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ICDSM (Spring 2004): Harold Pinter signs the appeal for Milosevic

"The Artists' Appeal for Milosevic", drafted by the Canadian poet Robert
Dickson, was in the spring of 2004 signed by Harold Pinter, Peter Handke,
Alexander Zinoviev, Dimitri Analis, Valentin Rasputin, Rolf Becker and
dozens of artists from many countries.

The appeal can still be read and signed at

The International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic (ICDSM)
congratulates its member, greatest playwright Harold Pinter, for winning the
Nobel Prize for literature, echoing also his sound and sharp criticism of
the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia and his continuous courageous
engagement against tyranny and for freedom of people.


Artists' Appeal for Milosevic

For over two years now, Slobodan Milosevic has been on trial before the
International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia - a Security Council
institution of dubious legality - charged with 66 counts of war crimes,
crimes against humanity and genocide. Over 500,000 pages of documents and
5000 videocassettes have been filed as evidence by the Prosecution. There
have been some 300 trial days. More than 300 witnesses have testified. The
trial transcript is near 33,000 pages. Yet after all this time and effort, t
he Prosecution has failed to present significant or compelling evidence of
any criminal act or intention of President Milosevic.

In fact, it has been revealed that some prosecution witnesses have been
coerced to lie under oath, others have committed perjury. Former NATO
commander Wesley Clark, was allowed, in violation of the principle of an
open trial, to give testimony in private, with Washington able to apply for
removal of any parts of his evidence from the public record they deemed to
be against US interests.

President Milosevic was indicted during the 78 day continuous bombardment of
Yugoslavia by US-led NATO forces, which used cluster bombs and depleted
uranium, attempted to assassinate Milosevic by bombing his residence, killed
thousands of civilians and caused billions of dollars of damage to the
country's infrastructure. This illegal act of undeclared war is in clear
violation of the NATO Charter, the UN Charter, and International Law. Yet
neither Wesley Clark, nor the leaders of NATO countries have been indicted
for the crimes of which Slobodan Milosevic is accused.

The proceedings of the ICTY against Slobodan Milosevic, as a large and
growing number of international jurists has publicly stated, respect neither
the principles nor even the appearance of justice. According to Ramsey
Clark, the former Attorney-General of the United States, "the spectacle of
this huge onslaught by an enormous prosecution support team with vast
resources pitted against a single man, defending himself, cut off from all
effective assistance, his supporters under attack everywhere and his health
slipping away from the constant strain, portrays the essence of unfairness,
of persecution". And now that presiding judge Richard May has resigned his
position for unspecified health reasons, it appears inevitable, the issue
prejudged, that the trial will nevertheless continue, in spite of the
virtual impossibility that a new judge will be able to come to grips with
the mountain of evidence presented so far.

If justice is not just, if prosecution is persecution, if international law
is flouted in order to "enforce international law", we are indeed now living
in the dystopian world of George Orwell's 1984. The neighborhood bully has
decided the world is his back yard. The implications of this egregious use
of "power politics" go beyond the unjust trial of Slobodan Milosevic: the
"new world order" now being implemented is simply inhuman and intolerable.
What can be done to change this cruel and criminal state of affairs?

Let us remember that it was not long ago that 15 million people marched on
the same day in a gesture of international solidarity to say no to the Bush
junta's illegal war on Iraq. Now is the time for another such gesture. For
if this trial continues, the only triumphs will be those of travesty over
justice, power over principle, disinformation over truth. And many feel that
the sum total of these acts constitutes state terrorism perpetrated on a
virtually defenseless country and its legally elected president.

As artists, our work is to broaden our horizons, to become more human and to
share that humanity. And to create. Destruction is intolerable to us. It is
intolerable that courts be used to justify the killing of civilians, the
destruction of a sovereign nation, and the demonization and imprisonment of
that nation's leader. Let us now create a massive demonstration of our
humanity. Now is the time to make ourselves heard loud and clear, once
again, by publicly denouncing this injustice. We urge you to join your
efforts to those of the International Committee for the Defense of Slobodan


ICDSM           Sofia-New York-Moscow  
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
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
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
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.
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?


Belgrade, 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 Assembly of the World Peace Council was successfully held on May 6-9,
2004 in Athens, Greece, with the participation of 134 delegates from 62
Organisations from 47 countries.

After a rich and very fruitful discussion the participants of the Assembly
concluded with the following declaration to the peoples of the world:

The WPC expresses its solidarity with the peoples of Yugoslavia in their
struggle against the consequences of the barbarous NATO aggression, which
led to the occupation of part of Serbian territory, Kossovo, and its
transformation into a NATO protectorate. The so-called Hague Tribunal is one
example of the manipulation of truth and an attempt to legitimize the
aggression and other crimes of the USA and NATO.








January 2004


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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