Bosnian Journal

By Joe Rubin

Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica

Waiting for the Prime Minister

Today we play the waiting game once again in the Serbian capital. We are hoping to get an interview with Kostunica himself, but I am doubtful. The Ministry of Information throws a low-level government official at us, one with so little stature that in the Kafkaesque building in which we are to interview him, it takes us 30 minutes to find the right door in the endless hall of bureaucratic offices. When we finally catch up with the “secretary for cooperation” of The Hague Tribunal, Mr. Svetisalav Rabrenovic, he says he can only “hope that Kostunica” isn’t hiding Mladic. But he offers no guarantees.

A lawyer friend of mine once said that if all you have to say is the truth, you have nothing to fear. It’s my feeling that if people like Kostunica have nothing to hide, they would be falling over themselves to be interviewed on this issue. It may be that they simply see nothing to be gained by being grilled by a couple of journalists.

We also interview the acting U.S. ambassador here, Deputy Ambassador Rod Moore. During the interview, which takes place in his sprawling home, we press Moore on what specific intelligence the United States has on Mladic and whether it has ever had a specific bead on him. He claims that it hasn’t, but after the cameras are off and we’re chatting, he tells us that Carla del Ponte had provided the Serbs with intelligence that gave the location of Mladic on specific military bases. Moore says that the Serbian government had followed up and “looked” for Mladic there. But the mere fact that he would be on a base would point to conspiracy; it’s hard to imagine the Serbian government essentially raiding itself.

Back to top | Next: Mladic and the Future of a New Generation of Serbs

“Bosnia: The Men Who Got Away” is Joe Rubin’s third broadcast story for FRONTLINE/World. He has produced and reported for ABC’s Nightline, including his 2000 documentary on an emerging resistance movement against Slobodan Milosevic, which got him hooked on the Balkans. He also produced the Rough Cut “Dark Shadows,” which covers the rise of nationalism in Serbia. An unbridled enthusiast for the possibilities of video journalism, Rubin spent time in Latin America as a Knight Fellow, where he taught digital journalism in Panama, El Salvador and Ecuador. Recently, Rubin’s been working on the Pitch Room, a program in development with HBO. He lives in San Francisco.