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By Boba Borojevic | Columns | Serbianna.com View
No justice at the ICTY for Serbs
By Boba Borojevic
March 2, 2009

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was founded by the proponents of western intervention in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It was based on the UN Security Council resolution, and some jurists therefore deny its legitimacy. They claim that it should have been founded by the General Assembly and not by the UNSC under Chapter 7 of the Charter. In Serbia’s case, the ICTY embodies a systematic and premeditated manipulation of the judicial process in order to justify political decisions which had been made in advance of the indictments.

Over the years ICTY has been used as a tool of quasi-judicial cover for western intervention. In particular it has been used as a means of collectively branding the Serbs as the guilty party in the various conflicts, primarily in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, but also in Croatia, on the basis of the "joint criminal conspiracy," which allegedly had the objective of creating a Greater Serbia.

Historian and political analysts Dr. Srdja Trifkovic explains in his interview for CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa that this concept of collective responsibility has meant that from the very top, from Slobodan Milosevic downwards, each and every member of the Serbian military, police, or security services was potentially involved and therefore culpable as part of the "joint criminal conspiracy."

“We have witnessed at The Hague a systematic and premeditated manipulation of the judicial process in order to justify political decisions which had been made in advance of the indictments”, said Trifkovic.  “The indictment against former Serbian president Milosevic, for instance, was made public at the heights of NATO bombing of Serbia 10 years ago, and it was retroactively used as a means of justifying the bombing campaign itself.”

The latest ICTY verdict on February 26 shows that no Serb has ever had a fair trial at The Hague.  The Tribunal has found four Serbian generals and deputy prime minister of Yugoslavia guilty of ordering a "systematic campaign of terror and violence" against Kosovo Albanians in the 1990s. Only Former Serbian President Milan Milutinovic was acquitted.

“There's far less to Milutinovic's acquittal than meets the eye. The ICTY has been under some EU pressure in recent months (prompted by the need to keep pressure on Belgrade over Mladic) to assert its "even-handedness" by deviating from its standard practice of giving slap-on-the-wrist sentences to such blatant butchers like Nasir Oric, war criminal-extraordinaire and the wartime commander of the Srebrenica Muslim garrison, or  Rasim Delic, the chief of staff of the Bosnian Muslim Army; not to mention the shameful acquittal of Ramush Haradinai, one of the most notorious  KLA commanders in Kosovo,” Trifkovic reiterated.

The ICTY let Milutinovic go, but his 5 other co-defendants got 15-22 yrs, including the great and good Gen. Sreten Lazarevic.

“Particularly unjust is the sentence passed on Gen. Lazarevic,” Trifkovic said, “who was a true soldier. If he was guilty of anything, he was 'guilty' of removing civilians from the zones of military operations in the same way as, for example, the US field commanders routinely removed Vietnamese civilian population from the areas of intense fighting. In The Hague narrative, things that would be considered normal and matter-of-course military necessity when carried out by US field commanders -- whether in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan -- are regarded uniquely culpable and even criminal when some Serbs are at involved. The collective Serb guilt has been reiterated, while at the same time Milutinovic's release supposedly proves ICTY's ‘impartiality’", concluded Trifkovic.
 
 


Boba Borojevic
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borojevic@serbianna.com

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