Only two policemen were assigned to guard Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic in Srebrenica on July 11, says Security Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina Dragan Mektic.
This was the case despite the fact his ministry shared with the Bosnian Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies “at least seven pieces of information” suggesting Vucic would be in danger,” Mektic told the Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti.
The minister called for the dismissal of Mirsad Vilic, who heads the directory, “due to a series of omissions in ensuring the Serbian prime minister’s security during the commemoration in Potocari when Vucic’s life was in danger.”
Mektic also noted that it was “a paradox” that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, “who is welcome in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” was accompanied by as many as 12 policemen.
In a document detailing the omissions, the minister stated that the key problem was “allowing the VIP box to be positioned deep in the mass of people, instead of on the fringes of the event.”
“Vilkic should not have agreed under any circumstances with the suggestion of director Haris Pasovic, who created the scenography for the gathering in Potocari, to have the stage in the mass,” Mektic said, adding that “Pasovic’s alibi now is that this was his merely his idea, while those responsible for security should have pointed out to any possible mistakes.”
According to Mektic, “this serious mistake led to a series of others,” citing as “especially catastrophic” the fact Vilic, as security chief, did not provide “either a fallback, or just any adequate evacuation corridor.”
“A path of some 60 meters that was in places only 70 centimeters away from the raging mass was certainly not it,” the minister observed, and explained:
“Premier Vucic was rescued via the so-called reserve corridor devised by the U.S. presidential secret service. Under this treatment and protection, in case of danger, former U.S. President Bill Clinton (also present at Potocari) would have been evacuated. It was a lucky circumstance that Vucic was evacuated using precisely this corridor, because the question remains what would have happened had he been turned back to the raging mass through which he had already passed. And then, perhaps somebody was counting on that.”
According to available information, the attack on Vucic was carried out by criminal groups and hooligans, including the so-called “Anti-Dayton Group”, the minister said.
“These groups include members of the radical Wahhabi movements. There were also some hooligans from Serbia and we are working on their identification with the help of Serbian services. So far, some 20 attackers have been identified. It is now up to the Bosnian Prosecutor’s Office,” Mektic said.