On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the murder of the Guardsmen in Topcider (5 October 2004 - 5 October 2019)
On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the killing of two soldiers and in solidarity with their families, Women in Black is organizing a commemorative rally in black and silence in front of the Karas Barracks in Topcider on October 5 at 09:00. On the same day we organize a vigil in front of the Ministry of Defense (Bircaninova 5) in Belgrade from 12:00 to 13:00 in protest under the slogan "We shall not forget the Topcider crime".
It's been fifteen years since the murder of soldiers Drazen Milovanovic and Dragan Jakovljevic, and their assassins are at large. Moreover, despite the decision of the Constitutional Court, the highest court instance in Serbia, ordering the High Prosecutor's Office and the High Court in Belgrade to speed up the investigation process, the proceedings are still at pre-criminal stage. It has been proven that two members of the Guards Brigade were killed on guard on October 5, 2004, in the circle of Topcider barracks near the Karash military facility, next to the entrance to a shelter that was supposed to be the safest place in the country. To this day, ever since the crime, the state has not looked the truth in the eye and not even publicly acknowledged the possibility that the soldiers had seen the most wanted Hague fugitive Ratko Mladic, former commander of the Republika Srpska Army, before his death.
On December 8, 2016, the Government of Serbia decided to set up an investigative board that would review the facts and circumstances surrounding the guard's death, but the public is not aware whether they ever met and whether any new information may have been obtained.
According to the Government's decision, the Commission is made up of representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the Military Security Agency, the Ministry of the Interior, the Security Information Agency, the Public Prosecutor's Office, the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime, as well as lawyers Predrag Savic, Aleksandar Djuric, Aleksandar Djordjevic and Olgica Batic.
The formation of the Commission was initiated by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, whom we ask if he has been informed of its work, and expect him to share his knowledge with the public.
We ask the Serbian government: What has its commission been doing and what have they done so far?
The obstruction of the investigation is accompanied by falsehoods, and this is the only thing that is still being served to the citizens of Serbia today, with the reckless and ruthless injury to the families of the killed young men. A key finding of the Independent Commission that the soldiers were killed by a third party was confirmed in reference laboratories. However, this fact, as well as the indisputable fact that at the time of the crime, a unit protecting Ratko Mladic was housed in the Topcider barracks, do not reach the public of Serbia. A blind eye is turned to the fact that R. Mladic, who is under reasonable suspicion of having conceived and committed genocide against Bosniaks in Srebrenica, had spent years in Serbia, his "safe house".
It is particularly indicative that the formation of a new investigative board for the murder was announced late last year, but that they have not met yet, let alone got started. The investigation is still at pre-trial stage. In short, nothing is being done, and the state top is continuing its shameful strategy of making false promises.
Therefore, we demand from the top state leadership (primarily from the Ministries of Police, Defense and Justice) and will continue to require:
- to immediately discontinue the obstruction of the investigation into the murder of Dragan Jakoljevic and Drazen Milovanovic; - to finally announce the genuine truth about the murder of soldiers, as well as about the hiding of Ratko Mladic in the facilities of the Serbian Armed Forces; - to punish all the commissioners and perpetrators of crime in Topcider by the competent institutions and to ensure justice is done to the families of the victims!
In Belgrade, 4th October 2019