Bereuter: Serb Leader Not Part of Arm Sales

Posted April 4, 2003 at 4:48pm

Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.) and other members of the International Relations subcommittee on Europe received separate classified briefings last week regarding a “60 Minutes” story suggesting that slain Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic might have been involved in arms sales to Iraq.

“Based upon earlier information I received and on these briefings, I can say that there is no evidence that the former prime minister was directly involved in any way in sales from Yugoslav companies to Iraq,” Bereuter said in a statement to Roll Call.

“At worst, Djindjic might have been aware of such activities, but given the pervasive presence of organized crime, corruption and cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal of Yugoslavia, Djindjic’s priorities were probably focused on other issues,” Bereuter said.

Bereuter was the lead sponsor of a House resolution to honor the Serbian leader assassinated last month. The measure was pulled from consideration on the floor last week after Members expressed concern about the “60 Minutes” broadcast.

“After confrontation by American authorities about such alleged arms exports, the information received at the briefings has indicated that there seems to have been full and unconditional cooperation by the Yugoslav government,” Bereuter said.