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Former ICTY Lawyer Comments on the Karadzic Verdict

by Christopher C. Black, 20 March, 2019

The following was in response to a Vecernje Novine, Belgrade’s Evening News daily, request for comment.

A Serbian journalist asked me what I thought of this expected judgement two days ago. Here are his questions and my answers to put this travesty in perspective:

Question:  What do you think about the verdict?

Answer:  The same thing I think about all the ICTY “judgements” so called.  They are not worth the paper they are written on.  The ICTY is an illegitimate tribunal.  Its decisions have no valid legal standing. On top of that the Karadzic trial, like all the other trials [held at the ICTY], was a travesty in which the main witnesses against him were NATO officers and “experts” and in which the judges relied heavily on statements of witnesses handed to them by the prosecution without any cross-examination of the people that made the statements; in which there seems to have been no cross-examination of the witnesses on how they came into contact with the prosecutors and how their statements were made; in which the defence is hardly mentioned, so that in effect the defence was almost completely ignored and dismissed if it contradicted the prosecution version of events; in which the judges treated the accused and defence counsel with contempt and in which they violated all accepted standards of fair trials: the right to make full answer and defence, the right to presumption of innocence, the right to cross-examine witnesses, the right to call witnesses, and of course the right not to have hearsay evidence used against the accused.  This was not a trial but a charade, a staged drama, with an outcome scripted in advance by the NATO powers.

Question:  Did you expect this verdict?

Answer:  Yes, of course, how could it be otherwise when this is not a tribunal fixed on rendering justice but is instead just a propaganda organ of NATO, whose role is to make scapegoats of the defeated for NATO’s crimes.

Question:  In Serbia, they hoped that the second-instance verdict would be milder because the attorneys managed to give sufficient evidence to the Trial Panel on the depositor of Radovan Karadzic. They were hoping to be released. What do you think about this?

Answer:  This is to believe in illusions in this case. The ICTY and ICTR have acquitted accused.  They acquitted the general I defended at the Rwanda tribunal.  He was not guilty of any of the charges.  Karadzic is not guilty either, from what I read in the trial judgement.  But guilt or innnocence does not matter to them. The general I defended was acquitted because they wanted to acquit him for political reasons.  Karadzic was convicted, though innocent, for political reasons. These are political trials.  They framed up General Krstic for political reasons but let General Perisic go for political reasons. Same with Sesejl.  These judgments serve their interests.

Question:  Trial Chamber of Ratko Mladic changed whether his second-instance verdict could be milder?

Answer:  I do not understand this question. If you are asking whether the judgement in the Trial Judgement provided any grounds for a milder sentence on the appeal, yes, in fact the trial judgement gave grounds for throwing out the conviction and releasing him or for a retrial because it appears from that judgement that there was no fair trial. The defence appealed on those grounds. In a normal court they should win, but as I say this is not a court in any sense and they do what they want and they do not want to release Karadic because then the NATO narrative about the war falls apart and with it the justification for bombing Serbia.

Question:  You have always been critical of the tribunal of The Hague. What, in your opinion, has been shown by their verdict?

Answer:  Once again the verdict reveals the NATO tribunal, the ICTY to be nothing more or less than a propaganda organ of NATO.

Question:  The Hague Tribunal should start working on a KLA Albanian KLA who committed crimes against Serbs. Do you think that he will be as strict as the Serbs?

Answer:  I am not sure what you are referring to. The ICTY is now closed and its residual functions handed over to the MICT, the Mechanism, and there will be no further trials. If you are referring to the ICC, their jurisdiction goes back to 2003 so crimes committed before that are outside their jurisdiction.

Question:  Europe is talking about a common court for Islamist citizens of European countries who have fought for the Islamic state in Syria and Iraq and are now in prison camps. Whether making such a court does not matter how dangerous these people are without a check to let them walk in Europe.

Answer:  The Europeans, both Muslim and non-Muslims, who fought against the Syrian government were trained and armed by those same countries and the US, etc. Syria holds them as prisoners but does not want them on its hands forever, so we can expect Syria to deport them back to their countries of origin.  If those countries refuse to accept them, then Syria will be left to solve this problem. Whether they are dangerous to Europe is difficult to say.  Canada just took in several hundred of these people, calling themselves
the White Helmets, and the Canadian government sees no problem in taking them in even though Canadians do not like these terrorists being allowed into the country.  But they are allowed in because they served NATO interests just as the KLA serve their interests.

End of answers.

Christopher Black is a Canadian international criminal and human rights lawyer. He was Chair of the Legal Committee for the International Committee for the Defence of Slobodan Milosevic and vice-chair of the overall committee, and was Lead Defence Counsel at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal in the case of General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Chief of Staff, Rwanda Gendarmerie and won his acquittal on all charges in 2014.  He was one of the advisers to President Milosevic until his death in 2006 and also worked on other cases at the Yugoslav and Rwanda tribunals.



  1. The ICTY was created for the sole purpose of “covering up” the crimes of the fascists from NATO, putting the victim of aggression – Yugoslavia – as guilty. Christopher C. Black is absolutely right, ICTY has nothing to do with the court. In general, what was happening in the walls of this “court” is an indelible stain of shame on all Western jurisprudence, as well as on humanitarian/human rights sphere, of which the West is so proud. In fact, this is very sad, because in the West there are many worthy people (in law, in the human rights field etc) who sincerely try to make the world a better place. But unfortunately, the shame of the ICTY “activity” falls on them too.

    It is important to understand that the ICTY is not just a “court”, but a tool through which the West (elites) projects its racist views on the object(s) of its hatred on a national basis. Serbs are not just a nation. This is a nation that Western elites hate. Because the Serbs are Slavs. Because they are very close to Russia, and Russia is very close to them. Seems it would be superfluous to recall the phrase Madeleine Albright once said – “Disgusting Serbs!”…

    What NATO did in 1999 is pure fascism. This is not a figurative expression, and not a “hard word”, spoken in a fit of emotionality. This is pure fascism, in the literal sense of the word. Murder on a national basis. Killing civilians. Intentional destruction of civilian infrastructure. Intentional destruction of the television center (uniquely interpreted by international law as a war crime). The use of depleted uranium, the consequences of which still affect. The destruction of the whole country, its division into parts.

    Review the videos of these bombings. Honestly, I don’t know how this is essentially different from the bombing by Nazi Germany of Stalingrad, or London etc.
    It was the first such military aggression in Europe since the end of the Second World War. Barbarism. Hatred. Fascism.

    Grotesque and essentially absurd sentence to Karadzic (replacing the 73-year-old man a 40-year sentence for life imprisonment!) is nothing more than an attempt by the fascists from NATO to “confirm”/justify their “rightness” – what they did 20 years ago without incurring any punishment for it. The sentence to Karadzic is a spit of NATO fascists in our faces. It is absolutely not accidental that the sentence was announced a few days before the 20th “anniversary” of the bombing of Yugoslavia. NATO fascists knew that appropriate memorable events would be held, films would be released, articles would be written condemning NATO aggression. Karadzic’s sentence is NATO’s response to all of this. Filthy swines sentenced a 73-year old man to life imprisonment, as if to say “Yes, we destroyed this country, we killed people, but we don’t give a damn. Hey Serbs, get a gift from us for the 20th anniversary of the events – a life sentence for a Serb”.

    The trial (“court”) of Karadzic and other Serbian “criminals” is not a trial of them, it is a trial of the Serbs as a people, as a nation. When I think about it, my fists are compressed to the point of crunch from hatred and the desire to physically destroy these swines. Only one thing improves my mood a little – the leadership of the Republika Srpska has established its own commissions to investigate the events in Srebrenica, as well as the mass extermination of Serbs in Muslim Sarajevo. The commission involves independent experts from twelve countries.

    One of the criminals who is tried in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Albanian woman Elfeta Veseli. In 1992, the murderer killed a twelve-year-old Serbian boy Slobodan Stojanovic. His body was found without clothes, with broken front teeth, cut off ear and toes, broken arms, carved deep cruciform wounds on the body. Veseli stopped the torment of her victim, cutting his throat. The murderer freely lived in Switzerland for a long time as a “victim of Serbian aggression”…

    I very much hope that the work of the commissions created by the Republika Srpska will be brought to its logical conclusion. Meanwhile, sleep well, NATO swines, damn bloody fascists. You went unpunished. But your crimes will return on your children, or grandchildren. You know, karma is a bitch.

    • Helmut Taylor says

      Hey, Alf….where d’ya get alla yer info about the Clinton campaign to eviscerate Tito’s legacy, i.e. “Yugoslavia”? What purpose did it serve in the “grand scheme of things”..?
      Lemme know.
      Helmut Taylor.

    • milosevic says

      What NATO did in 1999 is pure fascism. This is not a figurative expression, and not a “hard word”, spoken in a fit of emotionality. This is pure fascism, in the literal sense of the word. Murder on a national basis. Killing civilians. Intentional destruction of civilian infrastructure. Intentional destruction of the television center (uniquely interpreted by international law as a war crime). The use of depleted uranium, the consequences of which still affect. The destruction of the whole country, its division into parts.

  2. Loverat says

    Whatever the scale of guilt of the leaders of the Bosnian Serbian leadership it is diminished by the crimes of western states attacking Former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. These crimes were committed by present and past leaders walking around free posing as liberals and other assorted nutcases making claims such as ‘god, told me to invade Iraq’

    How on earth any member of the pubic can carry on in such ignorance and not demand that these leaders are immediately locked up for the protection of humanity beggars belief and indicates how uncaring and immune our society has become to serial criminals.

    These conflicts have involved war crimes, disregard for international law and human rights, ethnic and religious cleansing, support for terrorism and staging events as a pretext for murder and chaos – and perhaps most of all, recklessly and dishonestly manufacturing conflict with Russia which amounts to treason.

    Quite a list of crimes. Let’s hope we don’t all live to pay for them.

  3. mark says

    This is just a kangaroo court set up by the US and its satellites mainly to try uppity nigg*s from African countries who have failed to comply with Uncle Sam’s orders.
    Fortunately, most African countries have now seen through this and are refusing cooperation. South Africa refused to arrest and hand over the President of Sudan on the grounds that the Court was now a totally discredited piece of garbage.
    The only exception to their “blacks only” rule is Serbia. There were all the usual mountains of lies we saw later with Iraq used to justify the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Like the “genocide of 100,000 Kosovans” and the “Srebrenica massacre.” What happened in the latter case was that Bosnian militia murdered 2,000 Serbs and Serb militia retaliated by murdering 500 Bosnians.
    Of course, Blair and Clinton will never stand trial for the terror bombing of Yugoslavia. Or Blair and Bush for the criminal war of aggression against Iraq. Or Cameron and Sarkozy for the destruction of Libya. Or all the torturers and killers of the US prison gulag.
    Courts are not for the Exceptional and Indispensable People. All other countries should follow the US example and personally target all staff of the Court for retaliation. Good enough for them, good enough for everybody else.

    • Helmut Taylor says

      Going by this contribution, you’se a very well-balanced character, Marky!
      Any hint o’ anti-semitism lurkin’ within?
      Stout fella, you!

      • robert says

        Is it anti-semitic to hint that there may be anti-semitism where there seems to be none by suggesting that it is so well concealed as to be invisible just to trigger a response from anti-anti-semites thereby inviting anti-semitic responses?
        Genuinely puzzled.

      • milosevic says

        hint o’ anti-semitism

        We keep hearing that “anti-zionism is the same thing as anti-semitism”, and it certainly appears that this is the opinion of a very large majority of the semitists. This being so, increasing numbers of people are concluding that being accused of “anti-semitism” is much like being accused of “anti-nazism”, and are declining to deny the charge.

        It seems that this development distresses the legions of sabbat goyim, who may be found across the entire political spectrum, from the far right to the extremely fake left. Perhaps their hysteria results from fear that their well-paid occupation will no longer be seen as respectable.

  4. Archie1954 says

    This is news to me. I didn’t consider the judgements of these tribunals to be political in nature. If the tribunals are not fair and independent then they should be shuttered and the accused released.

    • Helmut Taylor says

      Arch; less do thart! Sad Sack anywhere arannd?

  5. George Cornell says

    Blair, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld?

    • Helmut Taylor says

      Done be silly, John – the guy sez were a NATO tribunal…wone piss on “Tone der Tuner”, will they

    • Maxine Chiu says

      Everybody seems to forget Obama, as much a war criminal as the others.

      • Michael Leigh says

        Perhaps, one day someone will write up the individual criminal acts of the former USA President Hussan Obama ,emphasising his singular murderous criminally by personally murdering persons all over the world, without trial or warrant thereof, and his post criminal smug manner in ” the Hiliary Clinton mode “.

  6. Helmut Taylor says

    Lotta good it done either Milosevic or Karadjic…..bet the pay was good, though.


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