Serbian Parliament members accuse NGOs of anti-Serbian campaign

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

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Much of Friday's Serbian Parliament session was spent accusing domestic non-governmental organizations (NGO) of spreading anti-Serbian sentiments.

The discussion was started by Tomislav Nikolić of the Serbian Radical Party, who criticized Nataša Kandić and her Humanitarian Law Center for publicly accusing Nikolić of war crimes in former Yugoslavia.

Last week, Kandić announced that she has evidence of Nikolić's personal involvement in killings of civilian Croatian population in village Antin in December 1991. Nikolić responded that he was a "regular volunteer", and that while he was in Antin no one was killed. About 50 elderly Croats were reported as murdered by Serbian volunteer forces and the Yugoslavian People's Army.

Aleksandar Vučić, also a member of Serbian Radical Party said: "The sort of banditry by which you accuse innocent people of the worst possible things will have to stop and [accusers] will be held responsible. When you have people like that, such pathological liars, you can't do much."

In addition to the opposition Serbian Radical party, who hold the most seats in parliament, members of the ruling parties also voiced their concerns.

Miloš Aligrudić of Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), the leading government party, said that "People like Kandić should not cause distinguished representatives to have to defend themselves in front of the Parliament."

Dragoljub Kojčić (DSS) expressed his opinion that there is an "hysterical campaign against the interests of Serbia" led by the non-governmental sector "which, as their finances reveal, are representatives of power centers outside of our country." Kojčić proposed creation of "a committee for finding the truth about Srebrenica in the part for which there are insinuations of Serbian involvement by NGOs."

The only party taking an dissenting was opposition Democratic Party. Dušan Petrović told journalists that "it is not true that NGOs are leading anti-Serbian campaign ... I don't think that any action aimed at bringing criminals to justice is negative in any way."

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