The litigation on the case of former Yugoslavian leader Slobodan Milosevic is getting a new development. Chief prosecutor of the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, Carla del Ponte, signed a new indictment against Slobodan Milosevic. He is now being charged with participating in crimes in Croatia during the beginning of the 90s. The ex-president has already been accused of crimes against the humanity in connection with the events in Kosovo in 1999, when the Serbian security forces were struggling with the Albanian militants. The new indictment concerning the war in Croatia during 1991-1995 does not include any articles about genocide. The prosecutors are going to declare that Milosevic committed military crimes during the attempts to set up the so-called Greater Serbia.
He will also be presented with revised charges pertaining to the crimes committed in Kosovo. These charges are based upon new information from the excavations of the grave sites found on the outskirts of Belgrade.
Milosevic totally denies his guilt and calls the litigation a farce. His lawyers are trying to prove that the Hague Tribunal is an illegitimate board, since it was established on decisions made by the 15 members of the Security Council and not by the U.N. General Assembly.
Here, it would be good to cite Milosevic’s first interrogation at the Hague Tribunal:
JUDGE RICHARD MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I see that you're not represented by counsel today. We understand that this is of your own choice. You do have the right, of course, to defend yourself. You also have the right to counsel, and you should consider carefully whether it's in your own best interests not to be represented.
These proceedings will be long and complex, and you may wish to reconsider this position. Under these circumstances, if you wish to have time to reconsider whether you want to have counsel, we would be prepared to give it to you. Do you want some time to consider now whether you wish to be represented?
SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC (in English): I consider this tribunal a false tribunal and the indictments false indictments. It is illegal, being not appointed by U.N. General Assembly. Therefore, I have no need to appoint a counsel to an illegal organ.
JUDGE RICHARD MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you are now before this tribunal, and you're within the jurisdiction of it. You will be tried by the tribunal. You will be accorded the full rights of the accused, according to international law, and the full protections of international law and the statue.
SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC (in Serbo-Croatian): This trial's aim is to produce false justification for the war crimes NATO committed in Yugoslavia.
The biased nature of the Hague Tribunal causes irritation rather than surprise. There is an impression that the court was considering one part of the pending case only. The tribunal judges the crimes committed against the Muslims, as if they were the only aggrieved party. The brutality was equal, both on the part of the Serbs and the Muslims, but the Tribunal, however, does not wish to take this into account.
The sensational statements from one of the attendants of the tribunal, who said their activity was not going to stay within the framework of former Yugoslavia, brings a crooked smile on your face. Most likely, the next target will be Chechnya or Abkhazia.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru