Goran Petrović, head of the Serbian State Security service (Državna Bezbednost, DB) during Zoran Đinđić’s government and one of the founders of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), headed by Jovanović, talked to Belgrade daily Kurir about the reasons he parted ways with Čedomir (Čeda) Jovanović, the only Serbian politician who thinks southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija should be left outside Serbia’s borders.
“For several months, almost every day, I had an opportunity to see Čedomir Jovanović is a common scumbag, a pathological, sick scam artist, a thief, liar, and a swindler. The essence of his forming the LDP was to form a political party which will be a private company owned by him. He is taking money from the sponsors without giving an account to anyone. No one knows who gave the money or how much, and how much Čeda took for himself”, Petrović said.
Q: He takes money from the party for the personal needs?
GP: Absolutely. The one who gives the money, gives it to Čeda Jovanović, who then takes that money and goes to Mykonos, Santorini [Greek islands], and to Chamonix [French ski resort] to ski and drink €5,000-6,000-a-bottle wine. That is the money earned on my honor. The fact he is cheating people is completely unacceptable.
Q: Whom did he cheat?
GP: Many. There are people he hired and didn’t pay, there are people who organized party’s promotions and he didn’t pay them. He doesn’t care who gets crossed, if it’s his neighbor, a friend… He’s a pathological crook, that is the gist of his existence.
Čeda will Sing Whatever he’s Paid to Sing
Q: Do you think that the others who have deserted LDP have done so for the same reasons as you?
GP: Of the people who formed the LDP there’s no one left there today. Mile Korićanac was one of LDP founders. When he died, Jovanović didn’t even bother to go to his funeral. Ana Korićanac, Mile’s daughter, invited him to a 40 days memorial service and he didn’t even want to talk to her over the phone.
Q: So, what guides those who have stayed in LDP?
GP: If Goran Petrović’s word has some weight and if he says Čeda is a scumbag, that should be sufficient and you can believe it or not. Let 50 percent of people vote for him, let them elect him a pope, my opinion won’t change, because I’m stating it based on facts. Who is in LDP now? two-three of his household friends — Andrić and Ostojić, and that is it.
Q: But Vesna Pešić [former head of now dissolved Civic Alliance of Serbia] and Žarko Korać [Social Democratic Union] are also in LDP…
GP: They have nowhere else to go. Čedomir Jovanović has no politics whatsoever, he’s like a pub singer who sings upon request. If someone came from Croatia now, and said “Here’s 100,000 euros, sing Danke Deutschland!”, he’ll sing. Tomorrow someone comes and says “Sing Sprem’te se, spremte [Četnik song]!”, he’ll sing that one too. “Roka mandoljina [Shiptar song]!”, Čeda will sing. Someone tells him: “Now go and attack Mišković!”, he attacks. All of his political actions are a result of outside requests.
Politics as the Crook’s Ultimate Refuge
Q: What type of requests?
GP: If United States desperately needs a dissonant voice in regards to Kosovo on Serbia’s political scene, he recognizes that and says: Look, no-one’s talking about that here! I will!, and they say: Good boy!, and probably compensate him for that in some way. He doesn’t care one bit about Kosovo, the Albanians, the Serbs, workers, proletariat, or investments. His spiel is “I take the money, I go to Chamonix to ski with my wife, kids, bodyguards. I go to Mykonos, I travel and live well”, that is his motivation for being in politics.
Q: Do you believe that is why he formed a political party?
GP: He formed a party with the statute even Enver Hoxha and Ceausescu [notorious Albanian and Romanian Stalinist dictators] couldn’t have written! Čeda Jovanović — Master and Lord. There’s no ‘d’ of democracy there, ‘f’ of freedom or ‘l’ of liberalism. He has a pathological fear after [President] Tadić kicked him out of [ruling DS] party, creating a psychological complex for the rest of his life, so he formed a party no one will be able to kick him out of.
Q: How do you comment Biljana Srbljanović’s complaints [LDP member and a blogger who recently complained she's been deserted and sidestepped by Čeda]?
GP: I thought that was funny. As if she didn’t know that tycoons are financing the [LDP] party. The same thing goes regarding the coalition with [Serbian Socialist Party] SPS. Well, if someone gave him 100,000 or a million euros, he’ll say: We’re getting in!, because he gets all the prerogatives of power and no responsibility. There is no politics there, the only politics, as Đoka Balašević [song writer] would say: No dribbling, no passing, all that matters is sell yourself well.
Q: Your book Cheerful UDBA [socialist-era secret service] is a compilation of anecdotes from the work of state secret service. Are those stories true?
GP: All the stories, anecdotes and characters are authentic. Still, it is not a reconstruction, but rather the stories I’ve heard have happened, and that is how I wrote them down. It is what I would tell my friends, neighbors, cousins at Slavas or some other events and everybody laughed. Then I came to an idea to save it from oblivion.