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(E) Few more insights from mastercrooks
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  11/9/2002 | Politics | Unrated
(E) Few more insights from mastercrooks


"U.N. forces were persuaded to allow him to interview local staff before they were hired. In this way he could reject any candidate who did not agree to spy for him. "

Former intelligence operative says Milosevic masterminded Croatian war
AP World Politics 

Former intelligence operative says Milosevic masterminded Croatian war 
Tue Oct 29,12:22 PM ET
By DANIELA VALENTA, Associated Press Writer 

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A former Yugoslav spy testified to the U.N. war crimes tribunal Tuesday that Slobodan Milosevic (news - web sites) commanded, armed and supplied Croatian Serbs in 1991 and tried to block a speedy end to the war in Croatia. 

Slobodan Lazarevic, a Serb from Belgrade who said he was an undercover agent for the army intelligence agency KOS for more than 30 years, said his main task during the war was to gather information on U.N. forces and Croatian troops, and to recruit U.N. personnel as spies. 

Lazarevic said he appealed to the patriotic Serb nationalism of potential recruits among the local U.S. staff, but used threats when necessary. 

He also paid for information from international U.N. personnel, particularly "military observers, the radio room, anybody who's available." Some non-Serbs volunteered information because "they believed in the Serbian cause," he said. 

Milosevic has claimed he had no connection with Serbs rebels during the war for Croatian independence from Yugoslavia, and cannot be held responsible for war crimes committed by Serb forces there. 

But Lazarevic testified that the Serb rebel leaders were under Milosevic's control and that all officers, supplies and weapons came from Serbia. 

As an example of Milosevic's influence, Lazarevic said delegations of Croatian Serbs went to Belgrade for instructions before every international peace conference, four of which he attended. 

Their instructions from Milosevic's Cabinet were always the same — not to agree to any plan that would bring peace to Croatia, he said. 

If the delegates were cornered into agreeing to a peace proposal, they were to sign any deal conditionally, pending approval of the Serb assembly in Croatia, he said. That approval would never come. 

Lazarevic said Milosevic's regime intended to keep the war going to divert attention from Yugoslavia's economic problems and civilian unrest in Serbia. 

"As long as you had these brethren fighting for bare survival in Croatia, the public eye would be on (them)," Lazarevic said. 
Speaking in fluent English, Lazarevic said KOS hired him during his language studies at the University of Sarajevo in 1968. He was a covert operative for intelligence assignments against anti-communist student groups, Yugoslav emigres in Australia and Britain, and the National Olympic Committee during the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo. 
Milosevic is conducting his own defense against 66 counts of alleged war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s. 
Lazarevic, who was ostensibly a Serb army liaison officer with international organizations in Croatia, said U.N. forces were persuaded to allow him to interview local staff before they were hired. In this way he could reject any candidate who did not agree to spy for him. 

"If they refused, they would be discredited and not permitted to work for the U.N.," Lazarevic said. 

Lazarevic also said his task was to unnerve the international forces and create a "psychosis of fear." 

He said Serb soldiers planted mines on a soccer field where U.N. soldiers were scheduled to play a friendly match against a local team. The Serbs "discovered" the mines minutes before the game and blamed "Croatian terrorists" who infiltrated the Serb-controlled area. 

Another time, he said Serbs blamed Croatian terrorists for a mine they planted which blew up their own railway. 

Prosecutors said Lazarevic, who testified under his own name, has been relocated from Yugoslavia to an undisclosed country and has been given a new identity. 

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