Prosecution Slams Serbian MP Over Political Pressure

The Serbian War Crimes Prosecution says that an MP is endangering its independence by alleging that it did not prosecute organ trafficking claims in Kosovo in 1990s.Speaking this week at a parliamentary session, Milovan Drecun, the head of the parliamentary commission for Kosovo and Metohija, said that the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution failed to investigate properly war crimes committed against Serbs during the Kosovo war.

According to Drecun there were “number of witnesses of organ trafficking and other horrifying atrocities committed by Kosovo Albanians” that the Serbian prosecution failed to question.

Drecun added that “things in the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution need to be changed.”

“I plan to call a session where Vladimir Vukcevic [ the chief prosecutor] and Bruno Vekaric will be present, when they can present to us what they did so far,” Drecun said.

In a response, the prosecution issued a public statement warning that Drecun’s remarks are endangering the independence of the judicial system in the country.

“Milovan Drecun is settling personal scores. He has been investigated in the case that the prosecution is running against media suspected of war mongering,” says the announcement of the prosecution.

Prior to being elected to the Serbian Parliament, Drecun was a journalist with the Serbian public broadcaster, RTS. During the NATO bombing in 1999 he was a correspondent from Kosovo.

His reports from Kosovo were criticised by the Independent Association of Journalists which claimed that the reports were untrue and favouring the politics of Slobodan Milosevic, the late Serbian president who was charged with genocide and war crimes in the former Yugoslavia by the Hague Tribunal.

In June this year the Serbian prosecutor announced that there is an ongoing investigation against unnamed journalists and editors suspected of encouraging war crimes during the 1990s.

The initial investigation was opened in June 2009 after the Serbian Independent Association of Journalists filed a claim against media outlets which the association accused of using hate speech in their reports during the wars.

The claim was made against RTS, and the daily newspapers Politika and Vecernje Novosti.

In November 2011, the prosecution published a book “Words and Misdeeds”, where they presented the results of an on- going investigation into the media in Serbia in 1990s. However, there was not enough evidence to file charges.

This investigation was the first ever probe into the role of the media during the wars initiated by any war crimes prosecution in the region.

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