Slobodan Stojanovic is a former member of the Serbian police and witness of the crimes committed in Kosovo in 1998. by members of the 37th Special police battalion of Serbian police. Because of his intentions with three other colleagues, to testify about the events in Kosovo, he was the object of repression by a persons who is in his statements cited as perpetrators of the crime. Instead of protection, the authorities of Serbia over the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor (OWCP) and Witness Protection Unit (WPU) further aggravate the situation of witness Stojanovic, and the epilogue of all is that no one of the war crimes perpetrators was prosecuted and that security of Slobodan Stojanović and his family is put in danger. The aim of the OWCP and WPU was and still is to prevent Stojanović to testify, to contest his credibility and make him to abandon his intention to testify, all that in order to protect "higher national interests".
The culmination of prosecution of witness Stojanovic is a judicial procedure against him for alleged threats by e-mail sent by him to War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic and his deputy Slobodan Stankovic. The content of e-mail was interpret very widely and taking into account the overall relations between OWCP and witness Stojanovic makes the indictment absurd. The State Prosecutor requested that a Slobodan Stojanovic should be sentenced for 6 months in prison. The first hearing was to be held on November 27th 2015., but due to the absence of Vukcevic and Stankovic, it is postponed for February 3rd 2016.
This session was attended by Human Rights Defenders: Humanitarian Law Center, Yucom, and Women in Black from Belgrade, and Human Rights organization from Leskovac.
The aim of the procedure is to criminalize and discredit witness Stojanovic, as well as to intimidate him by threatening imprisonment. The case is not the only of this kind. At the same time there is a proceedings against Natasa Kandic from Humanitarian Law Center, because she presented evidence for a reasonable doubt that the current Chief of Staff of Serbian Army General Ljubisa Dikovic was involved in the organizing and concealment of war crimes in Kosovo. In both cases, the proceedings are taking place against people who provided evidence against the perpetrators of war crimes, instead of conducting an investigation against a persons on the basis of these evidence.
All this shows that it is a systemic activity of state authorities of Serbia, which aims to prevent further prosecution of war crimes, especially those cases that deviated from the official policy that crimes in Kosovo were isolated acts of individuals, rather than part of the state policy, designed by top officials and conducted by state structures of the Serbia.
Mirko Medenica for Women in Black