Jovica Stanisic, the former chief of Serbia’s State Security, secured the CIA’s support in his bid to clear his name at the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia with the help of Russia’s former prime minister, Yevgeny Primakov, according to Belgrade daily Blic.
The same newspaper also claims that Stanisic is personally behind the article revealing his connections with the US intelligence agency, published recently by ‘The LA Times’. An exclusive Balkan Insight interview with the LA Times journalist at the centre of the revelations, however, does not support this claim.
According to Blic the article is meant to present Stanisic as somebody who opposed Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic and who did everything possible to prevent the conflict in former Yugoslavia from escalating, in order to get as mild sentence by the Hague Tribunal as possible.
Stanisic, faces a possible life sentence for crimes against humanity connected with the setting up, organisation and command of irregular paramilitary units allegedly under the control of the State Security Service that he led from 1991 to 1998.
The article claims that Stanisic enlisted Primakov to seek the help of the CIA to help influence the tribunal.
However, Greg Miller, the LA Times journalist who broke the story, told Balkan Insight in an exclusive interview that he got his leads from intelligence sources in Washington, who told him that the CIA submitted confidential documents to Stanisic’s war crimes trial in The Hague listing Stanisic’s contributions and attesting to his “helpful role”. There is no suggestion that Millers sources fed him a line which in some way originated from Stanisic.