding that he had no knowledge of it.
The defense counsel revisited the cross-examination yesterday in which the prosecutor tried to prove that the Serbian service hadn’t done enough to prevent the White Eagles’ actions. The defense counsel showed several intelligence documents which indicate that the group was under surveillance. At the beginning, the unit was not treated as a paramilitary formation because it was not armed. The document drafted in the Serbian State Security Service office in Zajecar in May 1991 refers to the unit as a ‘youth wing of the Serbian Chetnik Movement’ that was not yet a paramilitary group but could become one. The witness said that the Uzice office had similar information. In the cross-examination, the prosecutor tried to establish a link between Milan and Sredoje Lukic and the White Eagles. The defense counsel noted that the judgment for the crimes in Visegrad states that during the trial ‘no persuasive evidence was called’ to prove that Milan and Sredoje Lukic belonged to that paramilitary group.