HeadLine: Scots police stand by to nail Serbs who murdered, raped and tortured their way through Kosovo
Daily Record, 12/06/1999, p4&5
by SHAUN MILNE
SCOTTISH police forces are on stand-by to go into Kosovo and help investigate Serbian war crimes.
Police chiefs have been asked about sending officers to the region.
Scotland Yard yesterday confirmed discussions were taking place. They
refused to give details, but a senior police source confirmed the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland had been put on standby from London.
He said: “There has been nothing formal yet but it has definitely been mentioned within the last few days.
“Some officers have already played a part in Bosnia and Rwanda so this has been expected.
“They are waiting to hear news next week, when they will start scouting for suitable volunteers.”
Forensic experts and specially-trained rape investigators will be among those most sought-after.
They will face hundreds of grim and heartbreaking cases of atrocities.
One of their first priorities will be to investigate the Trepca chrome mine, where furnaces have been used to burn the remains of Kosovars murdered by Serb death squads.
The capital, Pristina, is feared to hold another chamber of horrors.
The Foreign Office claims to have evidence of Serb forces digging up
bodies from mass graves and incinerating them to destroy any evidence.
Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has handed a dossier of material to UN
war crimes investigators. It contains information on rape camps set up
near Djakovica, the rape of 30 women in Globocicia, and the massacres of 500 people in villages in the Orahovac area.
It also tells of the slaughter of another 70 people at a school in Pastasel near Pristina, and of a Serb helicopter attack on a group of refugees in Prizren, where 40 were killed.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is already investigating the war crimes. The ICTY was set up by the UN security council in 1993.
They want the arrest of Serbia’s six most wanted butchers.
They have been named as Colonel Mladen Cirkovic, Major Redemer Jovic, Colonel Krsman Jelic, Colonel Radojko Stefanovic, Colonel Srba Zdravkovic and Colonel Bosidar Delic. Investigators say the rape, slaughter and torture of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo by Serbian forces was carried out by men acting under their orders.
A US source said the six commanders were heavily implicated by refugees.
Dozens of young girls and women were raped at the villages of Globocica and Urosevac, base of Colonel Jelic’s unit.
The commanders join Zeljko Raznjatovic – the notorious Arkan – and President Slobodan Milosevic at the top of the most wanted list.
None of the troops, aid agencies or others heading into Kosovo last night were under any illusion of what awaits them.
The UN is sending a convoy of 40 trucks and assessors to establish what needs to be done.
More importantly, they will be the first to help the estimated 500,000 ethnic Albanians still in hiding.
Spokesman Dominic Ridley said: “Nobody knows what we will find for sure, but it isn’t going to be good.
“Our assessors will immediately try to work out how bad the situation is and devise some kind of plan.
“They are taking in food, shelter and medical supplies which will be desperately needed. We’ve had people crossing the border at Macedonia
who don’t even know the war is over.”
He added: “That’s what it will be like inside Kosovo. There are people who haven’t eaten properly for over two months.
“They’ve been sleeping in the open, so they could be suffering from exposure, malnutrition and so on.
“It will be ghastly.”
The Scottish Kosovo Charities Appeal, chaired by Labour MP Nigel Griffiths, is already making plans to go to Pristina to see how aid donated by Daily Record readers can be used to help resettle Kosovars.
He said: “We want to see what we can do to help immediately.
“Then we’ll assess how the money raised by the people of Scotland can
be put to the greatest use.”