Hague Tribunal Exonerates Slobodan Milosevic Again

by Andy Wilcoxson, via Strategic Culture

Eleven years after his death, a second trial chamber at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague has concluded that Slobodan Milosevic was not responsible for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More than eleven years after his death, a second trial chamber at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague has concluded that former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was not responsible for war crimes committed in Bosnia where the worst atrocities associated with the break-up of Yugoslavia took place.
Buried in a footnote deep in the fourth volume of the judgment against Bosnian-Serb General Ratko Mladic the judges unanimously conclude that “The evidence received by the trial chamber did not show that Slobodan Milosevic, Jovica Stanisic, Franko Simatovic, Zeljko Raznatovic, or Vojislav Seselj participated in the realization of the common criminal objective” to establish an ethnically-homogenous Bosnian-Serb entity through the commission of crimes alleged in the indictment.[1]
This is an important admission because practically the entire Western press corps and virtually every political leader in every Western country has spent the last 25 years telling us that Slobodan Milosevic was a genocidal monster cut from the same cloth as Adolf Hitler. We were told that he was the “Butcher of the Balkans,” but there was never any evidence to support those accusations. We were lied to in order to justify economic sanctions and NATO military aggression against the people of Serbia – just like they lied to us to justify the Iraq war.
This is the second successive trial chamber at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to conclude that Slobodan Milosevic was not guilty of the most serious crimes he was accused of.
Last year, the Radovan Karadzic trial chamber also concluded that “the Chamber is not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milosevic agreed with the common plan” to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb claimed territory.[2]
The Tribunal has done nothing to publicize these findings despite the fact that Slobodan Milosevic was accused of 66 counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the Tribunal.
Milosevic died in the Tribunal’s custody before the conclusion of his own trial. He was found dead in his cell after suffering a heart attack in the UN Detention Unit two weeks after the Tribunal denied his request for provisional release so that he could have heart surgery that would have saved his life.[3]
Dr. Leo Bokeria, the coronary specialist who would have overseen Milosevic’s treatment at the Bakulev Medical Center, said: “If Milosevic was taken to any specialized Russian hospital, the more so to such a stationary medical institution as ours, he would have been subjected to coronographic examination, two stents would be made, and he would have lived for many long years to come. A person has died in our contemporary epoch, when all the methods to treat him were available and the proposals of our country and the reputation of our medicine were ignored. As a result, they did what they wanted to do.”[4]
Less than 72 hours before his death, Milosevic’s lawyer delivered a letter to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which Milosevic expressed fear that he was being poisoned.[5]
The Tribunal’s inquiry into Milosevic’s death confirmed that Rifampicin (an unprescribed drug that would have compromised the efficacy of his high blood pressure medication) was found in one of his blood tests, but that that he was not informed of the results until months later “because of the difficult legal position in which Dr. Falke (the Tribunal’s chief medical officer) found himself by virtue of the Dutch legal provisions concerning medical confidentiality.”[6]
There are no Dutch legal provisions that prohibit a doctor from telling a patient the result of their own blood test, and U.S. diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks show that the Tribunal had zero regard for medical confidentiality laws when they gave detailed information about Slobodan Milosevic’s health and medical records to personnel at the US embassy in The Hague without his consent.[7]
Milosevic’s trial had been going badly for the prosecution. It was glaringly obvious to any fair-minded observer that he was innocent of the crimes he was accused of. James Bissett, Canada’s former ambassador to Yugoslavia, said Milosevic’s trial “had taken on all the characteristics of a Stalinist show trial.” George Kenny, who manned the U.S. State Department’s Yugoslavia desk, also denounced the Milosevic trial proceedings as “inherently unfair, amounting to little more than a political show trial”.[8]
The trial was a public relations disaster for the Tribunal. Midway through the Prosecution’s case, the London Times published an article smearing Slobodan Milosevic’s wife and lamenting the fact that “One of the ironies of Slobodan’s trial is that it has bolstered his popularity. Hours of airtime, courtesy of the televised trial, have made many Serbs fall in love with him again.”[9]
While the trial enhanced Milosevic’s favorability, it destroyed the Tribunal’s credibility with the Serbian public. The Serbian public had been watching the trial on television, and when the Serbian Human Rights Ministry conducted a public opinion poll three years into the trial it found that “three quarters of Serbian citizens believe that The Hague Tribunal is a political rather than a legal institution.”[10]
Tim Judah, a well-known anti-Milosevic journalist and author, was dismayed as he watched the trial unfold. He wrote that “the trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague is going horribly wrong, turning him in the eyes of the public from a villain charged with war crimes into a Serbian hero.”[11]
By late 2005, Milosevic’s detractors wanted the live broadcasts of the trial yanked off the air because it was not having the political effect that they had hoped it would. Political analyst Daniel Cveticanin wrote, “It seems that the coverage benefits more those it was supposed to expose than the Serbian public. [The] freedom-loving and democratic intentions of the live coverage have not produced [the] planned effects.”[12]
Milosevic’s supporters, on the other hand, were emphatic. They wanted the live broadcasts to continue because they knew he was innocent and they wanted the public to see that for themselves.[13]
Slobodan Milosevic’s exoneration, by the same Tribunal that killed him eleven years ago, is cold comfort for the people of Serbia. The Serbian people endured years of economic sanctions and a NATO bombing campaign against their country because of the unfounded allegations against their president.
Although the Tribunal eventually admitted that it didn’t have evidence against Slobodan Milosevic, its disreputable behavior should make you think twice before accepting any of its other findings.
NOTES:
[1] ICTY, Mladic Judgment, Vol. IV, 22 November 2017, Pg. 2090, Footnote 15357
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/mladic/tjug/en/171122-4of5_1.pdf[2] ICTY, Karadzic Judgment, 24 March 2016, Para. 3460
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/tjug/en/160324_judgement.pdf
[3] ICTY Case No. IT-02-54 Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic, Decision on Assigned Counsel Request for Provisional Release, February 23, 2006
[4] “Milosevic Could Be Saved if He Was Treated in Russia – Bokeria,” Itar-Tass (Russia), March 15, 2006
[5] Text of Slobodan Milosevic’s Letter to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
http://www.slobodan-milosevic.org/news/sm030806.htm
[6] Judge Kevin Parker (Vice-President of the ICTY), Report to the President of the ICTY: Death of Slobodan Milosevic, May 2006; ¶ 31, 76
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/slobodan_milosevic/custom2/en/parkerreport.pdf
[7] U.S. State Dept. Cable #03THEHAGUE2835_a, “ICTY: An Inside Look Into Milosevic’s Health and Support Network”
https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/03THEHAGUE2835_a.html
[8] “Milosevic trial delayed as witnesses refuse to testify,” The Irish Times, September 18, 2004
[9] “Listening to Lady Macbeth,” Sunday Times (London), January 5, 2003
[10] “Public Opinion Firmly Against Hague,” B92 News (Belgrade), August 2, 2004
[11] Tim Judah, “Serbia Backs Milosevic in Trial by TV – Alarm as Former President Gains the Upper Hand in War Crimes Tribunal,” The Observer (London), March 3, 2002
[12] “Debate Opens in Serbia Over Live Coverage of Milosevic War Crimes Trial,” Associated Press Worldstream, September 22, 2005
[13] “Serbian NGO Opposes Decision to Drop Live Broadcast of Milosevic Trial,” BBC Monitoring International Reports, October 8, 2003; Source: FoNet news agency, Belgrade, in Serbian 1300 gmt 8 Oct 03; See Also: “Serbia: Milosevic Sympathisers Protest Inadequate Coverage of Trial,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, June 10, 2002; Source: RTS TV, Belgrade, in Serbo-Croat 1730 gmt 10 Jun 02


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falcemartello
Reader

Gee how this sounds so familiar. Post WWII Nuremberg show trials anyone. How the exceptional west just luv to pin indiscriminate pre-meditated war crimes on every one else but themselves. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan ,Yemen and Syria . Who will be held accountable for those crimes. Hell these vile creatures are still trying to pursue Dr Assad for their fabricated gassing of his own people when the paper trail of arms gas and logistics leads back to the anglo-zionist first then NATO/Pax -Americana. Video footage of the IDF aiding and abetting the Takfiri’s hell their is an article just today from… Read more »

Jimmy
Reader

“has concluded that Slobodan Milosevic was not responsible”
“The evidence received by the trial chamber did not show”
You seem to think that these sentences mean the same thing. They don’t.

Admin
Reader

What do you think the statement does mean? If the “evidence does not show” his guilt, then by what form of magic or intuition do we continue to know he was guilty?

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

I think the paradox for you is that on the one hand you portray the ICTY as a kangaroo court (a position I agree with) then on the other suggest we should accept its ruling as being the final word on Mislovics role in the conflict (a position I disagree with).
Can you clarify, please – do you regard the ITCY as a kangaroo court or credible legal authority?

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

I think the point being made, which seems lost on you, is that despite very good evidence the court was biased against Milosevic and hoped to find him guilty,, it was still unable to do so. Ordinarily this serves to enhance the credibility of the point being made.

Admin
Reader

Sorry, I’m not going to engage any further with a commenter who simply plays with words and dodges any responsibility for factual accuracy. You’re free to take up our bandwidth as long as you like, but you won’t take up any more of my time.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

I have posted what I regard as a credible source claiming horrific sex crimes were committed during the conflict in Bosnia, which you dismiss as ‘unsourced allegations’. This implies either the authors (of a fairly detailed report) or the women themselves lack credibility – pretty disprespectful in my opinion (towards those directly affected). Your response above tells me that you cannot escape an internal logic fail with regard to the credibility of the ICTY – obviously if the ICTY is a ‘kangaroo court’ (which seemed to be the concensus over the last few days) then we must be careful how… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Harry: there is a logic gap in your analysis. The illegal kangaroo tribunal was set up to immortalize the NATO narrative as official history? As so much of this is justified on their characterization of Milosevic: why did they fail to use adjudicated facts and admissable hearsay evidence to frame him as guilty? Because there was no case to answer? The fact it was a kangaroo court makes his double exoneration even MORE credible???

Alan
Reader
Alan

Mr Milosevic didn’t recognise the authority of the ICC therefore any of it’s judgements concerning him are meaningless. The article, to a degree lends credence to what is otherwise a Kangaroo court.

Yonatan
Reader
Yonatan

This is especially damning given the ICTY was designed from the get-go to be a show trial with the prosecution allowed to use 3rd party anecdotal evidence, which the defendants can not challenge. Even with that bias in their favor, they could not fix the result they wanted. Those involved in these malicious prosecutions should face trial.

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

At least the man has been vindicated .It has now been established and confirmed that he was not a genocidal murderer .May he rest in peace and for his family and friends they hold their heads high because he was loved by the people he represented.

tricia484
Reader
tricia484

The death of Milosevic is a win-win, surely?
One less nationalistic tyrant to spread violence and hatred, and the real agenda of NATO exposed by virtue of the kangaroo courts they have been conducting.
Put it this way, if the sinister Serbian leader was still alive I have no doubt Trump would be sending him tweets congratulating him on his hatred of non-christian Bosnians.

mohandeer
Reader

I assume you have never heard the transcripts from his many speeches appealing for reason and the exact opposite of what you claim. Well done for propping up the false narrative now prevalent because of people like you. Must be lovely living in blissful ignorance and smug, sanctimonious claptrap.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

As I see it one the reasons we are all going to hell in a hand cart is because for too long bad leaders have appealed to the base instincts of populations they represent, in this respect territories in the former Yugoslavia were ripe for the emergence of a toxic leaders (because of long standing, and bitter emnities that had been somewhat contained before Tito’s death). The list of bad leaders is very long, and those who fomented civil war in the Balkans have all added their name to the list in my opinion. Milosevic gained power in part because… Read more »

Admin
Reader

You keep returning to the theme that, despite a total lack of evidence produced in court, and even despite a not-guilty verdict, there is still some form of guilt attached to Milosevic, Mladic and others. This may be the case, but if you don’t specify what these guilty actions were your claims can sound like a backstop NATO defence. It would be helpful to understand your position if you could define what you claim Milosevic et al actually did – in concrete terms – to earn these generalised condemnations.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

‘You keep returning to the theme that, despite a total lack of evidence produced in court, and even despite a not-guilty verdict, there is still some form of guilt attached to Milosevic, Mladic and others’ indeed I do, as I would with other war mongers such as Blair, Bush, et al, none of whom have ever been found guilty of anything in a court of law. Or put another way, if a court was convened and Blair (say) was exonerated I would have huge problems coming to terms with the verdict. Post Tito Yugoslavia was driven by ancient grievances toward… Read more »

Kaya3
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Kaya3

FFS Blair and Bush have never been take anywhere near a court of law. If they had they would make Milosvic would look like Santa Claus. Your argument is inane.

kayaboosha
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kayaboosha

Apologies for the apparent grammar errors but I am spitting tacks reading this garbage.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

Any idea why so many of Milosevic’s political opponents ended up dead or shot?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/794259.stm

Admin
Reader

Do we simply believe the BBC? Like every other NATO propaganda outfit it was working 24/7 to demonise Milosevic in 2000. They do the same thing with Putin today but the claims rarely stands up to close analysis. This is not to say the accusation could not possibly be true in this case, but we need very good second sources before we can accept it as fact.
Do we have any?

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

OK forget about the Beebs report of Vuk Draskovic being shot in the head. Surely you can’t dispute the conviction of Nenad Bujosevic and Nenad Ilic for the death of 4 of Draskovic’s aids, killed in a car crash during a previous attempt to take out Draskovic? Cited in ‘The Balkans: A Post-Communist History’ (p299). Analysis has to go beyond NATO = bad – victims of NATO = good. Anyway these things come down to belief – just as I don’t accept the official Kennedy conspiracy theory neither do I accept Milosevic’s opponents were not targets once they refused to… Read more »

Admin
Reader

If you take another look at my previous words you’ll notice I’m not disputing anything. I’m asking for evidence. Because that’s what we like to focus on here as much as possible. When you are dealing with a figure who has been so ferociously demonised it only makes sense to get a good cross section of data from both sides – that’s all. How much of your image of Milosevic as a violent nationalist – which is taken verbatim from western media sources – would be endorsed by those who got their information from non-NATO, pro-Serbian sources? That is a… Read more »

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Harry, you seem to be forgetting he was exonerated. It would make as much sense to hang Kissinger and Blair and maybe they should get their day in court.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Oh those dead might have had something else in common besides their absence from Milosevic’s Christmas card list. I agree completely with the penchant for demonization by the MSM. They need enemies to serve up to their rulers to earn their keep. They are for the most part to journalism as methane gas is to cows.

Admin
Reader

I think you have made it plain that you have no evidence (the PDF you link to is merely unsourced allegation framed as crude propaganda), and are not above using inference and allusion as smear. This is not really respectable, but we have open comments here, so you are free to continue.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

You won’t hear a bad word against racist chest thumpers who lead their country to ghastly sectarian conflicts – fine that’s your perogative. The likes of Milosevic are part of a much wider problem in my opinion; ruthless leaders who instead of uniting the country they are meant to be serving instead sow division and hatred in order to advance military solutions to civil problems (unless you are arguing the war did not happen). We see this stuff all of the time – I’m not saying Milosevic is the worst but in the link I provide on the Mladic thread… Read more »

Admin
Reader

You read the words I wrote, and you choose to pretend I said something else. This is not adding to your credibility. “Racist chest thumpers” are not endorsed here, as you well know. You were called to account for failing to provide any evidence in support of your repeated allegations against Milosevic et al. You still fail to provide any evidence and simply add an extra layer of fact-free smear by inference. It’s what MSM ‘journalists’ do when they have been detailed to discredit person X, but have no dirt at their disposal. They use inference and arguments from alleged… Read more »

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Harry seems to think manipulating the media is a capital offense. It is ubiquitous, indeed a core value of nearly all politicians. So Harry are you saying it is a capital offense if you disagree with the manipulation?

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

No, I am not saying that manipulating the media is a capital offense, I cited control of it as an important clue to Milosevic’s pre-war intentions.
We saw the same sort of thing in the US and UK, pre-Iraq.

Big B
Reader
Big B

Jeez Harry, you still going? The Stalinist kangaroo court acquitted Milosevic not once, but twice. He tried to appease Karadzic, was against Gretater Serbia, condemned ethnic cleansing and tried to stop the war. They couldn’t even get him on the made up charge of “joint criminal enterprise”. Do you not think this is significant? This has to be weighed heavily against the NATO-US diplomatic assertion that the fall of Milosevic was the vindication of ALL the NATO crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. Don’t you think that if they could make the “Beast of Bosnia” denigration stick – they would???… Read more »

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Harry wants to believe the nonsense narrative and debating on matters of faith is not productive.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

If there is a counter narrative to events precipitating the Balkan war(s) or protagonists who orchestrated the conflict I would love to hear it (although if the rest of this thread is anything to go by I am not holding my breath). Perhaps it was all just a terrible misunderstanding and Milosevic was a man of peace who would never manipulate Serbian media to push a nationalist agenda? https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/karadzic/bosnia/media.html And at the risk of repeating myself I have never taken the line that Milosevic was exceptional (just one of a shitty bunch) or that the ICTY process was not flawed… Read more »

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

Hi Big B – thanks for the link. We will just have to agree to disagree on this one. Personally what I feel is completely missing from these threads is the political context which first triggered the killing (I hope its not too disrepectful to suggest people were harmed without supplying evidential proof that has been tested in court). Leaving aside the failings of the ICTY, and the post-war NATO agenda which subverted it, nobody seems particularly interested in how Bosnia, or the other Balkan territories found themselves in such a mess in the first place? In other words I… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Harry: I think we can agree that in the Balkans War(s) unspeakable hell was let loose – with horrific atrocities committed by all parties involved? Blame is not so easy to apportion. The problem with dumbed down oversimplified histories (such as one you posted: which is nothing more than the NATO narrative – the credibility of which has been blown by the ICTY) is that they don’t account for a thousand years of state, ethnic, and religious history – which need to be taken into account, if you want to answer the question ”why”? Over time, there were multiple actors… Read more »

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

Apologies – above comment inadvertently posted from Mrs Stotles account.

Willem
Reader
Willem

Chomsky on Milosovic in 2006 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RjVYrrCz1yE Transcript DM: I want to ask you about some of the present developments that are being used again to fabricate a lot of these issues. Slobodan Milosevic died last month. What is the significance of his death in your view? NC: Milosevic was, he committed many crimes, not a nice person, terrible person, but the charges against him would have never have held up. He was originally indicted on the Kosovo charges. The indictment was issued right in the middle of bombing which already nullifies it. It used British, it admittedly used British and… Read more »

mohandeer
Reader

It was the fact that the NATO Allies did not want the rest of the trial aired that was the reason for having him poisoned and dead.

elenits
Reader

Thanks for that Willem.
As usual Chomsky is talking out of both sides of his mouth…

mohandeer
Reader

@elenits
Noam Chomsky has a habit of sticking his neck out so far and withdrawing before he gets it chopped off. The “rebel” gets cold feet – again. He’s not getting any better with age. His desire to get credit for his trailblazing only takes him so far before he starts backtracking. As a clever man once said, everything after the “but” is bs. Milosevic was not guilty, but………….
🙂

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Except when all before the ‘but’ is BS

Arrby
Reader

Do you say that because you don’t like what he’s saying?

elenits
Reader

Good comment.
Nowadays it is worse than that – worse than a simple smear tsunami (western propaganda).
Nowadays to bolster the funded & created “good guys” (from Black Lives Matter to Macron) you have to also create & fund the “bad guys”. In Europe Jobbik, Golden Dawn….

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

The oligarchy doesn’t only manufacture consent, they manufacture ‘enemies’