Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Milosevic – his gradual, prolonged and protracted murder

Callous irresponsibility of the International Penal Court amounts to wanton murder and a gradual and purposeful process of torture, which eventually cost Slobodan Milosevic his life.

The International Penal Court at The Hague is in serious trouble, having breached international law on the human rights of prisoners and the legally afforded processes for sick persons in its control. However, in today’s world, where rules and conventions and agreements and laws and charters can be broken capriciously, where any common rules of decency from yesteryear are swept away by a clique of elitist barons who pull the world’s economic strings, what to expect?

What to expect from a “Court” whose chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, stated publicly that Slobodan Milosevic was guilty before the case had even started? What to expect from a “Court” which held Slobodan Milosevic in a state of illegal imprisonment after he had been kidnapped against the laws of Serbia and Yugoslavia ?

What to expect from a “Court” which denied Slobodan Milosevic the right to conditions and treatment which would have saved his life? Denying him this right is tantamount to protracted torture and eventually, murder.

The law
At the First UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders, Annex 1A, Rule 22(2) it is stated that “Sick prisoners who require specialist treatment shall be transferred to specialised institutions or to civil hospitals”.

The case
Nico Varkevisser, the Vice President of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, applied to the IPC for “the specialised medical care he requires (and)…an additional adjournment for the complete recovery of the defendant”. This was on 5th November, 2002.

The reason was because Slobodan Milosevic was physically at risk, suffering from chronic malignant hypertension and angina pectoris, as pronounced by a council of medical experts, conditions made worse by stress. The condition is so serious that untreated, 75% of patients die within one year.

Yet what conditions did the IPC apportion to him?

He was forced to opt between taking a breath of fresh air or eating a sandwich in the basement for nourishment;

The chief prosecutor had years to prepare her case, giving her an unfair advantage since Mr. Milosevic had far less time to prepare and present his defence even though the Statute of the Tribunal provides for adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the defence. Mr. Milosevic was not apportioned these (she callously stuck over 100.000 pages of documents and 600 video cassettes before Milosevic for him to defend himself);

Slobodan Milosevic was pursuing his fundamental right under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights to defend himself, yet the IPC did not give him equal conditions under fair legal practice to do so;

The IPC Unit did not provide an adequate custodial setting for Slobodan Milosevic to conduct his defence fairly and worse than this, provided a stimulus for an increase in dangerous levels of stress, since the conditions were not consistent with what would be reasonably expected for an adequate defence at such a massive trial, at which he was fighting alone against massive resources which he did not have and which he was denied;

The IPC was aware of this since both Mr. Milosevic’s personal physician, Zdravko Mijailovic, MD, PhD and other medical experts had warned the authorities as to the precarious and dangerous state of health suffered by the defendant;

Mr. Milosevic was not allowed to travel to Russia for specialised medical treatment which would have saved his life.

Mr. Milosevic’s last message

Mr. Milosevic’s last written message was delivered to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 8th March. It was a request for help. In the letter he claims:

“I think that the persistence, with which the medical treatment in Russia was denied, in the first place is motivated by the fear that through careful examination it would be discovered, that there were active, wilful steps taken, to destroy my health…”

“On January 12th (i.e. two months ago) an extremely strong drug was found in my blood, which is used, as they themselves say, for the treatment of tuberculosis and leprosy, although I never used any kind of antibiotic during this five years that I’m in their prison”.

Why did it take two months to report this? Why was it kept a secret? Who treated Mr. Milosevic with this drug (which we now discover was to counter the effects of his treatment)?

In his last letter, Mr. Milosevic spoke of “those who have an interest to silence me”.

Whether or not they managed to silence Mr. Milosevic depends on the members of the international community, those who defend the state of law, those who believe in justice and fairness and those who stand for a world ruled by right and reason, not bullying, belligerence and the bullet.

The death of Slobodan Milosevic was part of the cabal which has seen criminal actions of state terrorism become the norm, along with a callous disregard for common decency and human rights, based upon a unilateralist Anglo-Saxon Alliance of self-righteousness and sheer arrogance.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

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