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    Copyright: The following text is for personal information only. Any professional use or publication in written or electronic form is subject to an agreement with AIM, 17 rue Rebeval, F-75019 Paris, France

    SUN, 12 NOV 1995 22:38:54 GMT

    Company Relieved of Duty

    Arrest and Relief of Duty of the Director of "Politika" Company


    Last Saturday when Milosevic was in Dayton, Zivorad Minovic, Director of the company "Politika" at a session of the Managing Board suspended his rival, Director of the Newspaper and Printing House (NIP) "Politika", Dragan Hadzi Antic. Antic called the State Security Service (SDB) to his aid so that during the night between Saturday and Sunday Minovic was taken in by the police, because he, allegedly, stopped the printing of the Sunday issue, and the zealous SDB comrades assessed that the withholding of the printing of a paper is an economic criminal offence. Actually, it seems that Minovic was held in detention long enough for the Managing Board to meet again, but this time to relieve Minovic of duty.

    AIM, Beograd, November 7, 1995

    Just like in all Serbian spectacles, the State Security Service this time also closed the circle. In the night between Saturday and Sunday men in long overcoats (I suppose they still wear them) walked into the building of the oldest newspaper house on the Balkans - "Politika" - while in Dayton President Milosevic was watching over the fate of all the Serbs in the world. That night a decision was being made between the fourth (offices of Zivorad Minovic, Director of the Company) and fifth floors (office of Hadzi Dragan Antic, Director of the NIP Politika) on who loved the gentleman in Ohio more and, truth to tell, who he preferred. Comrades from the SDB helped the two relentless rivals for a place in the heart and at the table of the couple Milosevic - Markovic, and at daybreak Zivorad Minovic was carried out of the ring "dead" and taken in an unknown direction, as wittily observed by B-92 (a radio station).

    Footprints in the snow led to the Department for Economic Crime. A day later the Director of the company was released, but was director no more. The Yugoslav Minister without a portfolio, Tomica Raicevic, a hard working man and an honest communist - as someone said. And only then the people realized that Hadzi Dragan Antic was closer to the heart, especially JUL's (Yugoslav United Left) heart. Wasn't he a guest in the house on Dedinje the night before Milosevic left? Besides, he was "caught" by cameras at the airport seeing off his President to Dayton. The green light of right of passage was already shining above his head.

    The Scandal Masters from Slobo's Kitchen

    And what scams have these two Slobo's comrades in arms been scheming up in the last couple of months!?

    Zivorad Minovic "ordered" and Kosta Dimitrijevic delivered a book "Prljavi Hadzi" (Dirty Hadzi). Then Antic responded with Committee action aimed at protecting the company from Zivorad Minovic. After that Minovic refused to give news-print for the printing of "Politika". Later he addressed the people through his TV Politika ("Ekspres Politika" is also under his influence) with the ominous statement that hostile forces wanted to destroy and fragment the company and thereby harm the Serbian people and its centuries-old interests. "The company does not have the intention to turn into a propaganda service and private property of any one party, nor to hamper the privatization processes and defend the property concepts of Korea and Cuba", said Minovic. After that an opinion poll among the workers in the printing-works followed, in which all, to the last worker were against such forces.

    Wasting no time Hadzi Antic sent the following message already a day later in "Politika": "Dr.Minovic has caused irreparable moral, material and political harm to the paper, company, the state of Serbia, the Serbian people and all the well meaning citizens of Yugoslavia." He sent similar messages through all the periodicals of this house (of which he is in charge).

    After this Minovic concocted DEM, a detective paper (with unsigned texts) which has its eye on - you know whom. Thus, DEM started disclosing old malversations in the football club "Partizan" at the time when the present Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic was its boss. At this, Hadzi Antic, i.e. "Politika" rose in defence of Marjanovic.

    Hadzi Antic then alarmed the "Politika" workers-vendors with the news that Minovic intended to lease the "Politika" news-stands, to none else than relatives and friends of Danica Draskovic. After that the workers started...

    President Milosevic must have really enjoyed this theatrical performance. And it seemed that this friction even suited him. The exhausting making up of threats, blackmail, anonymous statements and strikes did not allow these scandal masters to come to full swing and become too strong.

    Then last Saturday, when Milosevic was in Dayton, Zivorad Minovic took action and at the session of the Managing Board suspended Dragan Hadzi Antic. The latter cried for help, so that in the night of the grand finale Minovic was taken into custody because he, allegedly, withheld the printing of the Sunday issue and zealous SDB comrades assessed that as an economic criminal offence. Actually, it seems that Minovic was held in detention long enough for the Managing Board to meet again, but this time to relieve Minovic of duty.

    Still "Politika" appeared in the streets with an "obituary": "Owing to him "Politika" was once a symbol of hatred,lies and imputations...four years ago it was burned on the streets of Belgrade...His responsibility for the tragedy which ensued, caused by hatred, evil and base instincts on which he insisted in the paper as the editor-in-chief, is yet to be determined...Dr.Zivorad Minovic is the evil spirit of "Politika's" palace...It is time for Dr. Zivorad Minovic to leave the stage. For the sake of "Politika", for the sake of Serbian journalism, for the good of Serbia." The signature read: Board of Editors of Politika.

    How Did it Start?

    For years it has been common knowledge that Zika and Hadzi cannot stand each other. However, it became clear that the "hard core" and the "soft core" members within the SPS (Socialist Party of Serbia), i.e. the SPS and the JUL did not like each other when Aleksandar Tijanic, editor of TV Politika was relieved of duty. Dragan Hadzi Antic, close to Mirjana Markovic, found out that the Statute had been suddenly changed and that he was no longer the Director of Radio and Television Politika, but only of the Newspaper-Publishing House. It seemed at that moment that Mirjana Markovic was rapped on the knuckles by her husband and that the expendable "CK (Central Committee of the Communist Party) members" were coming back. After that the conflicts between SPS-JUL became more open and "bloody". First in the province and after that in Belgrade, while the departure of Milorad Vucelic, Director of the state television showed who was winning.

    But, it wasn't easy to remove Zivorad Minovic, representative of those socialists who do not like the JUL. He had literally to be deprived of freedom. The power behind the throne of the "Politika" house, he held his chair firmly even before Milosevic, during the rule of Ivan Stambolic. Easily crossing from one camp to another, he carried on his shoulders the 8th Session, and later on put "Politika" in the service of Milosevic's nationalistic and war policy. Only once, when the Serbian government decided to take over "Politika" did he rise against it and thus made a fatal mistake. Before the cameras he uttered the following words: "I made him (Milosevic, note of the author), and I can unmake him." Later on, repenting, he crept back under the Dedinje wing, but it seems that he was not forgiven. The merits of Hadzi Antic are fresher at this moment - he contributed his fair share to the turnabout towards "peace-making" and the break with the Serbs outside Serbia.

    At this moment Milosevic's men in the company claim that Milosevic is stopping the war in Dayton, while in Serbia the JUL is starting it. His attorney, Sava Andjelkovic, instituted legal proceedings against the Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic, the Serbian Minister for Information Ratomir Vico and the SPS President, Milomir Minic. The attorney claims that the last two exerted pressure on the Board members to vote for Minovic's removal in his absence.

    The leaders of the three opposition parties (SRS - the Serbian Radical Party, DS - the Democratic Party and DSS - the Democratic Party of Serbia) Vojislav Seselj, Zoran Djindjic and Vojislav Kostunica think that the SPS and the JUL have destroyed "Politika" in their mutual conflict because of personal interests.

    It seems that the warning of Zarko Korac, Vice-President of the Civil Alliance of Serbia does not reach the ears of the side-taking public. "What is most worrying in the whole affair is the manner in which these changes were carried out", he said. "With violence, the police and secret meetings."

    What is new and really scary is not the fight for power between SPS and JUL, which is used as a simplified explanation for everything. Things can become more dangerous than it seems at first glance. If one side in the conflict, which is within the establishment, can use "its own DB", that does not mean that the other side doesn't have "its DB". And that can be true of the police in general, and of the army. Maybe next time someone will use tanks as arguments.

    (AIM) Gordana Igric