Wayne Jordash, a defence attorney for Jovica Stanisic, former head of Serbia's State Security Agency (SDB), said on Wednesday his client made contact with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1991 and led its agents to the mass graves in Bosnia.
In his closing argument, Jordash thus countered the prosecutors at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) accusation that Stanisic was a member of a joint criminal enterprise led by the then President of Serbia Slobodan Milosevic in 1991 – 1995 wars in former Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Stanisic contacted CIA in 1991,” the lawyer said, adding, “he has been its reliable interlocutor,” which, according to Jordash, the CIA confirmed in a letter to Stanisic’s defence team.
The contacts continued during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, the lawyer said.
“Had Stanisic been a member of the criminal enterprise, he would not have led CIA to the mass graves in Bosnia,” Jordash said.
In an email, he told the Belgrade Beta news agency he “couldn’t recall the exact words“ but confirmed that „Stanisic contacted CIA in 1991 and cooperated with it to help end the war.”
“The cooperation covered different issues that could help Serbia, including the search for mass graves in Bosnia in 1993,” Jordash told Beta.
In 2019, former British ambassador to Serbia Sir Ivor Roberts, as a witness to Stanisic’s defence, said he was “a CIA secret agent.”
In his book, Roberts described Stanisic also as “Milosevic’s terrifying secret police chief.”
Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, aka Frenki, the SDB operative chief, are charged with persecutions, murders and forcible movement of Croats and Muslims in Croatia in Bosnia during the wars.
They were acquitted in the first instance, and both pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The prosecutors appealed, and the new trial was ordered.
In his closing argument, the prosecutor demanded life imprisonment for both defendants, while the defence attorneys asked for acquittal.