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ICDSM (Spring 2004): Harold Pinter signs
the appeal for Milosevic
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE TO DEFEND SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC ICDSM Sofia-New York-Moscow www.icdsm.org ************************************************************** Velko Valkanov, Ramsey Clark, Alexander Zinoviev (Co-Chairmen), Klaus Hartmann (Chairman of the Board), Vladimir Krsljanin (Secretary), Christopher Black (Chair, Legal Committee), Tiphaine Dickson (Legal Spokesperson) ************************************************************** 07 June 2005 Hague Report No.1 **************************************************************
Information Regarding the Current State of the Defense Case in the "Trial" of Slobodan Milosevic
By ICDSM Hague observer
NOTE: From now on, the ICDSM will periodically circulate relevant summaries of the developments in the Hague process against President Slobodan Milosevic. This first issue gives summarization of the process since the begining of the "defence case" with somewhat more detailed description of its recent weeks.
1) The Opening of the Defense Case
On August 31, 2004 the Defense Case commenced after President Milosevic had been given only three months for preparation - in contrast to the "Prosecution," which investigated the "case" since the mid 1990s - and in spite of President Milosevic's constrained working possibilities arising from his ill-health, limited funds as well as the fact that he was kept in detention. Of course, his requests for provisional release were denied by the "trial chamber," despite President Milosevic's clear intent to take part in the "trial" in order to refute the lies about Yugoslavia in front of the international public.
President Milosevic was given only 150 days for the presentation of his case, half of the time the Prosecution used.
On August 31 and September 1, President Milosevic presented his opening statement for the Defense case. In this speech, President Milosevic revealed the one-sided and shamefully distorted character of The Hague "indictment" against him. He exposed the "Prosecution's" attempt to demonize the Serbian people and blame them for everything that happened during the Yugoslav crisis. He pointed out that the break-up of Yugoslavia was a process of continual violations of international law and that it constituted an aggression by foreign powers, most notably the US and the German-led European Community, against a sovereign state. He showed that the Serbs became the main target of these aggressive powers simply by having a vital interest in preserving the Yugoslav Federation. The security situation of Serbs was put at risk in the light of new threats posed against them that were reminiscent of World War II, when at least 600.000 Serbs lost their lives - many of them in Croatian fascist death camps. As President Milosevic set out, the Western aggression against Yugoslavia was mainly accomplished by means of funding and supporting secessionist movements on the political as well as on the military level. When these secessionist forces aimed at unilaterally declaring the independence of the Yugoslav republics Slovenia and Croatia they were given immediate political support: Slovenia and Croatia were diplomatically recognized by the European Union as independent states within their former administrative borders, even though they were entirely lacking in the necessary legal prerequisites for this act and without having conducted any consultations with the Serbian side. The same thing happened again in the case of Bosnia-Hercegovina, causing the bloody civil war the Serbs are held accountable for by the "Prosecution." President Milosevic also described the historical continuity in the policy of Western powers towards Yugoslavia, which was always directed against the very existence of this multiethnic state, and their anti-Serb propaganda which dates from the 19th century. He laid particular emphasis on exposing the myth of "Greater Serbia" which the "Prosecution" has frequently ascribed to him as being part of his political aims. President Milosevic not only rejected this allegation but also presented the fact that the concept of "Greater Serbia" as an aggressive agenda of the Serbs had been used as a propagandist trick against the establishment of Yugoslavia as early as World War I by the Austro-Hungarian empire.
President Milosevic points out that there were three main forces behind the aggressive policy of the West towards Yugoslavia, each with their own motives: Germany, following the same geopolitical interests in the Balkans that it did in two world wars. The Vatican, which joined Germany's (and Austria-Hungary's) side in both world wars in an effort to prevent the spread of Orthodox faith, and later that of communism. The third force, the United States, was an ally of the Serbs in World War II, but after the collapse of the Warsaw Treaty, it was eager not to lose military influence in Europe and sacrificed the historical friendship with Yugoslavia for political and military interests.
President Milosevic also explained what happened in Kosovo prior to the NATO aggression, establishing the truth about the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, which was in fact a terrorist organization aiming for the creation of an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo that would later be associated with Albania to create a Greater Albania. The KLA was funded and trained by the West and exercised a murderous regime over Serbs and Albanians in all areas of Kosovo and Metohija where it managed to take over control. President Milosevic also emphasized that the KLA, having been transformed into the Kosovo Protection Corps under the NATO occupation, has continued to complete its campaign of ethnic cleansing of the remainder of the Serb population in Kosovo through outrageous violence under the eyes of the UNMIK administration.
2) The Imposition of Counsel
Before President Milosevic was able to call his first witness, on September 2nd the "trial chamber" made an unprecedented decision, proving the purely political character of the ICTY, by taking away President Milosevic's right to defend himself in person and imposing counsel against his will. Former amici curiae Stephen Kay and Gillian Higgins from the UK were "assigned" as counsel for President Milosevic by the "trial chamber" in order to take full control of the conduct of the Defense case - including the examination of witnesses. President Milosevic's participation in his own "trial" was reduced to the opportunity of asking "additional" questions to witnesses after their examination and only upon permission by the "judges." The argument put forward by the "trial chamber" (as well as by "the Prosecution") was that in conducting his own Defense, Milosevic's health situation would further deteriorate. (No need to note that this was the first time that they ever cared for his health.) The "Prosecution" had already demanded the imposition of counsel long before, for the first time in August 2001. On July 5, 2004, the "trial chamber" for the first time discussed the issue at full length, on the day the defense case was publicly announced to start, and therefore in the presence of the world media. That very day, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited the "tribunal"! Ever since then, the US Foreign Policy establishment engaged heavily in a media campaign focusing on restricting president Milosevic's right to self-defense.
Having pretended hypocritically in the beginning that they wanted to "help" President Milosevic and were concerned about his health situation, the "Prosecution" became more aggressive than ever before in their last oral submission on the subject on September 1, claiming that President Milosevic was "obstructing" the trial by his manner of conduct in court (he is lacking "etiquette") and by "boycotting his medical therapy" so as to render himself unable to take part in the proceedings. (President Milosevic refuted the allegation of having manipulated his medical regime as nonsense and revealed that he observed manipulation with his food that was exchanged with that of another prison inmate - No one reacted to this allegation.)
On September 29, Mr. Kay and Ms. Higgins - only after accepting their assignment and facing the strongest possible opposition from President Milosevic -- issued an appeal against their own imposition before the Tribunal's "Appeal Chamber," pretending to share the position of President Milosevic. But the actual behavior of the "Assigned Counsel" made it clear that they were fully prepared to comply with the illegal decision of the "Trial Chamber" as they immediately began to contact people on President Milosevic's witness list. In the meantime, more than hundred possible witnesses informed the "Assigned Counsel" and the "Trial Chamber" that they were not ready to give evidence unless President Milosevic's right to self-representation were restored. On October 18, Mr. Kay told the court that up to 90 of the witnesses he had tried to contact refused to testify under the prevailing circumstances. Mr. Kay also stated that he had made every effort to convince the witnesses to come to the "Tribunal," and he did not even object to "Presiding Judge" Robinson's announcement that subpoenas be issued on unwilling witnesses, making it clear to everyone that Mr. Kay and Ms. Higgins were fully on the side of the "Tribunal" and its illegal behavior. This is not to mention the bourgeois media, which basically stopped any kind of coverage since the start of the defense case, and did not report a word about this historic witness boycott!
Probably because of the enormous witness boycott and the clear position of President Milosevic not to accept anything less than his right to self-representation, on November 1, 2004 President Milosevic won a partial victory when the "Appeals Chamber" ruled that the modalities of the conduct of the defense case should be changed. President Milosevic would be allowed to conduct his own defense, but "the presence of Assigned Counsel will enable the trial to continue even if Milosevic is temporarily unable to participate." On closer examination, this second part of the "Appeals Chamber's" ruling has to be seen as raising a possibility of an even worse violation of President Milosevic's rights than the original ruling of the Trial Chamber, as it lays the foundations of a trial in absentia.
Mr. Kay and Ms. Higgins undertook several unsuccessful steps in order to be withdrawn from their posts as "Assigned Counsel" before the "Trial Chamber," the Registry and the "Appeals Chamber," obviously in an attempt to appear as victims of the Trial Chambers' decision. The way the imposed counsel present themselves could well be aimed at influencing witnesses in order to prevent another round of boycott in case the imposed counsel take over in absence of President Milosevic. So for many, it appears that Mr. Kay and Ms. Higgins would not voluntarily take part in illegal acts by the Tribunal, but are forced to comply. In reality, they were not forced to act as "Assigned Counsel." The Registry of the Tribunal asked several lawyers whether they would be available to serve in this function as early as in the beginning of August 2004. Among those lawyers was former amicus curiae Branislav Tapuskovic, who stated in an interview with the Serbian daily Blic of August 7, 2004 that he refused to act as President Milosevic's lawyer against his will. In a letter to the ICTY Registry, Mr. Tapuskovic stated: "According to Article 21 (4)(d) of the Statute of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the accused is guaranteed the right TO BE TRIED IN HIS PRESENCE AND TO DEFEND HIMSELF PERSONALLY." In contrast, Mr. Kay and Ms. Higgins expressed their readiness to do the job from the very beginning.
3) Presentation of the Defense Case
Before President Milosevic's right to lead his case was restored, the "Assigned Counsel" called five witnesses from President Milosevic's witness list: Smilja Avramov, a retired law professor and former political adviser from Serbia, James Jatras, former foreign policy advisor for the U.S. Senate Republican Foreign Policy Committee, Roland Keith, a Canadian OSCE commander in Kosovo, journalist Franz Josef Hutsch from Germany, and ICDSM Vice-Chairwoman Liana Kanelli, member of the Greek Parliament.
Mr. Kay's examinations were not in accordance with the defense strategy of President Milosevic, which consists in exposing the "indictment" as not only unfounded, but as an attempt to justify Western aggression against Yugoslavia that cannot be assessed in a legal, but only in a political context. Mr. Kay, on the contrary, dealt with the witnesses as if "client" was facing an ordinary criminal indictment. Apart from his general attitude that is in line with the imperialist ideology the "Tribunal" is based on, Mr. Kay lacks sufficient knowledge about Yugoslavia. This could be best seen during the testimony of Liana Kanelli, when Kay used a map of Belgrade and surroundings to find a town in Southern Serbia. Fortunately, these witnesses managed to present important facts in spite of Mr. Kay's ineffective questioning. Prof. Avramov, who was President Milosevic's advisor from 1991 to 1993, made clear that President Milosevic never had any intention to strive for a "Greater Serbia" or carry out any kind of "ethnic cleansing," but on the contrary tried to preserve a multiethnic Yugoslavia. James Jatras gave evidence on the involvement of the Clinton Administration in arming the Croats and Bosnian Muslims.
Since the November 1 "Appeals Chamber" decision, President Milosevic has been examining his witnesses. The judges have constantly interfered with his way of conducting the examination-in-chief, reprimanding him for allegedly putting "leading questions" to the witnesses, presenting evidence not related to specific charges in the "indictment," not introducing documents in the proper way and other technical matters. It is a fact that the judges almost never applied such strict rules during the Prosecution case. The "Prosecution" frequently objects to the admissibility of documents and opens discussions on "technical" matters at length with the obvious aim of wasting as much time as possible out of the 150 days available for the presentation of the Defense case. During the "Prosecution's" cross-examination of Defense witnesses, President Milosevic often points out incorrect and tendentious translations of Serbian documents and other material. For example, he was able to prove, confirmed by the "Tribunal's" interpreters, that a BBC documentary shown by "Prosecutor" Mr. Nice deliberately mistranslated Serbian speakers.
The "Judges" - especially Ian Bonomy, who replaced the late Richard May without having had time to acquaint himself sufficiently with the foregone proceedings - treat the defense witnesses with obvious disrespect. "Prosecutor" Geoffrey Nice openly insults the witnesses during his cross examination and addresses them in a very aggressive tone, disregarding their age, position or professional merit - contrary to President Milosevic who had treated all Prosecution witnesses in a respectful way.
To date, President Milosevic has called 34 witnesses himself. Renowned intellectuals, historians and scientists, high-ranking politicians from in and outside Yugoslavia testified on the historical, political and legal position of Serbia - explaining the background of the Yugoslav crisis that is completely ignored in the "indictment" - as well as about President Milosevic's personal attitudes and actions during the breakup of Yugoslavia which were always aimed at preventing bloodshed.
Since the end of January 2005, witness testimonies have dealt with Kosovo. They cover the general political situation disadvantaging the Serbs in Kosovo in the 1980s, the terror inflicted by the KLA in the 1990s as well as the NATO aggression of 1999. One of the most important testimonies was given by Dietmar Hartwig, head of the Kosovo observer mission of the European Union (the European counterpart of William Walker). According to Hartwig, Serb police forces did not commit any aggression against civilians, but responded to provocations by the KLA in a "disciplined" way. He described the KLA as a "terrorist organization," and emphasized the clear discrepancy between the reports he sent to Western governments and their public depiction of the events in Kosovo.
In relation to the testimony of Kosovo politician Mitar Balevic, President Milosevic played video footage of the two famous speeches he gave in Kosovo in 1987 and 1989, so everybody could see that they were not nationalistic, but quite the opposite.
An important part of President Milosevic's defense is the establishment of the truth about the notorious Racak incident of January 15, 1999, which has been portrayed as a massacre by Serb police of Albanian civilians. The alleged massacre served as pretext for the NATO aggression and is the only incident in the Kosovo "indictment" that dates from prior to the NATO aggression. President Milosevic called important witnesses who countered the massacre version. Forensic expert Slavisa Dobricanin, who took part in the autopsies of the dead bodies found in Racak, confirmed that most of them had traces of gun powder on their hands. Police investigator Dragan Jasovic presented evidence that 30 of the people killed in Racak were known KLA members. The Racak incident was a police action against KLA terrorists. Danica Marinkovic was the Investigating Judge in charge of the incident. She testified that the head of the OSCE mission William Walker tried to prevent her from visiting the scene on her own account and that her team was fired upon by KLA for two days when trying to approach the scene, whereas the OSCE was able to do so. German journalist Bo Adam's testimony concentrated on Bill Clinton's claim that in Racak unarmed civilians were executed "kneeling in the dirt," which Adam, having conducted his own investigation on the scene, proved to be wrong.
4) First attempt at conducting the trial in absentia
Due to his ill-health, President Milosevic was not allowed to attend his "trial" on April 19, 2005. Presiding "Judge" Robinson ordered that the trial proceed in President Milosevic's absence in spite of all international covenants that forbid trials in absentia and even the "Tribunal's" own statute that states that every accused is entitled to be tried in his presence. Not surprisingly, Robinson based his ruling on the "Appeals Chamber" decision of November 1, 2004.
Mr. Kay was asked to established contact with the next witness, Mr. Dragan Jasovic, in order to prepare his testimony, while the current witness, Serb refugee from Kosovo Kosta Bulatovic was called to be cross examined by Mr. Nice. Mr. Bulatovic refused to answer any questions in the absence of President Milosevic. Thereupon the "Trial Chamber" decided to order him to a "Contempt of Court" hearing the next day.
On April 20, Mr. Kay told the chamber that he had tried to establish contact with Mr. Jasovic without success. The witness refused to meet with him against the will of President Milosevic. It is noteworthy that Mr. Kay tried to visit Mr. Jasovic in his hotel, even after having been told that he did not want to see him. This again shows that Mr. Kay zealously works against the interests of President Milosevic, whom he is allegedly to "defend."
On the same day, the "Trial Chamber" charged Mr. Bulatovic with "contempt of court" because he refused to take part in the illegal attempt to deprive President Milosevic of his basic rights. He was "defended" by the President of the "Association of Defense Counsel" of the "Tribunal," Mr. Stephane Bourgon. On May 13, the "Trial Chamber" found Mr. Bulatovic guilty of "Contempt of Court" and sentenced him to a prison term of four months, suspended for two years due to his ill health. This shameless "sentence" on an old man who stood up against the violation of basic civil rights is without doubt aimed at intimidating future witnesses into not resisting the next attempt to try President Milosevic in absentia.
It is merely a matter of time when the "Trial" Chamber will again create a situation like on April 19. Then, if other witnesses act less courageously than did Kosta Bulatovic, trial in absentia will proceed.
Since May 11, General Obrad Stevanovic has been testifying. As former deputy interior minister of Serbia, he was able to refute the notion that Serbia was a police state when Slobodan Milosevic was President. He also pointed out that all Serbian policemen are obliged to protect the law at all times and must not follow orders which are against the law. This makes the theory of a "Joint Criminal Enterprise" of President Milosevic and others to ethnically cleanse Kosovo and Metohija of non-Serbs, on which the "indictment" relies, inapplicable.
Soon after the summer recess, the Defense is going to start countering the Croatia part of the indictment. ************************************************************* APPENDIX
List of defence witnesses (in reverse order of their appearance)
General Obrad Stevanovic, one of commanders of Serbian police Radovan Paponjak, police colonel Zvonko Gvozdenovic, father of a boy killed in a terrorist attack Dragan Jasovic, police investigator Kosta Bulatovic, former leader of Serbian people in Kosovo Professor Slavisa Dobricanin, forensic expert Danica Marinkovic, investigative judge Gneral Radomir Gojovic, former Chair of Supreme Military Court Barry Lituchy (USA), historian Dietmar Hartwig (Germany), former Head of EU Monitoring Mission in Kosovo Mirko Babic (Macedonia), former member of a medical team in refugee camp Goran Stojcic (Macedonia), former member of a medical team in refugee camp Dobre Aleksovski (Macedonia), former member of a medical team in refugee camp Dr Vukasin Andric, former Secretary of Health in Kosovo Vladislav Jovanovic, former Yugoslav Foreign Minister Bo Adam (Gremany), journalist Mitar Balevic, former leading Serb politician from Kosovo Professor Ratko Markovic, Constitutional Law, former Vice Prime Minister of Serbia Dr Patrick Barriot (France), former member of UN missions to Krajina and Kosovo Eve Crepin (France), former member of UN missions to Krajina and Kosovo Professor Kosta Mihajlovic, Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences Professor Cedomir Popov, Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences Professor Slavenko Terzic, historian Vukasin Jokanovic, former leading Serb politician from Kosovo Yevgeni Primakov (Russia), former Prime Minister General Leonid Ivashov (Russia), former Head of Russian Army International Department Nikolai Rizhkov (Russia), Senator, former Soviet Prime Minister Professor Mihajlo Markovic, Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences Liana Kanelli (Greece), MP, ICDSM Vice-Chair Franz Josef Hutsch (Germany), journalist Roland Keith (Canada), former member of OSCE Mission in Kosovo James Jatras (USA), former US Congress Analyst Professor Smilja Avramov, former President of the Internatinal Law Association
ICDSM Statement on the Contempt Charges Brought Against Kosta Bulatovic and
the Imposition of In Absentia Proceedings Against President Slobodan
21 April 2005
The ICTY has now charged a defense witness for Slobodan Milosevic, Kosta
Bulatovic, with contempt, for refusing to continue testifying in the course
of proceedings-- known as in absentia-- carried out in absence of the
accused, who was kept at the ICTY's detention unit, as he was too ill to
attend the day's proceedings.
First, in violation of basic legal rights, and indeed of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Slobodan Milosevic was denied the
right to represent himself. The Trial Chamber held that he was too ill to
ensure his own representation, and rather than order an adjournment of the
proceedings, or a stay, or a mistrial, or indeed, any other resonable legal
measure routinely employed by legitimate courts around the world, they
instead imposed counsel upon an unwilling accused, counsel who'd previously
acted as parties in the proceedings, a glaring, formal conflict of interest.
The ICTY has now compounded this violation by carrying out in absentia
proceedings, and by bringing criminal charges against a defense witness who
refuses to cooperate with this exceptionally transparent attempt to remove
the accused fromm his own defense, and perhaps to gag him entirely.
It is increasingly clear that the proceedings undertaken by the ICTY
against Slobodan Milosevic are themselves in contempt. In contempt of the
basic rules of International Law and indeed of principles of human decency.
An accused person has the right to represent himself and obviously has a
right to be present for, and participate in, his own trial. To go so far as
to criminally charge a witness who refuses to cooperate with massive
violations of rights guaranteed by international instruments such as the
the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights has brought this
institution to a new low, and threatens the future of International Law.
These contempt proceedings are absolutely illegitimate and can only serve
to set further back the cause of justice and indeed the truth.
These in absentia proceedings appear to be the result of a deliberate
design, and were wholly predictable from the very moment, last summer, that
former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's two previous employees,
David Scheffer and Michael Scharf, publicly lobbied in the International
Herald Tribune and the Washington Post, respectively, for the imposition of
the very measures being carried out today. Mr. Scheffer did not hide his
contempt for internationally recognized basic human rights by demanding
that late Trial Chamber President Richard May "permanently pull in his
well-worn leash" by gagging President Milosevic, then "pumping the
proceedings into his cell". Neither Scheffer nor Scharf, in their public
demands for the gagging of President Milosevic, concealed their view that
the ICTY is a political rather than legal body. They are both architects of
the institution, and therefore they would know. Their lobbying appears to
have been successful and will have devastating effect, as appears to be
their intention, on any future international criminal proceeding. Indeed,
both have made clear at different moments that their intention is to insure
that Saddam Hussein, for example, would not have the right to claim U.S.
aggression against Iraq.
President Milosevic has always maintained his opposition to this body-- as
one that was illegally constituted and is employed to justify aggression
and violate national sovereignty-- as well as his firm undertaking to the
people of Yugoslavia that he would establish that the so-called Balkan wars
were in fact one war - a war against Yugoslavia, carried out in violation
of International Law.
In order to prevent him from doing this, the most fundamental tenets of
criminal procedure and indeed of international law must be further violated
and its future jeopardized.
There is only one positive aspect of these perverse proceedings: they bring
clarity to the situation and make clear once and for all that the ICTY is
not a legal body but instead abuses power that it does not even legally
I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e The Hague Proceedings against Slobodan Milosevic: Emerging Issues in International Law The Hague, 26 February 2005
The idea of international law - in particular international criminal law - is undeniably appealing to jurists and non-lawyers alike, as generations have sought to establish a permanent criminal jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes in the wake of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials. Beyond the prosecution of the crimes that are committed in war, however, the Nuremberg precedent clearly articulates that the supreme international crime is the instigation of a war of aggression. Indeed, the Nuremberg Tribunal held that: "War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." The ICTY, a Security Council institution, does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute the "supreme international crime". Some argue that it in fact legitimizes aggression, which can be exemplified by the serving of an indictment against President Slobodan Milosevic at the height of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, contrary to international law. As the defence phase of the proceedings continue to delve into the destruction of Yugoslavia by Western interests, legal questions emerge which will be discussed in this conference: -The right to self-representation in international and comparative law; -Joint criminal enterprise, tailor-made to convict and a tool of de-nazification -What is "relevant" testimony in a political prosecution? -War crimes prosecutions by the Security Council: justifying aggression, eliminating national sovereignty -Self-determination and self-defense of Yugoslavia under international law -"Equality of arms": what is left after The Hague? -Armed conflict under international law and in the Milosevic case -Effect of media coverage and lobbying on the right to a fair trial -Misuse of genocide charges and trivialization of Nuremberg precedent and Holocaust -Denying the right to defend oneself - stepping on the fundamentals of law -The right to a fair trial in international and comparative law: has it been respected in the Milosevic case? -How can the Hague be judged, and who will judge it?
NovemberBelgrade, 2 November 2004 PRESS RELEASE
By his extraordinary effort, President Milosevic have reached a win for International Law and human rights protection. Important part of his fundamental rights has been restored. The illegal institution which keeps him in illegal detention was forced to do that and to further expose its illegal and political character. The same institution which is now turning, as a consequence of President Milosevic's struggle, from one of the most important tools for colonization of the Balkans, into a burden for its creators. This win should enable the continuation of the victorious struggle he fights for truth about our people, for freedom, equality and national dignity. His effort had the broadest support of the progressive, patriotic and professional public at home and abroad. Over 100 legal experts and lawyers from the whole world, Bar Association of Belgrade and other organizations, groups and individuals stood up in defense of the fundamental rights of President Milosevic. The fact that the political and illegal Hague institution was forced to reverse in part its illegal and criminal decisions, does not mean that the "prosecution", all its Hague assistants and all those who encourage or back them, have gave up from their attempts to imperil the law and even life of President Milosevic by misuse of the procedure and of his health condition.
The ICTY, in violation of its own Statute (Article 21, point 4) imposes a counsel on Slobodan Milosevic
I, Leonid Grigor'evich Ivashov, citizen of the Russian Federation, in response to the invitation of President of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) Slobodan Milosevic, have agreed to testify for his defense in the process before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). I have acted that way in full consciousness, aiming to contribute towards achieving the objectivity and truth on the issues of Europe and FRY in the period 1997-2000. For me, the participation in the Hague process was important due to the following circumstances. First, I was a direct participant of the events considered. Second, I cannot stay away from the fact that the prosecution had as its witnesses several persons who were directly preparing and executing the armed aggression against a sovereign state - the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and who are responsible for killing of hundreds of people and violation of the norms of the International Law. However, the recent decisions of the tribunal have forced me to change my earlier decision. The ICTY, in violation of its own Statute (Article 21, point 4) imposes a counsel on Slobodan Milosevic, who was until then exercising his right to defend himself in person. Among the duties of the imposed counsel are the ones to determine who will appear as defense witness, what will be the character of the testimony and its interpretation. It cannot be considered normal that the counsel imposed against the will of Slobodan Milosevic is a citizen of the country that has been stepping on the norms of the International Law, letter and spirit of the UN Charter and several times performed aggressions against sovereign states, including FR Yugoslavia. In such conditions, when my testimony as a defense witness can be used against Slobodan Milosevic and will not serve the objectivity and adoption of a just ruling, I refuse to take part in the process. At the same time, I confirm my readiness to appear in the process as soon as ICTY creates legally correct and just conditions and respect of norms of the International Law. Head of the Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation 1996-2001, Vice-Chairman of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Doctor of Historical Sciences, general-colonel (in reserve) Leonid Ivashov Moscow, 9 September 2004
Declaration of The Assembly of The WPC Athens, May 6-9, 2004
THE PROSECUTION CASE ENDS ON 19 FEBRUARY 2004.
THE CASE OF PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC SHOULD START IN ONLY THREE MONTHS, ON 19 MAY 2004.
THE COALITION OF CRIME - US/NATO/DOS/ICTY IS ATTEMPTING TO SILENCE PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC, TO SILENCE TRUTH AND FREEDOM.
TURN THE NEXT WEEK INTO A WEEK OF PROTESTS. DEMAND IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC. WRITE TO UN, ICTY, YOUR GOVERNMENT.
ALL RELEVANT INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS ONE CAN FIND AT:
No interest on Serb victims
Markus Bickel, Berliner Zeitung, January 17, 2004
Finnish pathologist Helena Ranta said the work of the Hague tribunal regarding the so-called Racak massacre was incomprehensible. The former head of the forensic team the European Union sent to the Kosovo-Albanian village of Racak in January 1999 to investigate the events there, in a conversation with Berliner Zeitung, criticized the UN tribunal for not following up the evidence that there was heavy fighting between Serb soldiers and the Kosovo-Albanian fighters during the night of January 15-16, 1999 in the Racak-region. Western politicians used the tragedy in the village of Racak, where 40 Albanians died exactely 5 years ago, to prove to the public that the upcoming NATO attack on Yugoslavia was necessary. US diplomat William Walker played the leading role. The chief of the OSCE mission in Kosovo immediately accused the Serbs of having killed 45 unarmed Albanian civilians at close range in Racak. The Serbian side rejected this interpretation und spoke instead about KLA soldiers killed in battle. Pictures not published She knew, that at that time "KLA-fighters were buried around Racak," said Ranta. "At that time I received information that proved that several Serb soldiers had been killed as well. Unfortunately, we will never know the exact number of Serb soldiers that died that night." It would be appropriate "to ask the tribunal why they are not interested in that number." Ranta criticized the indictment against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in the case of Racak for mostly following the Walker version. "When Ambassador Walker said that there was a massacre at Racak, this statement had no legal value. I declared at that time that the OSCE-observers forgot to take all steps necessary to secure a crime scene: isolating the area, refusing admission to all unauthorized persons and colletinig all material evidence. Ranta demanded that in addition to the OSCE pictures the tribunal also use the pictures taken by two additional photographers, shot several hours prior to the arrival of OCSE-observers. The pictures show "that at least one of the bodies was moved afterwards Б?" that body is not seen on OSCE-pictures." Left in the lurch In the days prior to the NATO-attack on Yugoslavia it was clear "that a bunch of governments were interested in a version of Racak that blamed only the Serb side," said Ranta. "But I could not provide this version." Her instructions came from the German diplomat Pauls. The representative of the then-German EU-presidency asked for a written statement. "Afterwards, I had to show these personal statements to William Walker, who was obviously not amused when he read it." Still, she agreed to take part in the important press conference on March 17, 1999. "At that (conference), I was sitting with the German ambassador to Belgrade, Gruber, and a Finnish diplomat on the podium. I hoped that those gentlemen would support me." But that was not the case. "I rather had the feeling that I was left in the lurch," said Ranta. As a result of the Walker dominated press-conference most of the media accepted the version of a Serb massacre of Albanian civilians as proven. A few days later the NATO-airattacks on Yugoslavia began. (Translated from German by C.Schuetz & J.Catalinotto)
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