ACCUSED war criminal “Captain Dragan” Vasiljkovic was suspected of being a spy for the US and was subject to round-the-clock surveillance by Serbian state security operatives, an international court has been told.
The activities of Mr Vasiljkovic, also known as Daniel Snedden, were analysed during cross-examination at the trial of two alleged war criminals, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The trial was told that Mr Vasiljkovic — who served as a paramilitary commander for Serbian irregular troops under Slobodan Milosevic in the early 1990s — was closely monitored by the “America Group” of the Serbian State Security Service, a counter-intelligence unit set up to counter the espionage efforts of the CIA.
Mr Vasiljkovic is currently in a Sydney prison awaiting extradition to Croatia after being accused of leading a massacre and torturing prisoners of war. He was arrested by the Australian Federal Police in 2006 following the issue of a war crimes indictment by Croatia, which came after The Australian revealed the former Australian army reservist had returned to Australia and was working in Perth as a golf instructor.
The Belgrade-born Australian citizen has featured prominently in the trial of Mr Stanisic and Mr Simatovic in The Hague. Mr Vasiljkovic was particularly close to Mr Simatovic, also known as “Frenki”.
The Hague-based Sense News Agency reported late last week that defence witness Radivoje Micic had told the tribunal that Mr Vasiljkovic’s activities in the Balkans were suspected of compromising Serbia’s national security. Mr Micic was during the early 1990s an agent for the America Group, which was headed by Mr Simatovic.
The tribunal has previously been told that Mr Simatovic was an informant for the CIA.
Mr Micic told the court that the group monitored American journalists and researchers in Serbia and Serbian citizens visiting the US. He said Mr Vasiljkovic was among their “targets” and was followed by Serbian State Security Service intelligence agents. His phone was also tapped.
Mr Simatovic and Mr Stanisic are standing trial for alleged war crimes carried out by police and paramilitaries under their control in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mr Vasiljkovic was under their command.
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