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Ivo Skoric <>
          Re: Achtung, Achtung!
          Left holding the bag
          Soccer signs of changing times

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 18:11:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Achtung, Achtung!

A friend of mine just forwarded me the recent NY Times article on 
the latest in a seemingly unending string of events in New York city 
in which police acted well beyond their Constitutional and legal 
framework. Several thoughts came up in my mind:

1) It is comforting to see that Serbs in the U.S. bear no doubt 
about accuracy and objectivity of NY Times reporting on cases of 
police brutality in NY city.

2) It is, also, comforting to see that New Yorkers across the racial 
and social divide are beginning to understand that something has 
gone terribly awry with their police.

3) It is, however, very discomforting to see that Mayor Giuliani is 
hardly taking notice of the rampant, violent behavior of armed, 
cocky, unfulfilled jerks in his service protected by a police badge. 
While each of this cases buries his senatorial campaign deeper, 
they make people living in or just visiting New York, and particularly 
people of color, walking the streets in terror, and not fearing 
criminals, but police!

In authoritarian states police harrassed targeted groups of citizenry 
with impunity, in totalitarian regimes police had rights to check ID-s 
without probable cause (as Miroslav pointed out), but in New York 
city police apparently has a right to kill or maim random population 
without even checking their ID. This unique combination of Gestapo 
strategic approach and Wild-West Wyatt Erp "shoot then ask" 
tactics makes Giulliani's New York an unusually dangerous place 
to live. While the number of murders in NY city is on decline, the 
number of murders committed by NYPD is on the rise.

This is now, I believe, a case for federal inquiry in police practice in 
NYC. Otherwise, we may see young people thinking twice of 
coming to New York to study, which will cost NYU and Columbia a 
fortune in revenues, and NY city quite a penny in taxes. New York, 
the ultimate city of the world, the city in which the Statue of Liberty 
proudly stands, is becoming to be known as a 'police city' more 
and more: not an inviting place to come to visit or spend time at. 
This is bad for business. Giulliani does not notice that. NY Times 
does. Maybe it's time for a new Mayor.


Date sent:      	Tue, 4 Apr 2000 01:33:40 -0400
From:           	Miroslav Visic <visic@PIPELINE.COM>
Organization:   	Minds Wide Open
Subject:        	Achtung, Achtung!

Several weeks ago, I had a privilege to speak to an old Jewish man, WWII
survivor from a labor camp in Poland. We compared our personal
experiences with totalitarian police forces. I told him about my
harassment by the police in Belgrade, during my student days. I
particularly hated the fact that an ordinary cop could stop me on the
street, ask for my ID and question my political views. The old man told
me stories about Gestapo. We both agreed that New York of Rudolf
Giuliani has become a police state. Each of us was more than qualified
to make such a judgment.

I never thought that NYPD cops would be in position to decide which
political message is appropriate and which is not! But read this story
from Sunday's NYT. A female civil rights protester, student at NYU and
an athlete, was savagely attacked, beaten and arrested by three NYPD

          Then, she said, three male police officers tackled
          her from behind. ''I'm face down,'' she recalled.
          ''My arms are out. They said: 'You're not allowed to
          have this banner. You're under arrest.' ''

          As she was handcuffed, Ms. Patton said, one of the
          officers walked up and down her left leg to
          subdue her, and stood on the knee on which she had
          surgery last year. Another officer smacked
          her in the face three times, she said, and yet
          another ripped a pendant -- a birthday present --
          from around her neck.

          Ms. Patton said she tried to tell them that she
          was hurt. ''So sue me,'' she said one of the
          officers replied.

          As she and other protesters were taken away, she
          said, the same officers taunted them by asking
          about O. J. Simpson's ex-wife and saying things
          like, ''If I had been there I would have shot him 41
          times, too,'' a reference to the 41 bullets fired
          at Mr. Diallo, who was unarmed.



  Civil Rights and Wrongs: One Marcher's Tale


  04/02/2000  The New York Times Page 1, Column 1
  c. 2000 New York Times Company

  In another city or another time, perhaps Stacey Patton's day would
have ended on an upbeat note.

  An honor student and a journalism major at New York University, Ms.
Patton was in her dorm room on a Saturday when she heard sounds of
protest outside. She was studying, but she was lured by the voices of
the crowd, people outraged over the not-guilty verdicts the day before
in the trial of the four police officers who shot and killed Amadou

  When Ms. Patton strolled outside, she said, she noticed that the
protesters were all ages and colors. ''Oh my God, it was wonderful,''
she said the other day. ''I had watched civil rights clips but I had
never thought at my age I'd be part of something like this.''

  As the marchers went down the Avenue of the Americas, Ms. Patton found
herself in the front ranks. She took a banner that said ''Avenge Diallo.
Stop Police Brutality'' from an older woman who was tired of holding it.

  Ms. Patton had turned 22 a couple of days before. She was in good
physical shape, a former guard on the N.Y.U. women's basketball team who
had been sidelined by knee surgery last year. She had won all-state
honors in basketball during her senior year at the Lawrenceville School
in New Jersey and had been recruited by Columbia and Dartmouth. Before
going to N.Y.U., she had attended Johns Hopkins University.

  She was holding the banner outside a Starbucks at Lafayette Street and
Astor Place, she said, when a police officer jumped off his bike, ran
over and punched her in the face. ''I was stunned,'' she said. ''I
couldn't believe the guy hit me like that.''

  Then, she said, three male police officers tackled her from behind.

  ''I'm face down,'' she recalled. ''My arms are out. They said: 'You're
not allowed to have this banner.  You're under arrest.' ''

  As she was handcuffed, Ms. Patton said, one of the officers walked up
and down her left leg to subdue her, and stood on the knee on which she
had surgery last year.  Another officer smacked her in the face three
times, she said, and yet another ripped a pendant -- a birthday present
-- from around her neck.

  Ms. Patton said she tried to tell them that she was hurt. ''So sue
me,'' she said one of the officers replied.

  As she and other protesters were taken away, she said, the same
officers taunted them by asking about O. J. Simpson's ex-wife and saying
things like, ''If I had been there I would have shot him 41 times,
too,'' a reference to the 41 bullets fired at Mr. Diallo, who was

  ''I was in shock, crying,'' Ms. Patton said.

  Her ordeal ended 18 hours later, she said, with some of that time
spent in a Harlem jail cell. She was charged with disorderly conduct,
resisting arrest and obstructing justice. She is to face the charges in
Criminal Court on Tuesday..

  But as shocking and humiliating as she found her experience, Ms.
Patton said, the worst of it was that the police reinjured her knee,
requiring another round of surgery last month.

  A screw that had been placed in her knee last April had been
dislodged, Ms. Patton said, and her doctors had to replace a ligament,
fix torn cartilege and put in 14 staples. Her rehabilitation regime
includes pain medication every three hours, a year of physical therapy
and a brace from her thigh to her ankle. She uses a cane.

  ''I was heartbroken,'' Ms. Patton said, adding that she had received
some inquiries about playing basketball overseas. ''It meant missing
basketball and perhaps never playing again.''

  Ms. Patton is African-American. She believes that her color had
something to do with the way she was treated by one Hispanic and three
white police officers. Still, the lines of race are not so starkly drawn
as one might imagine.

  An Asian-American man and a white man have come forth as witnesses to
corroborate Ms.  Patton's account, said her lawyer, Lewis M. Steel. Mr.
Steel, who is white, is one of the lawyers who helped free Rubin
(Hurricane) Carter. And a group of concerned white protesters tracked
down Ms.  Patton after her arrest and showed up the next morning for her

  Ms. Patton recently testified before the Civilian Complaint Review
Board. Mr. Steel said a civil suit is likely.

  Detective Walter Burns, a Police Department spokesman, said the matter
was under investigation.

  ''We take it very serious, as we do any investigation,'' Detective
Burns said, declining further comment.

  What Ms. Patton wants now, she says, is an apology and an accounting.
An award-winning student journalist who will work as an intern at The
Washington Post this summer, she plans to write about what happened. But
she still finds it hard to talk about what she endured.

  ''I just keep thinking about how humiliating it was to have someone
hit me and to feel so helpless,'' she said. ''Every time I think about
it, it makes me so angry and hurt.''

Read and Forward

There are no unconquerable fortresses. There are only bad conquerors.

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 18:11:39 -0400
Subject: Left holding the bag

Here is an example of one of the most obvious flaws of the UN 
administration of Kosov@ province:

1) A group of armed Albanians attacks a Serb owned car repair shop.
2) Serbs return fire.
3) KFOR (US), hearing shots, intervenes.
4) A couple of Albanians get killed.
5) KFOR (US) arrests the rest (Serbs and Albanians alike).
6) The (Albanian) judge aquits KFOR (US) of any guilt, lets 
Albanians go, and places 3 Serbs in prison (American).
7) While they are detained by KFOR (US) their car repair shop is 
burned to the ground.


1) While it is possible that Americans did all the killing, they are 
aquitted, because they were the police in the case - and if NY 
policemen can get away with killing unarmed men involved in no 
criminal activity in an orderly and democratic country, I guess, US 
soldiers killing heavily armed men, shooting their weapons inside 
the world's most popular disorderly war-zone, should have little 
trouble justifying their actions.

2) While it is obvious both from the testimony and from the car-
repair shop's security camera video tapes that Albanians started 
the altercation and that Serbs merely defended themselves, 
Albanians were let go, and Serbs were kept in prison. Was the 
judge biased in his ruling? Maybe the judge was not biased, but he 
could not hand any other decision out of the fear for his own life. 
After all, killed Albanians received a hero funeral by KLA. I am not 
sure if local judges have any other option but to rule in favor of the 
local powers to be. Therefore, the main problem lies in the 
dichotomy between who controls the courts and who controls the 
enforcement. While it is expected from 'internationals' to do the 
police and warden work (as in this case), it is handed to 'locals' to 
do the court work. While this might have been an effort to avoid 
colonial appearance of Kosov@, it was a botched effort: because a) 
Kosov@ with UNMIK and KFOR still looks and it is run like a 
colony and b) with a choice of local judges that reflects the ethnic 
composition of majority population, it effectively makes KFOR a 
tool of KLA persecution over non-ethnic Albanian population

3) From the Newsday article it is apparent that US recognizes this 
problem. Yet they still keep the 3 Serbs in prison. Meanwhile their 
car-repair shop is burned to the ground. Obviously, the paradox is 
that the Serbs are safest in the American prison at this point. If 
released they'd probably be killed within 24 hours. They could be 
extradited to Serbia, where they'd be put on trial before a Serbian 
judge and predictably acquitted - but that would involve Americans 
deporting 3 Serbs from Kosov@ in the midst of the effort of trying to 
stop Serbs from leaving in an attempt to preserve the 'multi-
ethnicity' of Kosov@, so it is not p.r.-wise and therefore it is 
unlikely for the U.S. to do that. On the other hand, I don't see US 
military under any obligation to run a prison camp in Kosov@, to 
keep in there Serbs convicted by local Albanian judges scared by 
KLA to pass any other verdict on Serbs but guilty. And I think it 
looks quite obvious that the US military is not happy about its new 
role of the warden. But, is there a fourth option out there?

Meanwhile, well, the 3 Serbs, father and two sons, are car 
mechanics. They can sure be used well at the US camp, the cars 
and trucks are liable to break down periodically and people who 
can fix them are always welcome. The US soldiers effectively 
saved their lives, and I doubt family Momcilovic harbours any 
resentment towards the US.


Date sent:      	Mon, 3 Apr 2000 10:56:30 -0400
Send reply to:  	International Justice Watch Discussion List
From:           	Marko Maglich <MMaglich@NY.WHITECASE.COM>
Subject:        	Re: Bias seen in Judicial System in Kosovo

Probably something akin to Anglo-American "felony murder," where if a
killing is committed in the course of someone committing a felony, the
committer of the felony can be guilty of "murder."  So if the bullet
comes from the cop's gun in a shoot-out that is the result of the
attempted or committed felony, the culpability is not upon the cop.  If
this is the case, then the answer to question 2 is that sure, could be
an american bullet, but it doesn't necessarily make the American--the
cop--guilty.  --Marko

>>> danilo@PRIMENET.COM 04/02/00 06:16PM >>>
After reading Roy Gutman's article there were some things
I don't understand. I'd appreciate it if someone can answer my

1) Momcilovic is alledgedly charged with 2 murders. Without
an autopsy/forensic report, it is difficult to prove who actually
fired the shots. If the US KFOR soldier's gun fired the shots(and not
Momcilovic), why is the KFOR soldier relieved of any charges?

2) What does it mean 'lawfully killed':

        The other Albanian killed in the attack, Naser Azemi,
        was in fact lawfully killed by the American soldiers,
        and Amnesty's Griffin says it is "entirely possible"
        that an American bullet killed Gagice.


(article not for cross posting)
Newsday         April 2, 2000

Bias Seen In Judicial System In Kosovo

UN refuses to appoint judges above the fray

By Roy Gutman
Washington Bureau

Pristina, Kosovo, Yugoslavia -- The four Albanian men wore
casual clothes with weapons concealed when they entered the
alleyway in front of the Momcilovic family car repair shop in
Gnjilane last July 10.

The Tape

Newsday has obtained the Momcilovic family's surveillance tape.
At times, the footage is difficult to follow. At other times,
the action is still while the audio portion of the tape tells
the story.

- Excerpt 1: Gunfire Exchanged

- Excerpt 2: U.S. Troops Arrive

- Excerpt 3: U.S. Troops Apprehend Shooters

"Mirko, come out. I need something. I need some spark plugs for
my bike," Afrim Gagice shouted in Serbo-Croatian. No one
responded, but video cameras, part of the Momcilovics'
surveillance system, captured the scene. "Come out, surrender
your weapons, and no one will get hurt. Mirko, come out
immediately." Gagice kicked twice at the front door.

A shot rang out from the quarters over the shop where the
Momcilovic family made their home. The Albanians ducked, then
started firing their pistols rapidly, and the noise drew the
notice of U.S. Army troops stationed a few blocks away. About
five minutes later, the sharp crack of rifles and a submachine
gun could be heard on the tape, coming from the front of the
alleyway. U.S. soldiers had arrived. Gagice and a cohort, Naser
Azemi, lay dead and two other Albanians were wounded.

The surveillance tape, obtained by Newsday, leaves little doubt
that the Albanians were planning to attack Miroljub Momcilovic,
the head of the ethnic Serb family.

Today, in what human-rights groups and officials in
international organizations working in Kosovo characterize as a
miscarriage of justice, the Albanians who survived the gun
battle are all free, and the three Serbs they were attacking are
in a U.S. military jail, awaiting trial on charges of murdering
Gagice, the apparent ringleader. U.S. forces had arrested all
those involved on the day of the shooting. But an ethnic
Albanian judge released the Albanian suspects, including one
charged with the attempted murder of three U.S. soldiers, and
detained Miroljub and his two sons, Boban and Yugoslav.

Cases like this are now mounting, these sources say, in large
part because the United Nations, in what it now acknowledges was
a mistake, has refused to appoint international judges who could
rise above the bitter ethnic conflict and has insisted on
letting local ethnic Albanians try cases on their own.

U.S. military commanders have rejected repeated requests by
official international court monitors to review the case, also
out of fear of antagonizing the local Kosovo Albanians and
creating trouble for U.S. patrols, according to sources familiar
with the .thinking of U.S. commanders there.

"The fact that the Momcilovics are in continued detention
awaiting trial for murder while the ethnic Albanians who clearly
initiated the incident are free supports claims that the primary
consideration for judges deciding whether to order the continued
detention of suspects is the ethnicity of the defendant and not
the facts of the case," said Liz Griffin, a researcher for
Amnesty International, the respected human-rights watchdog
group, in Kosovo.

"The Momcilovic case illustrates that unless urgent measures are
taken . . . to create a multi-ethnic, independent and impartial
judicial system which operates within a framework of
international human-rights law, there is a risk that serious
miscarriages of justice will occur in Kosovo which will lead to
increased ethnic tension in Kosovo," Griffin said.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),
which has the official task of monitoring judicial proceedings
in Kosovo, has repeatedly called on the U.S. military to review
the Momcilovic case. But Maj. Debbie Allen, a U.S. military
spokeswoman in Kosovo, said the Momcilovics will go to trial
April 25. She said the United States had no .comment on any of
the details of the case.

A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Mike Milord, said Friday that the
U.S. commander in Kosovo, while he "has the authority to release
the detainees ... doesn't plan to release them," though he
declined to discuss the reasoning.

Milord said the U.S. commander had reviewed the case in December
but "referred it straight to local magistrates" who proceeded to
indict them. "They are scheduled for trial by local judges on
April 25," he said.

Judge Imer Huruglica, the ethnic Albanian president of the
district court, has refused to admit as evidence the
surveillance video that seems to establish that the Momcilovics
were acting in self-defense. Weakening the prosecution's case,
according to international officials, is the lack of any
forensic evidence to prove that any of the Serbs actually killed
Gagice. The bullet that killed him passed through his body, and
no autopsy was performed. The other Albanian killed in the
attack, Naser Azemi, was in fact lawfully killed by the American
soldiers, and Amnesty's Griffin says it is "entirely possible"
that an American bullet killed Gagice.

The indictment against the three Serbs, Miroljub Momcilovic, 59,
and his sons, Yugoslav, 31, and Boban, 25, is for the murder of
Gagice, the attempted murder of a second would-be intruder,
Bekim Shabani, and illegal possession of two automatic rifles
and a handgun. But the focus is on Gagice, whom the video shows
leading the assault and who received the burial honors of a
Kosovo Liberation Army war hero.

Subsequent to the arrest of the three men, unknown persons,
presumed Albanians, burned down the house and repair shop, and
the rest of the family fled to Serbia. Foreign experts familiar
with the case say they have no effective legal representation,
for their lawyer, a Serb, has no car, computer, assistant or
means of communication.

The issues underlying the Momcilovic case go well beyond the
U.S. sector to the decision of the United Nations to try to hand
over the administration of justice to local judges.

Almost everywhere in Kosovo, Serb judges refuse to take up
judicial posts out of fear of intimidation by Serbs and
Albanians, and Albanians who are willing are pressured by their
ethnic cohorts to issue ethnically correct rulings. Only in
Mitrovica, the ethnically divided city in north central Kosovo,
has the UN agreed to name international judges and a prosecutor.

"The fundamental problem I have," said an American source
familiar with the details of the case, "is that the UN set up an
international police force in a region torn by ethnic strife
because it felt it could not be policed effectively by local
people. Now they have set up a judicial system, which is far
more delicate and whose impact will be much longer lasting, but
they do not put internationals anywhere into the system.

They just have foreign monitors." This, the source added, "makes
no sense whatsoever."

The UN's chief administrator in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, has
acknowledged the failure of the system he set up but he has yet
to make a decision to send international judges anywhere but in

"We did not want to appear like colonizers," said Kouchner's
spokeswoman, Nadia Younes. "We thought to give people a sense of
confidence in their justice system and wanted to move quickly to
reinstall those [ethnic Albanian] judges and prosecutors who
were fired [by Serbs] 10 years ago," she added. "We made a
mistake. That was a wrong assumption. It turned out that local
judges, because of intimidation and threat, were not able to

Also under the spotlight in the controversy is the U.S.
contingent of soldiers in KFOR, the international Kosovo Force
that took over Kosovo when the Yugoslav army retreated in June.
"The American KFOR is seen by Serbs as pro-Albanian," said the
Rev. Sava Janjic, a leading voice of moderate Serbs.

"We are all uncomfortable ... that fairness in the case might
suffer from its ethnic background," said Rolf Welberts, who
heads the human rights and rule of law monitoring unit for the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Pristina.
"This is not unique to the Momcilovic case," he said. The worry
is that "the judges are either biased or under pressure to
decide in favor of their own ethnicity or against someone from
another background."

Officials of international organizations operating in Kosovo
said there are at least six other such cases of Serbs being held
on highly dubious charges for serious crimes in the American-run
sector of southeast Kosovo.

Moreover, this case, if it goes to trial, seems likely to
complicate an already difficult situation for the U.S. military.
In the eyes of Serbs, who constitute a significant minority of
some 30,000 to 40,000 in the U.S. zone in southeast Kosovo, it
will put a U.S. seal of approval on an ethnically based system
of justice.

U.S. KFOR had been criticized by international observers for the
close and friendly ties it developed to senior officers in the
supposedly disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army. Now the
relationship between KFOR and local Albanians is severely
strained, for under the noses of the U.S. force, Kosovar
Albanians built up a substantial network of weapons and uniform
caches to supply a cross-border insurgency in neighboring Serbia
-- an undertaking that, if pursued, could blow up into a
humanitarian crisis.

U.S. KFOR troops staged a raid last month that turned up 22
crates of ammunition and weapons and hundreds of uniforms. U.S.
troops arrested nine men.


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From: "Ivo Skoric" <>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 20:13:06 -0400
Subject: Soccer signs of changing times

The soccer game between two Serbian teams at which general 
Ratko Mladic was spotted in Belgrade was aired on the 
independent TV channel OTV in Zagreb - this was the first time 
since the break-up in 1991, that a sports event from Serbia, in 
which no Croatian team or individual was involved, was aired in 
Croatia. OTV was, also, the first electronic media in Croatia that 
interviewed Franjo Tudjman back in 1989.

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