“In Yugoslavia, to kill an Albanian is not a crime”(Yugoslav Diplomat, Belgrade, 1970)/
(Note: While reading the following information published in the Albanian-American newspaper ILLYRIA of New York City, (9 November 2013), I thought of the statement made in 1970 by a Yugoslav diplomat, in Belgrade: “In Yugoslavia, to kill an Albanian is not a crime”, which was repeated for me by an American diplomat, on the condition of anonymity. I decided then to translate the article in English for the benefit of a larger readership. Crime should be exposed if we don’t want it repeated. S. Repishti)
Prishtina, 9 November 2013.- The Serbian newspaper e.novine of Belgrade, has published the following account on the barbaric behavior by some Serbian members of the military unit of Pirot(Serbia) including cutting the heads of Albanian victims of war in Kosova, and then, boil them for a full day. One military man, after removing four golden teeth, went home, painted the skull, and modeled it in the shape of a table lamp.This is the story published by the e.novine newspaper, as it was told by a Serbian eyewitness, who did comment that the terror he saw in Kosova overshadows the ones we see in the movies….
“The body ofan Albanian victim killed in the fighting was laying on a hill nearRahovec. Next to him, there was also the body of a woman whose had had been cut and used to make a table lamp. ‘Now’ the perpetrator said, ‘ I have the couple’. The soldiers were shaken. We all knew what was going on, the company commander too, and eighty percent of the Military Police”.
The Kosova portal “Telegraph” has published the confessions of Slobodan Stojanovic, the retired former commander of the Police Station CrnaTrava, the former member of the Military Unit IV, 37th Detachment of Special Police, a former witness under State protection. (This confession was made also forthe Free Europe Radio. SR)
For the e.novine newspaper, he narrated the crimes committed against Albanian civilians in Kosova from August to October 1998., by “criminal gangs” dressed in Police uniforms. The policeman now accusing them declares that all these criminal elements have been promoted or decorated. Stojanovic affirms that some from the ranks of police have reacted after the disclosure of the crimes committed in Kosova, while Serbian public prosecutors for war crimes, especially the Assistant General Prosecutor, DragoljubStankovic, has taken upon himself to prepare the material for the defense of Serbians brought to trial before the International Court of Justice for Yugoslavia.
“I was constantly deployed in Kosova as a policeman; however, the 1998 year was a terrible one. Massacres never seen before were committed by Serb Police and armed forces. It should be made public that the perpetrators still wear the uniform” wrote the e.novine. The witness pointed out that he is still included in the programs for witness protection.
“In Kosova, I was deployed during the months of August, September and October 1998, sent without any knowledge of the events taking place there. We were not told how to conduct ourselves in our daily duties. We were not aware of the fierce fighting with the KLA (Kosova Liberation Army), and therefore, totally unprepared; yet, we were sent strait to the first line of fighting.
Initially, we were camping at he cable Factory, Suhareka,. And from there to the frontline.For the next three months, I saw terrifying scenes : killings of children, civilians, male and female. Looting was massive. All night long trucks loaded with Albanian materials left for Serbia.
After my June deployment in Kosova, I sent a letter to VlajkoStojlkovic, Serb Minister of Interior. In seven pages, I described all I had seen in Kosova. I never received an answer, neither from the Minister (who later committed suicide) nor from any of his office aides. In that information, I had described the Serb massacres of Albanians, their children, the burnings of their homes, and looting of their properties.
Everything on our way was stolen. Police was stealing properties and then go to Prizren and Rahovec and sell them in the market. That included livestock taken from their stables and sold to butchers and farmers. The profiteers were not just policemen, but also legions of armed irregulars. I am sure that even the ordinary criminals have more scruples. The perpetrators had no code of honor to restrain them in their misconduct.
I cannot say that everybody committed crimes. From about 150 members of the unit, there were 20 criminals killing and looting”.
When it came to narrate about the table lamps made of Albanian skulls, he explained that the criminal who did it belonged to Section87 of the Special Police Forces.
“As I have learned later the perpetrator had ended up in an insane asylum, in Toponitsa….”
“In September 1998, we were engaged in the area of the village above the city of Prizren. Our mission: ‘cleansing the terrain’. I cannot remember the name of the policeman still living as a ‘rational person’, who killed four month oldinfants in their cribs just for fun. According to him, ‘a dead Albanian is better than a living one’. Then, I felt like killing him, but I realized that if I did not go to Kosova with a group of genuine policemen, butwith a group who were more thanordinary criminals…. I was in the company of sadists, sick people, cannibals…. what they did not do was only not eat human flesh.
It’s a group of such bandits who were ready to steal and kill. And not one of them was called to account for his crimes. As of this day, I do not understand how were allowed to behave that way. They have not suffered any consequence for their crimes; on the contrary, they have enriched themselves. When they went to Kosova, they were in dire financial difficulties; upon their return they were wearing thick golden chains, and their wives golden rings. Today, they are rich people”.
According to the witness, Unit IV of Leskovac was made of policemen. Their commander was MilivojeStjilkovic, former Police Chief in Leskovac. When four policemen of this Unit were killed (in Kosova) he was replaced by NenadStojkovic.
“The Unit IV began its operations after the assassination of AdemJashari (Note: and some 50 members of his large wiped-out family SR). It did participate in the operations taking place in Drenitsa. Since that time, they behaved like criminals and not like policemen. Only in a few days, 70 Albanians, children, women, men were massacred. We suffered some casualties, too, one soldier killed and a few policemen slightly wounded. Then, our bestiality exploded. What happened cannot be seen neither in war films.
Wewere deployed in Glogovac, too. Before us, there was the regular army. Early in the morning, the army would start the artillery shelling of the hilly villages. In the meantime, we would kill everything alive and moving. One of our colleagues asked a civilian old man, in his 70’s, for money. I asked him whether it was proper to do what he was doing. He simply killed him, and searching his pockets he found only ten German marks. That same policeman continues to be part of our Police unit. I really do not understand it; we ate the same food, drank the same water, and they acted as if they were in ecstasy! I speak for the 20 or so such types from our unit. All this was reported to the Unit Commander, NenadStojkovic, He was personally present when a policeman executed, in the village of Bajgora, a retarded child and his prostrated mother, in whose house we had spent the night over. When asked why he did it, his answered: “We do not need witnesses”.
According to the witness, truckloads disappeared during the night. They were used to send stolen merchandise to Leskovac (Serbia), and tothe villages where our policemen’s families lived.
Tractors, cars, electrical saws…We stole 300 agricultural moto-cultivators, 20 to 30 tons of raki (whisky) taken in Rahovec. Everything we could see was grabbed by us. Hand fingers were cut to take the rings. I have seen it with my own eyes. There are now five years in my retirement, and I still see the same policemen in service in my town. I am ashamed of myself whenever I see them!”
The witness says that all his superiors knew what was going on in Kosova, because of the hierarchy in the Army where higher echelons were kept informed.
“Thus, we reach the office of SretenLukic, the overall commander of the operations (in Kosova) and he was obligated to forward the information to the person above him, that was Slobodan Milosevic. He too, knew about it”, wrote the newspaper e.novine. (Translated from Albanian in English by Sami Repishti)