The first stage of the trial on Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, which was devoted to Kosovo, concluded on September 11. The prosecution failed to bring any important witnesses, and the accused perfectly defended himself and artfully held cross-examinations. Here are reports of Russian news agencies about the case.
Trial on Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who is accused of war crimes in former Yugoslavia, has recommenced in the Hague last week. The first stage of the hearing devoted to Kosovo is already over, the second one is dedicated to Bosnia and Croatia (events of 1991-1995 are to be taken up). Talks about the Milosevic trial have already died away in the West, and criticism in foreign mass media are less harsh on the former Yugoslav president. Observers say, Milosevic produces rather crushing facts, and the opponents have nothing to say to that. The trial on the whole and all charges are too obvious. It is better in this situation not to set up a clamor, and use the trial to demonstrate the world what is to come out of those who disagree with the opinion of the world community (the USA and NATO in particular).
On Friday, Slobodan Milosevic declared that “nationalism of Croatia’s local authorities” that came to power in Zagreb in 1990, was the main cause of the war in Croatia. Rebellions in Croatia’s Serbian enclaves incited continual persecutions and humiliations of Serbs. Croats intended to drive them out of the republic. Serbs were dismissed everywhere, those who disagreed were severely beaten, Serbian settlements were destroyed and plundered, and so on. According to RIA Novosti, Milosevic cited official statements from the Croatia press of that time and official declarations made by Croatia officials.
When neo-fascist Franjo Tudjman came to power in Croatia, record of Serbs as of a national group living on Croatia’s territory was withdrawn from the Constitution at all. There were people who urged to set up special ghetto and resettle Serbs there.
At the trial, Milosevic spoke a lot about the atmosphere of “national hysteria and ethnic hatred” which had been spread by Zagreb. As it turned out, the problem wasn’t at all that Serbs didn’t want to live in Croatia themselves, as the Hague Tribunal says.
BBC quotes Milosevic as saying that the slaughter in Srebrenice in 1995, when thousands of Muslims were killed, had been especially schemed by people intending to satanize Serbs in the eyes of the whole world. The people also needed grounds for a war intervention in Bosnia, “French secret services and government of Bosnian Muslims” actively participated in preparation of this action. The slaughter had been schemed in July 1995, just several days before the events in Srebrenice. Assassins obediently fulfilled the will of customers and committed mass assassinations. Milosevic said: “The information I obtained proves that then-leader of Bosnian Muslims, Alija Izetbegovic used Srebrenice as the means of his personal manipulations and held it in reserve for further political machinations.” He added: “I want the world community to know the truth about that terrible crime.”
It is an open secret that relations between Slobodan Milosevic and leader of Bosnia Serbs Radovan Karadjic were rather complicated at that time. It was even said that Karadjic was going to testify against Milosevic at the trial, the rumors by the way have turned out an unpardonable lie and just another psychological attack at Serbs. However, the ex-president of Yugoslavia hurled no accusations on Karadjic at the trial and denied any blame of Serbian republic President Ratko Mladic for the bloodshed in Bosnia.
Slobodan Milosevic declared: “Radovan Karadjic swore he had known nothing about the events in Srebrenice. I am sure that military honor of Mladic and Krstic wouldn’t let them punish the civil population. The truth is directly opposite to what you are saying. It was Serbian population who were persecuted, threatened and assassinated, who were really in danger.” Milosevic says, the ethnic conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia were incited by the West that aimed at splitting the united Yugoslav state.
The Hague trial is to proceed this week when incumbent Croatia President Stipe Mesic will appear at the hearing. Mesic will be held responsible to Milosevic. Slobodan Milosevic blamed Mesic for inciting Croatian nationalism, as a result of which the Yugoslav republic broke up. Besides, US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, “the initiator of Bosnia peace treaties” concluded on the bones of Bosnian civil population, is also to appear at the trial.