ICTY Stanisic and Simatovic Retrial – Serbia’s Involvement On Agenda For War Crimes Against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Serb war crimes suspects:
Jovica Stanisic (L)
Franko Simatovic (R)

 

Two former secret police chiefs – Jovica Stanisic, the former head of Serbia’s state security, and Franko Simatovic, his deputy, once held to be among the most powerful men in Serbia, went on trial Tuesday 13 June 2017 at The Hague ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) for the second time, accused of running a lethal network of covert operations during the 1992-95 conflict in which Serbia wanted to prevent the break-up of Yugoslavia despite the fact that majority of people in states that made up Yugoslavia, except Serbia, voted to secede from communist Yugoslavia.

The ICTY prosecutors hold that the operations were intended to impose as well as conceal the wartime policies of Slobodan Milosevic, the then Serbian president. The policies that with their intent could perhaps be captured in a sentence uttered by Milosevic in 1989: “Either Serbia will be united or there will be no Serbia!” With this non-Serbs across former Yugoslavia began to tremble.

Stanisic and Simatovic were acquitted of similar charges to those in paragraph above in 2013 after a three-year trial at the ICTY in The Hague. The acquittals shocked legal experts, victims’ families and survivors of the wars of Serb aggression in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The wars of Serb aggression in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during early 1990’s meant that special combat units of the Serbian secret police directed Serb paramilitary forces who burned churches and mosques and killed masses and raped civilians in village after village to drive out non-Serbs (Croats and Bosniaks and other non-Serbs). These special combat units often went into action ahead of or alongside Serb military units.

With regards to the 2013 acquittal the ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in an interview: “Take for example, the most recent decisions on Stanisic and Simatovic. That victims cannot be satisfied with this decision is obvious. The judges on one hand have confirmed that Stanisic and Simatovic, as responsible for the Serbian intelligence service in Belgrade during the wartime, were the ones creating those special units (Serb paramilitary groups responsible for atrocities in Bosnia and Croatia), that they were the ones supporting financially those units, and that they de facto also were the ones who had a certain control of those units. To have as a conclusion that they were acquitted because they have not specifically directed their support to a commission of crimes is, of course, a notion very difficult for victims to understand. And even at my office, we considered it as a break from the previous jurisprudence where it was sufficient to prove that somebody who was providing substantial support to a party in the conflict had actual knowledge about the commission of crimes by those groups.”

In late 2015, ICTY appeals judges ruled that they had found legal and factual errors in the first trial.

While the judges in the Trial chamber ruled that the defendants had issued no “specific direction” to commit crimes, the appeals judges said no such proof was required to prove a criminal conspiracy or the aiding and abetting of crimes. Given that two of the three original judges had left the chamber, the case could not be sent back the appeals judges issued a decision that not only overturned what had been established by the Trial Chamber back in 2013, but also ordered that Stanisic and Simatovic be retried.

This was/is particularly good news as there has been a consistent, propaganda calibre of an alarming rise of zeal among Serbian nationalist groups, politicians and other public-figure individuals who are rewriting the history of the conflicts in Croatia and Bosia and Herzegovina, denying that Serbs committed any war crimes, pushing the agenda of Serb victimhood including falsely branding the voluntary withdrawal from Croatia of some 200,000 Serbs after Croatia’s liberating military operation Storm in August 1995 as forced deportations and ethnic cleansing, banning references to the conflict from schoolbooks and glorifying convicted war criminals.

ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz, the tribunal’s chief prosecutor, told the Security Council on June 7, 2017,  that despite the large body of evidence proven in “case after case,” the denials and the refusal to accept facts, even by government officials, were “loud and clear.” (For Full address click here

Genocide is denied. Ethnic cleansing is denied,” he said.

When irresponsible officials use division, discrimination and hate to secure power, conflict and atrocities can gain a logic of their own,” Brammertz said. “That was true two decades ago when genocide and ethnic cleansing began, and it remains true today.”

On the first day of the new trial on Tuesday 13 June 2017, Douglas Stringer, a prosecutor, portrayed the two former Serbia secret police chiefs, Stanisic and Simatovic, as close to Slbodan Milosevic, who had himself gained control of the institutions and agencies of the federal government of what was then Yugoslavia.

Milosevic entrusted the two men with all the critical aspects of secret police activities leading up to and during the wars, Stringer said

The men set up clandestine training camps for paramilitary fighters and acted as chief organizers, paymasters and suppliers for those units, he said. The paramilitaries, some of whom were convicts, became notorious for their brutality and, according to ICTY prosecutor Stringer, “looted on an industrial scale.”

Far from spontaneous, the prosecutor said, the Serbian state security at first placed their operatives in positions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia that were scheduled for “ethnic cleansing.” He said these operatives were known as “doublehatters,” at once linked to the Belgrade government and also key players locally who relayed orders to the paramilitaries. All the activities “were covert to conceal the hand of Milosevic,” Stringer said.

The fate of Stanisic and Simatovic will be crucial in legally determining the role of the Serbian state in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina that killed more than 130,000 people. After two decades of trials at the tribunal in The Hague, no officials of the Belgrade wartime government are serving sentences, only Bosnians and Croats. Should Stanisic and Simatović be found guilty in the retrial, a connection between the Serbian political cadres and the crimes committed in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina would be established, legally sanctioning the direct involvement of the Serbian state in the 1990’s wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Slobodan Milosevic, considered the war’s main architect, was facing a list of charges, including genocide, when he died in a tribunal cell in 2006 shortly before the end of his trial. His chief of staff, Gen. Momcilo Perisic, was convicted and sentenced to 27 years for aiding and abetting war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the verdict was overturned on appeal in 2013 because no “specific direction” to commit crimes had been proved. That ruling also led to disagreements among legal scholars and judges. ICTY is expected to deliver a verdict for Gen. Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military chief, in November 2017. Ina Vukic

Vojislav Seselj Case: UN Criminal Tribunal Delivers Great Victory For Violent Lunatics Everywhere

ICTY Trial Chamber 31 March 2016 Delivering Judgment in Vojislav Seselj Case PHOTO: Screenhot ICTY.org

ICTY Trial Chamber
31 March 2016
Delivering Judgment in Vojislav Seselj Case
PHOTO: Screenhot ICTY.org

 

Travesty of justice and biased blindness to facts

Despite the fact that the Serbian ultra-nationalist pusher of a land-grabbing-by-any-means Greater Serbia, Vojislav Seselj, sowed and incited hatred against Croats and Muslims (Bosniaks) in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during early 1990’s, recruited Serb Chetnik, utterly cruel and barbaric, bloodthirsty militia in Croatia, that culminated in a long, brutal war of genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, rape, concentration camps, pillage… the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague pronounced him Thursday 31 March 2016 innocent of all charges. The majority of judges, Judge Lattanzi dissenting, concluded “that the objective of the creation of Greater Serbia was more of a political venture than a criminal project… that crimes had been committed by Serbian forces in the process, but that they were not inherently linked to the fulfilment of the purpose of Greater Serbia…”

Vojislav Seselj Photo: N1

Vojislav Seselj
Photo: N1

Two out of three judges (Judge Jean-Claude Antonetti, Judge Mandiaye Niang) – Judge Flavia Lattanzi dissenting -dared to conclude the above  knowing the facts that Seselj acted in times of Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia that called upon ethnic cleansing and creation of ethnically pure regions of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; knowing that it was Seselj who shouted in 1991 to Serbs picking up weapons to attack Croatia that “no Ustasha can leave Vukovar alive…” (calling all Croats Ustasha – a WWII political independence movement in Croatia); knowing that only one week before the same Tribunal (ICTY) convicted Serb Radovan Karadzic, the wartime leader of the Bosnian Serbs, to 40 years imprisonment on charges of murder, extermination and genocide (based on same Greater Serbia “political venture”)!
Furthermore, the majority judgment argues that Seselj’s men might have been present in contested regions (regions of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), not to force Bosniak Muslims and Croats out of areas claimed for a Greater Serbia, but on “humanitarian grounds”. So, his calls for murder, extermination and ethnic cleansing (acted upon by his men) were simply a means of “galvanising Serb forces”.

 

Can you believe this travesty of justice and blindness to facts!?

 

His men followed his calls – murdered, raped, forcefully deported, imprisoned, humiliated, plundered…and that was “OK” according to the two judges because it was a political venture! It was “galvanizing” the political venture!

 

The “political venture” ICTY Trial Chamber shamefully endorses

As a reminder, the indictment against Seselj included “the participation in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE). The aim of the JCE was for the permanent forcible removal of a majority of the Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb civilian populations from parts of Croatia, BiH and from the province of Vojvodina in the Republic of Serbia. Acting alone and in concert with other members of the JCE, Šešelj is alleged to have participated in the recruitment, formation, financing, supply, support and direction of Serbian volunteers connected to the SRS and/or Serbian Chetnik Movement. He is also accused of having participated in the planning and preparation of the take-over of towns and villages in Croatia and in a number of municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and the subsequent forcible removal of the majority of the non-Serb population from those areas. In addition, he stands accused of having recruited Serbian volunteers connected to the SRS and indoctrinated them with his extreme ethnic rhetoric so that they engaged in the forcible removal of the non-Serb population in the targeted territories through the commission of crimes as specified in the indictment, with particular violence and brutality.

Finally, the indictment states that, in his inflammatory speeches, he instigated Serb forces to commit crimes, encouraged the creation of a homogeneous “Greater Serbia” by violence, and thereby participated in war propaganda and incitement of hatred towards non-Serb people…”

Vojislav Seselj early 1990's inciting to murder and ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Vojislav Seselj
early 1990’s inciting to
murder and ethnic cleansing
in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

The crimes he was indicted for, he incited and called for, did actually occur and include:
• the deportation or forcible transfer of tens of thousands of Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb civilians from large areas in BiH, Croatia and Serbia (Croats living in Serbia/Vojvodina region in particular and Muslims in Kosovo region;
• the murder of many Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb civilians, including women and elderly persons, as well as the deliberate destruction of homes, other public and private property, cultural institutions, historic monuments and sacred sites of the Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb civilian populations in the municipality of Vukovar in Croatia, and in the municipalities of Zvornik, “Greater Sarajevo”, Mostar and Nevesinje in BiH;
• the torture, beating, robbery, sexual assaults, and perpetuation of inhumane living conditions against Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb civilians by Serb soldiers during capture and in the detention facilities;
• the direct and public denigration through “hate speech” of the Croat, Muslim aand other non-Serb populations in Vukovar Zvornik and Hrtkovci on the basis of their ethnicities

 

Would Adolf Hitler be acquitted?

This acquittal of Seselj of all charges, not even mentioning complicity and accessory to crimes, does cause one to conclude (as a colleague blogger Vladimir Lusic did) that (using this ICTY judgment as a precedent) Adolf Hitler would be found innocent of all charges also. Hitler also delivered loud and strong political speeches, talked about the greatness of the Third Reich, decided which ethnic group should live and which should die in the name of the Third Reich, held a gun at his waist from time to time…just like Seselj! Only Seselj didn’t have the Third Reich – for him it was Greater Serbia.
Evidence has it that Seselj did much more than engage in politics. His militia was widely feared as murderers, rapists and looters. In the Croatian war in 1991, Seselj said his men had used a rusty spoon to scoop out the eyes of their enemies, though he later claimed this was black humour.
When they marched into Vukovar in 1991, intent on murdering as many Croats as they could Seselj’s militia sang: “Slobo, Slobo, send us some salad, there will be meat we will slaughter the Croats” (Slobo meaning Slobodan Milosevic). And sure enough by 18 November 1991 Vukovar was ethnically cleansed of Croats and other non-Serbs and hundreds perished in genocidal mass murders – other places in Croatia and BiH soon suffered the same destinies.

 

And remember: all Croatia wanted to do was to secede from communist Yugoslavia!

1991 - Vojislav Seselj and Dragan Vasiljkovic lead the way to mass murder and ethnic cleansing in Croatia

1991 – Vojislav Seselj and
Dragan Vasiljkovic
lead the way to mass murder and ethnic cleansing in Croatia

Wide and serious worldwide ramifications for international justice

It’s not far fetched to say that the ICTY judges’ (who delivered such a judgment) reasoning will have wide and serious ramifications for the international justice. Such a judgment endorses all political “ventures” even those that incite hatred and mass murder and genocide… Will the coalition of allies dare to fight against IS in the Middle East from now on, for example?
The verdict already encourages nationalist Serbs to argue that their side did nothing wrong in the war. Jubilation in the streets of Belgrade and elsewhere has been ecstatic – the Serbs sentenced at The Hague so far for crimes against humanity, war crimes … do not seem to matter now! Serbian Republic political entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina, created on genocide for which Karadzic received 40 years imprisonment last week is now just about pronounced acceptable part of Greater Serbia! The arguments brought down by the majority judges at the ICTY in Seselj’s case will, without doubt, be matched by all political ventures throughout the world, no matter what gruesome destinies and sufferings they bring to innocent people.

 

The arguments have dumped the right to self-determination of every nation into the garbage bin.

Even if the ICTY Prosecutor, under Serge Brammertz, may have done a very sloppy job in Seselj’s case during and before the trial, as the judges might suggest, and this sloppiness may have been purposeful, the judgment is still outrageous and shocking. Let’s hope Brammertz’s team do some serious work on identifying grounds for an appeal against this judgment and if it doesn’t then Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina governments need to find those grounds, quick smart.

 

As Luka Misetic, US based attorney who represented Croatian General Ante Gotovina at the ICTY, reminds us: “There is little doubt about Seselj’s role in Joint Criminal Enterprise to create Greater Serbia by means of displacement of the non-Serb civilian population. This was already confirmed by the Trial Chamber in the Martic Judgment (Milan Maric, 2007, PDF), which at paragraph 446 found: ‘The Trial Chamber therefore finds that at least Blagoje Adzic, Milan Babic, Radmilo Bogdanovic,Veljko Kadijevic, Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milosevic, Ratko Mladic, Vojislav Seselj, Franko ‘Frenki’ Simatovic, Jovica Stanisic, and Captain Dragan Vasiljkovic participated in the furtherance of the above-mentioned common criminal purpose.’”
One finds it difficult to accept that the two out of three judges who delivered an exonerating verdict for Seselj seemingly decided to ignore the previous findings of its own Tribunal on the matter and is getting away with it.

In the Twitter words of Eric Gordy, a London based sociologist and reportedly very knowledgeable about war crimes in the Balkans, the Seselj verdict is “a great victory for bloated, violent lunatics everywhere.” Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A. Ps. (Syd)

Croatian President-Elect Calls Upon UN As “Watchdog” Of Peace To Consider Action On ICTY Decision

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic President-elect of Croatia Inset: Vojislav Seselj, indicted war criminal

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
President-elect of Croatia
Inset: Vojislav Seselj, indicted war criminal

Ever since indicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj was released from the International Criminal Tribunal/ICTY last November on account of his reported terminal illness, pending judgment, his public appearances in Serbia, filled with ethnic hatred, keep raising unrest and fear.

In early December 2014, the ICTY prosecution filed a motion seeking that Seselj’s temporary release be revoked, after it had allowed the time for an appeal of the decision to release Seselj lapse!
Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in the motion that the court’s “trust in Seselj’s conduct was without foundation”.
He has clearly demonstrated that his health condition is no barrier to making unacceptable public statements that are inflammatory and insulting to victim communities. He has also made public statements that call into question the trial chamber’s assessment of the extremity of his health situation,” said Brammertz.
The European parliament had at the end of November 2014 adopted a resolution urging the Tribunal to rethink its decision to temporarily release Seselj.
The European parliament strongly condemns Seselj’s warmongering, incitement to hatred and encouragement of territorial claims and his attempts to derail Serbia from its European path,” said the resolution adopted by lawmakers in Strasbourg.
Croatia had also condemned his release and called for him to be returned to The Hague.
But, the ICTY Trial chamber had on 13 January 2015 ruled against the motion filed by the prosecution and ruled against putting Seselj back into detention, saying that he had not breached the terms of his conditional release (not to have contact with victims or to try and influence them, not to obstruct the course of justice, to appear before the Chambers when ordered).
Seselj’s vulgar and offensive behaviour aimed at victims of war crimes in Croatia, his threats to pursue the aims of Greater Serbia – i.e. expanding Serbia into neighbouring countries of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as has been the terrible attempt during the 1990’s terror and war of aggression, ethnic cleansing and genocide, in which it is alleged in ICTY indictment he took active part, continues from the streets of Serbia.

But there is new hope on the horizon that may put Seselj in check and disarm him from disturbing the peace, causing unrest and faring up hatred.
Croatia’s President-elect Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic wrote a letter to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in which she urged the cancellation of Seselj’s temporary release for cancer treatment and a quick verdict in his trial in case he dies before being judged by the UN-backed court.

Grabar Kitarovic said that although the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, is an independent judicial body, the UN should intervene because the court’s purpose – to “contribute to the restoration and maintenance of peace” – was being undermined.
She said that she feared that Serbian Radical Party leader Seselj could evade justice by dying before the final verdict, like former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who died in 2006 while standing trial in The Hague.
Victims of war crimes “deserve to hear the judgment of the ICTY condemning Mr. Seselj’s criminal conduct”, she said.
This is the 13th year of Seselj’s case before the ICTY.
As can be expected Grabar-Kitarovic’s letter to the UN regarding Seselj and the ICTY gave rise to many reactions in the media and all of them as far as I can see keep saying that ICTY is independent and UN Security Council, or anyone, cannot interfere or try and influence its decisions, that the letter should not have been sent to the UN. Even Croatia’s hopeless foreign affairs minister Vesna Pusic said that the letter to UN means nothing as “everything that could have been done by Croatia has been done,” she said.

But that is not true.

 

Everything that could have been done by Croatia was not done and it took a new president-elect to go that step further to the UN, the authority to which ICTY answers.

 

All the reactions to Grabar-Kitarovic’s letter to the UN that see no benefit or use in it are in fact the reactions of those who seem to lack in the knowledge of the full justice process and avenues. They fail to see that Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic actually took the only right and proper step by writing to the UN, where the Security Council to which the ICTY answers, is actually akin a judicial authority that looks into the judgments and the work of judges upon complaints being lodged. And if Grabar-Kitarovic letter can be seen as a complaint and/or an expression of concern that touches the very foundation which the ICTY was set up to protect – restoration and maintenance of peace – then UN Security Council has a duty to address this. Independence of courts does not mean independence from the authority set up to ensure that the independent tribunals actually do their job properly and with regard to maintaining the standards of peace they were set up to maintain.
In Western democracies, where courts are independent, we are used to bodies such as Judicial Commissions whose role and authority includes examination and investigation of complaints against judicial officers. I would think that in some way the UN Security Council would fulfill a similar role towards judges of the ICTY and much more along the lines of ensuring that the court is maintaining the non-negotiable standards of ensuring peace maintenance and restoration. If a court takes more than 13 years to deliver its verdict, if a court releases the accused prior to judgment due to illness, if a court does not impose release conditions that include “a ban from offensive behaviour towards the victims associated with the case”, if a court has forgotten its duty to maintain peace … if all these and more amount to a genuine concern for peace, then UN Security Council does not in my opinion have a choice but to intervene with view to weighing the judges’ decisions within the context they are expected to deliver – peace, not aggravation of peace . It’s such a joy to see that Croatia is finally getting a world-class leader in Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic who knows how to address concerns and has the courage to address them in more ways than one in pursuit of justice for the victims. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Madman On The Loose In Serbia Threatens Peace And Human Dignity

Vojislav Seselj, indicted war criminal awaiting ICTY verdict

Vojislav Seselj,
indicted war criminal
awaiting ICTY verdict

 

Vojislav Seselj’s return to Serbia (after being temporarily released from war crimes tribunal in the Hague on account of advanced illness and pending judgment) happened just days before the 23rd anniversary of the fall of Vukovar (18 November), which is a very important date for the Croats and which evidences untold atrocities committed in the early 1990’s against Croats and other non-Serbs in Croatia at the directive and under Seselj’s or Serbian Radical Party’s directives (whose members at the time also included the current Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic).

A master at rubbing salt into the wounds and enjoying it, as on 18 November Croatia mourned and remembered its dead, its raped, its devastated lives from Serb aggression, Seselj tauntingly published from Belgrade headquarters a statement in which he congratulated the Serb chetniks on their liberation from Croats of Vukovar on 18 November 1991! (He reportedly also sent such a press release to the Croatian media). For Seselj, for Greater Serbia ideology occupation, murder, rape, ethnic cleansing means – liberation! Furthermore, in the same statement Seselj and his Serbian Radical Party vowed to pursue with their aim in ensuring that the territory they had occupied in Croatia in 1990’s, which was then liberated by Croat forces in 1995, becomes Serb territory again.

 

Croatia reacted with horror to these statements by Seselj, but the Serbian government remained quiet. Seselj’s excesses have also unleashed a hailstorm of criticism against the ICTY, with detractors saying Seselj’s release deals a serious setback to the court’s mandate to promote post-war reconciliation.
To “correct” the lack of Serbian government’s reaction to Seselj’s hateful and violent public rhetoric, its foreign minister Ivica Dacic has come out saying that there is no need to react to Seselj for Seselj is not a political factor in Serbian government. Oh dear, he may not be, but he is certainly raising hell in Serbia and abroad!
As suggested by my previous post on the issue of Seselj’s temporary release from prison, there are many disquieting questions to be answered as to why the war crimes tribunal would release its prisoner pending judgment to receive medical treatment in their own country, far away from the court and far away the capacity of being able to monitor such treatment. As if to provoke outrage, numerous exceptions were made for Seselj’s case. The Office of the Prosecutor, run by Serge Brammertz, did not participate in the deliberations for temporary release. And the final order, published on November 6, stipulates only that Seselj should refrain from witness and victim intimidation and return promptly to The Hague when summoned. No restraints were put on Seselj in terms of political activity. The trial chamber also took the unusual step of circumventing a final consultation with Seselj that would allow him to accept or deny the terms of his release. Nor is it clear the trial chamber received detailed information about the state of Seselj’s health.
The November 6 ICTY court order approving Seselj’s release notes only that the judges had “received additional confidential information that points to a deterioration in the accused’s health.” The dissenting opinion in the matter by Judge Mandiaye Niang (PDF) describes Seselj as “gravely ill,” adding, “We know this despite his refusal to allow his medical file to be disclosed officially.”

If you, the fair and just minded reader, are confused and enraged at this point, know that you are experiencing an outrage at the lack of justice in this matter, at the lack of consideration for the victims of the brutal crimes committed against Croats under Seselj’s tutelage and orders. The courts that the just world has known to this point require expert evidence in cases of ill-health claims. In this case, Seselj has refused to disclose health records to the court and the court released him anyway! What calamity for human kind!

So far, Seselj has yet to show any overt signs of serious health setbacks. Indeed he appears as strong as an Ox and his voice is full of strength and energy; he emanates a dynamic stature and drive, he refuses to undertake medical treatment he’s reported to be returned to Serbia for. Certainly, he could be very physically ill nevertheless, and, in a mad rage to push his political agenda. Whichever it is, it’s certainly not what the ICTY said it was going to be (medical treatment/ exceptional humanitarian grounds).

 

Presented with Seselj’s public grandstanding, ethnic hatred speeches, raising unrest the ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz would like the world to believe that his office cannot appeal the temporary release decision without access to Seselj’s medical records! How about appealing on grounds that decision should not have been made without medical records in the first place!

Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic stated that he wrote to the ICTY president Judge Theodore Meron, alerting him that Seselj’s hate speeches could destabilise peace in that part of Europe.

Former ICTY prosecution spokesperson Florence Hartmann used irony on Saturday 22 November when she commented on the Seselj situation and Croatia’s reaction to the Slovenian Delo:

They (Hague war crimes tribunal) are absolutely above everything, above international standards, above the UN Security Council, and even above God.”
“They’ve temporarily released a madman,” she continued.
If I were in Croatian president Josipovic’s place, I would not write to the president of the Hague tribunal, Meron, but instead I would write to the member states of the UN Security Council and ask them: what is happening? We are paying enormous sums of money for the work of the tribunal and in return we are receiving only attempts to revise the conflict’s history and premature release from prison of a madman,” said Hartmann. Hartmann said that there is more and more of nationalism emerging and that “we would not have that were it not for the fear of confronting the past.”
Croatian member of EU Parliament, Tonino Picula (Social Democrats) said that good care should be taken to ensure that “individual pathological cases“, such as recent statements by Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj, did not affect entire societies. “Croatia should be extremely cautious, considering its recent past, and the European Parliament is a forum where we can discuss this in good time,” he concluded.

 

The issue is that “individual pathological cases” such as Seselj cause a great deal of suffering and fear and must be stopped at once, not discussed about “in good time”. One can discuss and discuss about a madman ‘till the cows come home’ but nothing will change. Firm action is needed.
On a more promising note, though, MEP Andrej Plenkovic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said that the European People’s Party (EPP) was planning to propose a resolution at a European Parliament session in Strasbourg next week to condemn Seselj’s behaviour. It’s an urgent matter to stop the rhetoric that caused the crimes of the 1990’s in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – Seselj should have been on his way back to the Hague prison – yesterday! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

ICTY Prosecutor’s Naked Opportunism Masquerading As Concern For ICTY’s Legacy?

Serge Brammertz   Photo: Reuters

Serge Brammertz Photo: Reuters

Brammertz No Longer Has Jurisdiction Over Gotovina Case

Reblogged from miseticlaw.blogspot.com

By Luka Misetic

Radio Free Europe today published an “exclusive” interview with ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz, in which Brammertz comments that his office is “dissatisfied” with the acquittals entered in the Gotovina and Perisic cases and is “examining all legal means to contest these decisions.”  This is consistent with a press release issued by Brammertz on 24 June 2013 in which he announced, “[r]egarding the Gotovina et al. case, my Office is considering whether the specialized threshold required for review of Appeals Judgment is met.  If so, we will initiate proceedings within the prescribed one-year time frame.”  Having received repeated requests from the media to respond to Mr. Brammertz’s comments, I wish to note as follows:

First, I know of no evidence that exists (or that even could theoretically exist) which would satisfy the specialized threshold required for review of the Appeals Chamber Judgment.  Furthermore, I believe that if Mr. Brammertz believed he had such evidence in his possession, he would have filed a Motion for Review of the Appeals Chamber’s Judgment by 30 June 2013.

My first point leads into my second point:  on 1 July 2013, the ICTY lost jurisdiction over the Gotovina case, because jurisdiction as of that date was assumed by the new International Residual Mechanism (“MICT”).  According to the Statute of the MICT, “[t]he Mechanism shall have competence to conduct, and complete, all review proceedings for which the application for review of the judgment is filed on or after the commencement date of the respective branch of the Mechanism [i.e., 1 July 2013].”  (See page 18 at Article 3(2) in the Annex to the MICT Statute titled, “Transitional Arrangements.”).

Thus, if a Motion for Review of the Appeals Chamber Judgment in Gotovina is filed, it must be filed before the MICT (not the ICTY) by 16 November 2013.  Furthermore, it must be noted that Mr. Brammertz is not a Prosecutor before the MICT.  The MICT Prosecutor is Mr. Hasan Jallow (also the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda), and any decision to file a Motion for Review in the Gotovina case therefore must be made by Mr. Jallow, not Mr. Brammertz.  Mr. Brammertz can, of course, ask Mr. Jallow to file such a Motion for Review, but the final decision as to whether a Motion for Review will be filed with the MICT rests exclusively with Mr. Jallow.  Mr. Brammertz’s recent public comments might inadvertently mislead the public into believing that Mr. Brammertz has the authority to file a Motion for Review of the Gotovina Appeals Judgment.

Accordingly, if Mr. Brammertz believed he had a basis to file a Motion for Review in the Gotovina case, it is my view that he would have filed such a Motion by 30 June 2013, when he still had jurisdiction to file such a Motion at the ICTY.  By allowing the 30 June 2013 deadline to pass, and allowing jurisdiction over the Gotovina case to transfer from the ICTY to the MICT, I can only conclude that Mr. Brammertz did not believe he had a basis to file such a Motion, i.e, he does not have evidence in his possession sufficient to seek Review of the Gotovina Judgment.  This does not mean that Mr. Brammertz may not later conclude that new evidence has been discovered that would justify a Motion for Review, but if he does discover such new evidence he will have to ask Mr. Jallow to file a Motion for Review at the MICT.

Finally, I cannot but take note of Mr. Brammertz’s additional comments in the Radio Free Europe interview in which he discusses the public criticism of the Tribunal’s recent judgments.  Mr. Brammertz states that, “we in the Tribunal have to allow for such criticism, which was my message at the last two events we held at the ICTY. If criticism exists, then we have to deal with it; we have to accept constructive criticism and we should not hide from internal discussions about the work of the Tribunal.”  Having lost several high profile cases recently, Mr. Brammertz is now a strong advocate for public debate about the ICTY’s judgements, and a proponent of the notion that the Tribunal’s judges should take into account public criticism in arriving at their judgements.

Mr. Brammertz’s newfound position should be juxtaposed with his position in 2011 in response to comments made by Croatian officials criticizing the Gotovina Trial Chamber’s conviction of Generals Gotovina and Markac as well as Croatia’s criticism of the Trial Chamber’s finding that Operation Storm amounted to a Joint Criminal Enterprise.  Mr. Brammertz reported Croatia to the Security Council for its criticism of the Gotovina Trial Chamber Judgment, telling the Security Council that it is “unfortunate that in the aftermath of the judgment, the highest state officials failed to comment objectively on the outcome of the case.” 

In light of the Appeals Chamber’s subsequent decision to overturn the Gotovina Trial Chamber’s Judgement, it is clear that Croatia’s criticism of that Trial Judgment was not only “objective,” but fully justified.  Perhaps in his next interview Mr. Brammertz can explain his conversion from his 2011 role as “The Silencer” of public criticism of ICTY judgments to convict, to his 2013 role as the defender of the right to freedom of speech to criticize acquittals.

One would hope that Mr. Brammertz’s conversion is not based on naked opportunism masquerading as concern about the legacy of the ICTY.

Luka Misetic    Photo: Darko Tomas/Cropix

Luka Misetic Photo: Darko Tomas/Cropix

About Luka Misetic: Lawyer, based in the United States of America. Luka Misetic represents clients in state, federal and international litigation, including commercial, civil, white-collar criminal and international criminal cases. In business litigation, Mr. Misetic represents corporations and partnerships, as well as their directors, officers and partners in breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims, regulatory matters, trade secrets claims, fraud and negligence suits, and a variety of other claims. Mr. Misetic represented Croatian General Ante Gotovina before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, The Netherlands

The Joint “Criminal” Enterprise Against Judge Theodor Meron

Judge Theodor Meron, President of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Judge Theodor Meron, President of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Reblogged from Misetic Law

The Joint “Criminal” Enterprise Against Judge Theodor Meron

The Inside Story of How Carl Bildt, Intelligence Agencies from the Nordic countries, Serge Brammertz, Florence Hartmann, Mirko Klarin And Others Are Connected to the “Controversy” Designed to Discredit the ICTY’s President, Judge Theodor Meron
By Luka Misetic
As controversy continues to engulf the ICTY as a result of Judge Fred Harhoff’s seemingly senseless email, over the past week I have been asked the same question repeatedly.  Journalists, former prosecutors, defense attorneys, friends and relatives have all asked me the exact same question:
“What is going on here?”
Allegations are flying, from the pages of the New York Times to the website of the BBC to the cafeteria inside the ICTY itself, that the ICTY’s President, Judge Theodor Meron, has been corrupted by the government of the United States.  Judge Fred Harhoff passed along these rumors to 56 of his “closest friends”, thus triggering the “controversy.”[1]  Of course, there has not been a single shred of evidence to support this claim.  Nevertheless, the “story” continues to be driven by several individuals, many with close connections to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY.
This blog post is my attempt to begin to answer to that often repeated query: “What is going on here?”  As I will explain in great detail below, the interests of many with an agenda against Judge Meron and/or Ante Gotovina have aligned, including current and former members of the Office of the Prosecutor, foreign intelligence services who have/had operatives inside the Office of the Prosecutor, a number of journalists, and the government of Serbia, among others.  Their objective is to so thoroughly discredit Judge Meron that they will (1) force his removal as President of the ICTY; (2) discredit the acquittals of Gotovina, Markac, Perisic, and Jovica Stanisic and create such an unbearable political climate that the judges will somehow reverse their acquittals even after final Judgement, and (3) in the case of former Prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann, discredit her conviction for contempt of the Tribunal (of which all eight judges of the ICTY who reviewed her case found her guilty, unanimously).
In short, I argue that we are witnessing a Joint “Criminal” Enterprise unfolding against Judge Meron (the “crime” in this case being his defamation).  The “common purpose” of the Meron JCE is to destroy Judge Meron’s reputation so as to discredit the acquittals of Gotovina, Markac, and Perisic.    ICTY precedent holds that such a JCE can exist even if the participants in it have never formally agreed to such a conspiracy, and indeed even if they do not know of each other’s existence.  (See Gotovina Trial Judgement, page 985).  What is important is that they all share the same goal: to discredit Theodor Meron.
I.               Introduction
To understand “what is going on here,” some basic facts about Operation Storm and the Gotovina case must be established at the outset. First point:  Judges Meron, Robinson and Guney got it right when they acquitted Gotovina.  Contrary to the Prosecution’s novel theory at trial, and Judge Orie’s Trial Judgement based on his invented “200 Meter Standard” (which all five Appeals Chamber judges agreed was erroneous), the Serbs from “Krajina” were not ethnically cleansed by an unlawful artillery assault launched by Ante Gotovina.
I do not intend to re-litigate the Gotovina trial here.  In summary, the Prosecution argued at trial that the Serbs were deported from Croatia because they were allegedly terrorized into leaving by Gotovina’s merciless artillery assault on civilians and civilian objects.  But if you ask Serge Brammertz today whether the Prosecution has ever been able to identify (1) a civilian killed or injured by artillery shelling during Operation Storm or (2) a civilian who claimed to have left the “Krajina” due to fear of artillery shelling, Brammertz will concede to you that they were never able to find any such person.  There are no known victims of the alleged unlawful artillery assault or of the so-called “Brioni JCE” led by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman.  Judges Meron, Robinson and Guney overturned a 24-year conviction of a man where the Prosecution could not establish a single JCE victim.  In any domestic jurisdiction, it would be Orie’s Trial Judgement and not the Appeals Chamber’s Judgement that would be deemed the controversial decision.  But for many at the ICTY, this is merely an inconvenient truth.[2]
Ironically, former Prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann wrote a book in 1999 titled “”Milosevic: la diagonale du fou (Milosevic: Diagonal of a Madman),” in which she argued that the “Krajina” Serbs were cleansed by Milosevic, not Tudjman.  In a chapter titled the “Abandonment of Krajina,” the book details why the “Krajina” Serb population left Croatia during Operation Storm.  Hartmann, a journalist covering the war for Le Monde at the time of Operation Storm, asserted, “every refugee could confirm that the population had fled at the request of their own [Krajina Serb] leadership.” Further, she wrote that every soldier was a witness to the deliberate withdrawal of the Serbian military, the officers abandoning the night shift at the front and the retreat of heavy armor. She describes the whole process as the  “strategic abandonment” of ‘Krajina’ by Milosevic and the entire Serbian leadership.
Accordingly, even Hartmann knows that Judges Meron, Robinson and Guney were right to strike down the Trial Chamber’s finding that Gotovina deported the “Krajina” Serbs through unlawful shelling. Nevertheless, Hartmann is one of the principle members of the “Meron JCE,” attempting to undermine Judge Meron in an effort to discredit her own conviction for contempt of the Tribunal.
II.             The Role of Foreign Intelligence Services Inside the ICTY’s Office of the Prosecutor
In the early years of the Tribunal, the ICTY did not have the resources to hire its own staff in large numbers.  Therefore, many of the prosecutors, analysts and investigators working for OTP in the 1990’s were “on loan” to the ICTY from their own governments.   In her book, “Peace and Punishment,” Florence Hartmann reveals that some of the “on loan” personnel were really intelligence agents working more for their home governments than the ICTY.  On page 47 of the Croatian edition of the book, Hartmann describes certain members of the Prosecution staff:
Some barely know where the Balkans even is. They are hounding the Prosecution, the moving force of the Tribunal, whose judges have been subdued to the position of arbitrators between the Defense and the Prosecutors. Military analysts, lawyers and intelligence officers easily blend in the crowd continuing to occupy humble yet strategic positions and serving more to their own governments than the ICTY.
This background information leads us to two Nordic intelligence agents named Joakim Robertsson (Sweden) and Thomas Elfgren (Finland), who became ICTY Prosecution investigators and whose stories are interwoven into the Gotovina case and the recent “Meron JCE.”
III.           Carl Bildt and the Gotovina Case
Intelligence agencies from the Nordic countries became heavily involved in the Gotovina case in order to protect the reputation of Sweden’s top diplomat, Carl Bildt.
Within 9 hours of the commencement of Operation Storm, Bildt, then acting in his capacity as the European Union’s chief peace negotiator in ex-Yugoslavia, issued a press release in which he declared that because the Croatian Army had “shelled the civilian population” in the town of Knin, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman would be brought before the ICTY.[3]  Bildt was in London when he sent this release and had no first hand information to support the claim.
After the Croatian takeover of the “Krajina,” international journalists descended on the town of Knin in order to find the evidence of Bildt’s claim that the Croatians had “shelled the civilian population.”  The international press unanimously concluded that the allegation was false:  there was no evidence of any unlawful shelling.  Pulitzer prize winner Roy Gutman reported from Knin on August 7th, 1995, three days after Storm began:
At the United Nations base in Knin, UN officers chaffed at a continued curfew and restrictions on movements, but they acknowledged that the UN had overstated the damage to Knin during the height of fighting. The UN commander, Brigadier-General Alain Forand of Canada had said that there had been no direct hits on Knin’s hospital. Reporters saw … large craters from shells that shattered most of the windows in a nearby apartment house but there was no evidence of indiscriminate shelling.[4]
Similarly, the New York Times reported:
The town does not appear to have been as badly damaged as reports of the shelling over the past few days would have suggested. For one thing, the hospital was not shelled, as had been reported. Only one shell hit the modern hospital building, and the Croats appeared to be aiming at a rebel Serbian tank firing from nearby, a United Nations official who had been at the hospital said today. “I don’t think they were shelling us,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. In three passes over the town by helicopter, little evidence was seen of the kind of damage that extensive shelling would cause. The red tile roofs on most houses are intact. The only gutted building was the Roman Catholic Church, which served the Catholic Croats, and the Serbs, who are Orthodox, did that during their occupation.[5]
Finally, United Nations Military Observers conducted their own investigation into the shelling of Knin.  On 17 August 1995, they reported that the shelling had been “concentrated against military objectives,” and that only 3 to 5 shells could be found outside the vicinity of military objectives.[6]
Accordingly, the United Nations and the international media had both investigated Bildt’s claims that Tudjman’s forces had “shelled the civilian population,” and concluded that they were unsubstantiated.
In reaction to Bildt’s call for Tudjman to be indicted by the ICTY, Croatia declared Bildt to be persona non grata in Croatia.[7]  Bosnia-Herzegovina quickly followed suit.[8]
Bildt thus found himself in the role of the EU’s top peace envoy but unable to travel to Croatia or be received by Bosnia-Herzegovina officials due to his status as persona non grata.  Bildt acknowledges this in his memoirs, even recounting that Croatia had refused his plane landing rights at the airport in Split as a result of the dispute.[9]  With Bildt and the E.U. on the sidelines, Richard Holbrooke took over as the primary international negotiator with the parties in ex-Yugoslavia and ultimately became the architect of the Dayton Peace Accords.
IV.           Nordic Intelligence To Bildt’s Rescue:  Robertsson and Elfgren Join the ICTY to Investigate Tudjman and Storm
When Operation Storm began on 4 August 1995, Joakim Robertsson was a Swedish military intelligence officer stationed in Zagreb as part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). [10]   Three weeks later, while Bildt was persona non grata in Croatia, Robertsson was sent by Sweden from Zagreb to the ICTY to be the ICTY Prosecution’s lead investigator into the shelling conducted in Operation Storm. Within weeks, Robertsson was joined by Thomas Elfgren, an agent with Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation who was loaned to the ICTY as an “Expert on Mission” to assist Robertsson in the Prosecution’s “investigation” of Operation Storm.[11]
The task given to Robertsson and Elfgren was simple.  They were to build the case that Bildt’s allegations against Tudjman were true by proving that the Croatian Army had indiscriminately shelled civilians, at Tudjman’s direction and on Gotovina’s orders.  Robertsson and Elfgren stopped at nothing to vindicate Bildt by making sure that Tudjman and his generals would be indicted for the alleged unlawful shelling of Knin.   Robertsson went so far as to fabricate evidence in the Gotovina case, and should have been criminally prosecuted for obstruction of justice.  (For a full discussion of Robertsson’s fabrication of evidence, see http://icr.icty.org/LegalRef/CMSDocStore/Public/English/Response/NotIndexable/IT-06-90/MSC7260R0000280559.pdf).
V.             Elfgren and Robertsson Leaked Information to the New York Times in 1999 Alleging Gotovina Indictment Was Rejected Due to U.S. Conspiracy
Elfgren and Robertsson failed to convince their colleagues in the Office of the Prosecutor that the shelling of Knin was unlawful.  The Prosecution in 1998 held an Indictment Review and concluded that the evidence was insufficient to include a charge of unlawful shelling in any indictment for Operation Storm.  This should not have come as a surprise given that (1) the United Nations investigation in the immediate aftermath of Storm confirmed the lawfulness of the shelling; (2) on site investigations by international media including the New York Times confirmed the same; and (3) the Prosecution could never identify a single shelling victim.
Having failed to fulfill the mission with respect to Bildt, Elfgren and Robertsson concluded that the failure of their case was not because of the lack of evidence, but because of a conspiracy led by the United States government to impede the investigation of Operation Storm.  Elfgren leaked an internal Prosecution assessment to the New York Times, spinning that the U.S. was blocking the Operation Storm investigation.[12]
Prosecutor Louise Arbour responded to the leak by stating that the Prosecution would conduct an internal investigation to determine the source of the leak.[13] Arbour’s investigation ultimately concluded that Elfgren was the source of the 1999 leak to the New York Times, which Elfgren himself confirmed to me via email recently.
Elfgren and Robertsson never had any evidence that the United States was blocking an indictment for the use of artillery in Operation Storm.   There was no charge for unlawful shelling because there was no evidence of unlawful shelling.  Indeed, even when the Prosecution ultimately indicted Gotovina in 2001, it did not include a charge that the Krajina Serbs were ethnically cleansed due to unlawful shelling.  Instead, the Prosecution charged that the Krajina Serbs were deported because the crimes committed after Operation Storm had prevented their return.[14]  It was not until 2006, after Gotovina’s arrest that the Prosecution first charged that the Serbs had been ethnically cleansed from Croatia due to the shelling attack.
VI.           Elfgren and Robertsson Attack Judge Meron
Elfgren and Robertsson left the ICTY before the judgements in the Gotovina case were issued.  After the Appeals Chamber’s acquittal of Generals Gotovina and Markac in November 2012, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz travelled to Helsinki, Finland where he appeared on a panel discussion with Elfgren on 22 January 2013 at Helsinki University.[15]  In his speech addressing Brammertz, Elfgren once again complained that Gotovina had been protected by the United States:
One could argue, with a fairly good reasoning, that the ICTY, at the very outset, failed to fulfill its intended purpose. The Tribunal posed no threat to the perpetrators. The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide serves as an example. The widespread killings and forced displacement of the Krajina Serbs in August 1995 is just another one. Many more could be mentioned…
Criminal justice system professionals have their focus on technically perfect decisions. Too often they pay too little attention on the material truth and the importance of reconciliation. Truth and reconciliation should be on top of the agenda when peace and security is at stake.
In 1995, in the corridors of the ICTY, there were influential elements who knew that no crimes were committed by the Croats during Operation Storm. My question is, how could they know this?
Mr. Prosecutor, you did your utmost to prove the opposite, but you failed. The appeals chamber, in its recent decision shared the view with those who already had the answer in 1995. [16]
Elfgren and Robertsson did not stop with this speech in January 2013.  Instead, as they had done in 1999 in leaking to the New York Times, the two began their campaign to discredit Gotovina’s acquittal by acting as anonymous sources to Helsinki’s leading newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat.  One would not typically look to the Helsingin Sanomat for hard-hitting investigative journalism about the inner-workings of the ICTY in The Hague, but Elfgren turned to his local paper first.
On 14 April 2013, Helsingin Sanomat published a sensationalist piece claiming that the United States had influenced the Tribunal into acquitting Gotovina.[17]  Having participated in the Gotovina case and thus having had access to all confidential materials in the case, I can state with certainty that the article in Helsingin Sanomat was filled with outright lies that are intended to create the perception that the United States attempted to influence the ICTY in the Operation Storm case.  For example, the article claims that the CIA withheld satellite imagery concerning Operation Storm in an effort to protect Gotovina, despite U.S. denials that such imagery exists.  The author of the article reports that his sources (read: Elfgren and Robertsson) dispute the U.S. denial because “the investigators had previously received one satellite picture from the Canadian Colonel Leslie, which he had been given by the Americans. “ Leslie never produced such a picture and never claimed to have such a picture.  If he had, I as Gotovina’s Defence Counsel would know.
The article goes on to claim that my fellow Gotovina Defence Counsel, Greg Kehoe, “opposed” the investigation of Gotovina back during the time when he worked for the ICTY Prosecution.  This is an outright lie.  The Gotovina Trial Chamber thoroughly investigated whether Greg had a conflict of interest, reviewed all of the Prosecution’s internal memoranda, and concluded that Greg had no involvement in the Operation Storm case.[18]  Given that Greg was prosecuting a Croatian general (Blaskic) during his time at the ICTY, it is preposterous to suggest that he was secretly protecting one Croatian general (Gotovina) while successfully prosecuting another (Blaskic). Remarkably, the article mentions that the lawyer who prosecuted Gotovina, Alan Tieger, is also an American, suggesting that Tieger is somehow complicit in the U.S. conspiracy to protect Gotovina.
Interestingly, the Helsingin Sanomat article ghost written by Elfgren and Robertsson is the first to attack Judge Meron on the basis of Wikileaks cables from 2003.  Sanomat suggests that Judge Meron spoke to the U.S. Ambassador in 2003 in an effort to get rid of Carla Del Ponte in 2003 because she had indicted Gotovina.  Two months later in June 2013, other members of the “Meron JCE” have recycled the Wikileaks cables as new “news”[19] in an effort to discredit Judge Meron following a leaked email written by, guess who?
The ICTY’s lone Nordic Judge, the Scandinavian Judge Frederik Harhoff of Denmark.
End of Part I

Coming up in Part II, I will describe the roles of Florence Hartmann and Mirko Klarin of Sense News Agency in the Meron JCE, and how and why Serge Brammertz is knowingly using the members of the Meron JCE in an effort to topple the ICTY’s President.

[1] For my deconstruction of Harhoff’s email, see my earlier blog post:  Debunking Fred Harhoff’s Outrageous Email, http://miseticlaw.blogspot.com/2013/06/debunking-fred-harhoffs-outrageous-email.html
[2] For further discussion on why the Appeals Chamber was correct to acquit Gotovina, see my earlier blog post here: http://miseticlaw.blogspot.com/2012/12/dissenting-from-dissenting-opinions-of.html
[4] Newsday, In Krajina, Disorder Reigns, (8 August 1995).
[5] New York Times, “Croats Celebrate Capturing Capital of Serbian Rebels”(8 August 1995).
[9] Carl Bildt, Peace Journey, pages 75-80.
[10] See paragraph 4 and Annexes A and B here:  http://icr.icty.org/LegalRef/CMSDocStore/Public/English/Submission/NotIndexable/IT-06-90/MSC7260R0000280212.pdf . See also Robertsson’s LinkedIn Profile here: http://fr.linkedin.com/pub/joakim-robertsson/4/3b0/879.  Note that Robertsson on his LinkedIn CV has left out the year from September 1995 to August 1996, and claims to have only worked for OTP from September 1996 to September 1997.  In fact, Robertsson worked for OTP from September 1995 to September 1997.  See, e.g., Trial Exhibit P-214 at page 1: http://icr.icty.org/LegalRef/CMSDocStore/Public/English/Exhibit/NotIndexable/IT-06-90/ACE81081R0000320324.TIF.
[11] See Trial Exhibit P-721, demonstrating Elfgren’s status at ICTY as of December 1995: http://icr.icty.org/LegalRef/CMSDocStore/Public/English/Exhibit/NotIndexable/IT-06-90/ACE81779R0000321386.TIF
[12] New York Times, War Crimes Panel Finds Croat Troops Cleansed the Serbs, 21 March 1999, as found at http://www.nytimes.com/1999/03/21/world/war-crimes-panel-finds-croat-troops-cleansed-the-serbs.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
[14] See Gotovina 2001 Indictment, at paragraphs 19-20; Gotovina 2004 Amended Indictment, at paragraphs 23-24 and 36-37.

[19] See Agence France-Presse, Wikileaks Cables Support Criticism of ICTY Judge, 18 June 2013, as found at http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130618/wikileaks-cables-support-criticism-icty-judge

 

Luka Misetic    Photo: Darko Tomas/Cropix

Luka Misetic Photo: Darko Tomas/Cropix

About Luka Misetic: Lawyer, based in the United States of America. Luka Misetic represents clients in state, federal and international litigation, including commercial, civil, white-collar criminal and international criminal cases. In business litigation, Mr. Misetic represents corporations and partnerships, as well as their directors, officers and partners in breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims, regulatory matters, trade secrets claims, fraud and negligence suits, and a variety of other claims. Mr. Misetic represented Croatian General Ante Gotovina before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, The Netherlands

 

Look Who Is Digging Theodor Meron’s Grave!

Theodor Meron, President of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Theodor Meron, President of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Have just discovered that Stjepan Mesic (die-hard Communist in mind and heart, former president of Croatia, who was the apparent ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte’s “best boy” for political maneuvering of ICTY indictments that would equate the aggressor with the victim in 1990’s Serb war of aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at any price – even lies and confabulations that would blacken and attempt to degrade the righteousness of Croatian citizens’ right to defend their lives and homes from aggression) and his cronies (such as Budimir Loncar/former advisor to Mesic and current advisor to president Ivo Josipovic  – but with a disturbing history in the notorious former communist police OZNA, which ordered multitudes of murders of innocent people during Tito’s Yugoslavia) are behind the “ifimes” (International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies) which has recently published a malicious article “ICTY: ‘Meronization’ of our future”. Stjepan Mesic is listed as Honorary President of staff of ifimes!

Of course, it’s as clear as day: this group of individuals, with this article, are telling the world that if we do not question the ICTY judgments brought down by Judge Theodor Meron, President of ICTY, (especially regarding the acquittals of Ante Gotovina, Mladen Markac and Momcilo Perisic) then there is no real justice!

The problem with this group’s reasoning is that they do not appear to uphold as paramount the appellate court’s responsibility of weighing the evidence and decisions made by lower courts, that they contradict themselves as they strongly suggest ICTY judges must consider political implications and consequences of their judgments, and at the same time that judges must not be political!

Lord, save the humanity from this lot!

They definitely appear to be subscribed to the trends started under Carla del Ponte, as Chief Prosecutor, under Judge Fausto Pocar as ICTY President (who, by the way had a dissenting opinion to the majority one in the 16 November 2012 ICTY Acquittal judgment for Croatian Generals) when the politics of equating the victim with the aggressor was painfully obvious and “order of the day at the ICTY”.

It seems that Meron, by weighing evidence before him with fresh and non-political eyes (as Appeal courts should and have the duty to do) has ruffled the feathers of those who consider cold evidence and interpretation of it less important than political agendas between nations, particularly of, say, the aggressor such as Serbia was against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990’s. So, those who did not like the way ICTY judgments were delivered by Meron started a new trend of labeling him with the sins they themselves subscribed to: political court judgments. This so reminds me of the horrible days under Communism – attack becoming the tool of defence!

This “ifimes” group has the gall to say that Meron is the one who “has definitely marked ICTY as a political court and Theodor Meron as its gravedigger and the executioner of anticipated international justice”.

And yet, just before they wrote this disgraceful sentence they wrote that Meron  “should have examined all the possible implications of the partial acquittal in the Karadzic case as well as a series of other issues that have appeared in the final stage of ICTY’s work”.

Now, why should a judge examine all possible implications of his judgment!? Implications of a decision should not and must not influence the making of a decision that is based on evidence and the weighing of evidence with view to the actual alleged criminal offence.

So, “ifimes”  group criticise Meron as being political on the one hand and on the other they criticize him for not using politics in bringing decisions in court!

Furthermore, the group admits that Serge Brammertz, ICTY Chief Prosecutor who seems to follow Carla del Ponte’s political lines of equating aggressor with the victim at any cost, is in conflict with Meron. In “conflict between two concepts and two civilisational approaches to resolving international relations: the conservative and anticivilisational concept represented by ICTY President Theodor Meron and the positive and realistic concept represented by ICTY Chief Prosecutor Serge Bramemertz”.

Can you believe this rot of humanity “ifimes” is peddling!?

The world does not need such transgressions of democracy, human moral code and real justice that Majority Opinion brings to the table as accepted and final judgment in a court case.

For them the Majority Opinion (led by Judge Meron) is conservative and anti-civilisational and the politically driven bias (even with highly suspect testimonies that, if tested, could amount to perjury)  Brammetrz appeared as having continued with after Carla del Ponte, is considered by them as positive and realistic!

And now we come to the real motive behind this atrociously biased and political, but insidious article from “ifimes” (Stjepan Mesic  & Co.):

The IFIMES International Institute is of the opinion that the announced discussion on the activities of ICTY which will take place at the UN General Assembly on 10 April 2013 should focus on strengthening international law and protecting the victims of past and future crimes rather than serving individuals and countries whose aim is to (mis)use the international legal system for their own interests”. Or, in other words, let the UN General Assembly debate on 10 April 2013 be the platform where Serbia will receive legitimacy for its rejection of ICTY judgments (as Vuk Jeremic had expressed publicly during past months) and for its relentless politics of justifying the horror its aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina had set in motion.

As I said in one of my previous posts, and in my letters to various heads of UN member states – there is a realistic and immediate danger that the UN General Assembly debate on 10 April WILL NOT BE PROTECTING ALL THE VICTIMS, WILL NOT BE AN UNBIASLY LED DEBATE UNLESS IT IS COORDINATED AND FACILITATED BY A FULLY INDEPENDENT GROUP OF PEOPLE.

With such importance being given to “dissenting opinions” as opposed to “majority opinions”, which define the final judgment of a court, let’s not be surprised if we enter a future (after April 10) where the courts will no longer be fully independent of politics, where majority opinion will mean squat, where appellate courts will cease to function, where people can take as valid whatever judgment they want – from majority or minority – where the rule of law, accepted legal standards and democracy (which includes accepting the majority opinion or vote with due grace and humility) will become just a footnote in history books.  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Theodor Meron on BBC HARDtalk, March 2013 “…Criminal court must not have a broader agenda … we would not be doing our job if we are guided by how people, nations, community will react to judgments… reconciliation is up to the people … not the court…”. Hear! Hear!

Croatian Operation Storm: “Serbs forced Serbs to flee”

Dr. Adalbert Rebic (centre) at the launch of his book "All My Refugees" Photo:Marko Lukunic/PIXSELL

On Wednesday 4 April the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has scheduled an appeal hearing in the case of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac for May 14.

Gotovina’s and Markac’s defence teams will each have 90 minutes to present their submissions and the prosecutors will have as much time to respond. After the prosecution’s response, the two defence teams will each have 30 minutes to reply, and the two generals have been given ten minutes each to address the judges at the end of the hearing if they so wish.

Now, less than a week ago (on Sunday 1 April) ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz stated in an interview that ICTY is no longer insisting on the delivery of documents pertaining to the 1995 Operation Storm, when Croatia liberated a large part of its area previously held by Serb rebels.

Brammetrtz said that the Trial chamber has already made a ruling on the case and documents are no longer required, adding that “Croatian officials have pledged to continue an investigation about where those documents are regardless of our position, so that they can solve the problems for their own purposes”.

It’s a known fact that Brammertz, and Carla del Ponte before him, were on a vicious hunt for the so-called Croatian artillery diaries which according to their florid and twisted imagination would prove that there was excessive shelling during Operation Storm and that such excessive, nonselective shelling served as a strategy to expel Serbs from Krajina.

The alleged Artillery diaries could not be found anywhere, ICTY prosecutors accused Croatia of lying etc and Croatia’s EU accession negotiations suffered severely.

Gotovina and Markac defence motions to ICTY to subpoena documents from Serbia that would prove that shelling was not excessive were twice denied during the last half of 2011.

Perhaps Brammertz thinks it’s funny that Croatia will continue to look for those documents for “their own purposes”, or feels resentful about the possibility that Croatia may confirm such documents never existed when the ICTY failed to pursue the matter. In any case his comment is in bad taste.

Regardless of what the outcome of the Appeal may be the people will want the truth as the issue of whether the Croatians expelled Serbs from Krajina using excessive shelling or whether in fact the Serbs organised and orchestrated the exodus themselves needs to be resolved. Otherwise, one is looking down a very long dark road of recriminations and bitterness between Serbia and Croatia. That cannot be good for anyone. Truth must be known no matter what but it seems the ICTY isn’t going to be the one to confirm the truth.

Given that ICTY denied the motions to subpoena Serbia for documents perhaps there are other ones already there that would show, after all, that Croatians did not expel the Serbs from Croatia as a matter of joint criminal enterprise and as the ICTY prosecutor claimed.

If such documents are not already there, and given that Serbia has not been required to produce documents, let’s hope that the book “All My Refugees” by dr Adalbert Rebic in Croatia, released last week 29 March might make its way to the ICTY Appeals Chamber, in good time – as food for serious  thought, at least.

During the time of the Croatian Homeland War dr. Adalbert Rebic, a Theologist, was Head of Croatian Government Office for Refugees and Displaced persons. His responsibilities were not only Croatian refugees and displaced persons but also the Serb refugees at the time.

At the launch of his new book “All My Refugees” he said:

The international tribunal in the Hague has convicted our Generals Gotovina and Markac, for, among other things, forced expulsion of Serbs from Croatian regions using nonselective shelling. As a man who has worked for more than for years for refugees and displaced persons, who had contact with the Serbs and who had pleaded with them not to leave Croatia, that conviction not only saddened me but irritated me to extremes, because that theory keeps repeating. Hence, I decided to look into and publish the documents that the Serbs themselves had published; such as documents of civilian protection, directive for relocation, etc.”

The Serbs who ruled over the so-called self proclaimed Serbian Republic of Krajina (within Croatian borders) organised their departure by themselves. And this was done systematically, before the start of Operation Storm, they even held evacuation drills,” said Rebic remembering how on the day of the capitulation of Serbian Republic of Krajina he found himself in Topusko with two haul-trucks of humanitarian aid for the Serbs who were leaving Croatia.

There were drinks, milk, bread, cigarettes … I asked the International representatives what to do, how to stop them (Serbs) and have them return, and they said that we must let them go wherever they want. I spoke to one of their ministers, who was seated in a car, and told him not to go to Serbia, for how and where are they going to live, that Serbia is not their homeland, to stop the files of people and turn them back, as president Tudjman guarantees their safety. No, we are going to Serbia, he told me.

When on 9th of August (1995) we arrived in Obrovac, we met a group of women who had after five days come out of a cellar, in which they hid so they wouldn’t be taken to Serbia. They told us that Serbian soldiers beat people with battons and chased them to flee, and that they even killed some”, said dr. Rebic adding that the long lasting propaganda which portrayed Croatians as Ustashe and killers is to blame for everything, and this caused a panic and speeded up the exodus.

In his aforementioned interview last Sunday Serge Brammertz said: “We are aware that coming to terms with the past is a complex process. Many find it difficult to accept that their war heroes actually abused their position and committed serious crimes against civilians. Therefore it is important for the Hague tribunal to support by documents the irrefutable truth.”

It’s not clear what documents he is referring to here; it’s clear he has given up on searching for documents that he himself used to say are vital. Brammetrz should stop patronizing and offending the Croatian nation – if a hero has committed a crime, then that is accepted, but what’s not accepted is if a crime not committed by a hero is pinned to that hero by a malicious theory developed for political purposes of equating the victim with the aggressor. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

Serge Brammertz’s Belgium commemorates genocidal maniac King Leopold II but Brammertz thinks Croatia’s wrong to commemorate Operation Storm!

Croatian Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic - Photo: Slobodna Dalmacija

It’s taken me a couple of days to calm down. Had I written this post a couple of days ago it would have been done with unrestrained outrage pouring out of my keyboard.

Some persons in powerful positions are driven by hypocrisy and ulterior or bigoted political agendas that evoke suspicion, disappointment, bitterness and outrage. That is an unfair fact of life and societies have learned to deal with it in one way or another, often taking individual victims along the way. At other times, revolts and revolutions follow.

In the case of Croatia the fact that 94% of its citizens voted for democracy and secession from Communist Yugoslavia (May 1991) must never be forgotten nor belittled, and especially not when considering the War of Independence (1991 – 1995) in which Croatia had to defend itself from Serbian and Serb-led Yugoslav Army murderous aggression.

On Friday, March 9, I read an interview with Serge Brammertz in which he said: “After International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) delivers the final verdict in the case of Croatian generals, it will be up to authorities in Croatia to decide whether to continue with celebrating military operation ‘Storm’. I believe that a number of crimes undoubtedly took place during the action, and I hope that people in Croatia will bear that in mind”.

Of course, this statement shocked Croatian war veterans who condemned Brammertz’s statement. Not only is Brammertz a party (as Prosecutor) in the current Appeal by the Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac in the Hague, and should not be making such statements, but he attacks the integrity and independence of a whole State because its two generals are in court as individuals.

One would think that by Saturday March 10th someone in the UN would have been alerted to his alarming breaches of expected code of conduct as criminal prosecutor and political neutrality and handed him a pair of walking shoes. Or simply, suspended him from the position of Chief Prosecutor of a Tribunal that’s supposed to serve as a role model of international criminal (not political) justice.

I was encouraged, though, by Croatia’s Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic’s statement, as reaction to Brammertz’s: “We will celebrate Operation Storm. Why? Because it is beyond doubt the most important military operation in Croatia’s history and we will always celebrate it honourably and proudly, and we will always say that the Croatian army was a victorious army“.

This is not the first time Brammertz took it upon himself to criticize Operation Storm commemorations in Croatia. To make matters worse he persists on painting the whole of Croatia and its people with colours of alleged war crimes committed by individuals and appearing before “his” court.

This whole deplorable situation with Brammertz’s outrageous statement regarding the commemoration of Operation Storm, the battle that liberated Croatia from Serb occupation, took me into the history and some current, to my mind politically corrupt, practices of the State from which Brammertz stems – Belgium.

Belgian King Leopold II Commemorative Gold Coin 2007

In 2007 Belgium minted a 12,50 Euro Commemorative gold coin with King Leopold II head featured on it. Despite the fact that Belgian King Leopold II was a genocidal maniac (across Congo etc in Africa) the Belgian state considered him a “King builder”, worthy of commemoration because he commissioned lots of buildings in Brussels etc during his reign! One wonders how many of those beautiful buildings were built with the blood and possessions of the native people in Belgian colonies in Africa. But then, Belgium shrewdly pursued a path of “Great Forgetting” (aptly phrased by Adam Hochschild in his book “King Leopold’s Ghost”) when it comes to the most horrid treatment of people in their colonies.

Genocide scholar Adam Jones comments: The result was one of the most brutal and all-encompassing corvée institutions the world has known . . . Male rubber tappers and porters were mercilessly exploited and driven to death. Leopold’s agents held the wives and children of these men hostage until they returned with their rubber quota. Those who refused or failed to supply enough rubber often had their villages burned down, children murdered, and their hands cut off.

Yielding to international pressure, in 1908 the Belgian parliament annexed the CFS (Congo Free State) as the Belgian Congo, effectively removing Leopold from power. Just prior to releasing sovereignty over the CFS, Leopold destroyed all evidence of his activities in the CFS, including the archives of its Departments of Finance and the Interior. The Belgian parliament refused to hold any formal commission of inquiry into the human rights abuses that had occurred in the CFS. Over the next few decades, inhumane practices in the Belgian Congo continued and a huge number of Congolese remained enslaved. By 1959, Belgium power began to erode due to a series of riots in Leopoldville (today Kinshasa). The Congo was emancipated from Belgium on June 30, 1960, and the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo was established.”

In an attempt to calm my outrage at Brammertz’s statement about commemorating Operation Storm in Croatia I’ve spent hours researching the possibility that Brammertz might have criticised his own Belgium for issuing a Commemorative coin to King Leopold II. I’ve found no trace of anything resembling his criticism or condemnation. If anyone has knowledge of any such criticisms, condemnations or comments Brammertz might have made I, and perhaps millions of others, would truly appreciate knowing about it.

Back to Brammertz’s insinuations that Operation Storm was a criminal operation because individuals are before criminal court charged with war crimes I am still outraged. Operation Storm was not an adventure undertaken by several individuals (who may have or may not have committed crimes) independently. And if the Appeal of Croatian generals in the Hague is overturned and the generals stand convicted of war crimes, Operation Storm still remains the symbol of courage, great sacrifice and independence from oppression. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Go Jump In The Lake

The sensational Plitvice Lakes - Croatia - were under Serb occupation 1991 - 1995

I don’t think I’m the only person in the world who gets quite annoyed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) chief prosecutors.

I accept that their job is important, but it should not be a job where personal hunches, witch hunting or warped beliefs should have a place in setting the tone and giving way to possible apprehended bias in the court.

Once upon a time (1999-2008) there was Carla Del Ponte who stuck to her warped beliefs that Croatia was hiding General Ante Gotovina from the Hague (where he was wanted on charges of war crimes) for years.

She kept accusing Croatia of hiding alleged war criminals without a single dash of proof, obstructing Croatia’s EU accession talks, wasting huge and precious amounts of money for a country that had no cash to spare on searches and searches; causing distress to decent and honest people. She failed to apologise when Gotovina was arrested in Spain where he’d been for a long time, failing abysmally to see how much damage she had caused, how evilly wrong she was.  http://www.balkanpeace.org/index.php?index=article&articleid=8990  ; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4263426.stm  ; http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/del-ponte-gotovina-was-located-by-a-phone-call

On 7 December 2011, Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor (2008 – ) (ICTY) delivered his regular half-yearly report to the UN Security Council on the regional countries’ level of co-operation with the Tribunal.

In it he has expressed concern over Croatian officials’ criticism of the Tribunal’s work.

He said he was “worried” that some Croatian officials have questioned the Tribunal’s work and that others had sent official greetings to generals sentenced for war crimes. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40658&Cr=Criminal+tribunal&Cr1=

The first criticism refers to the Croatian President Ivo Josipovic’s comment during his recent visit with the New York Croatian community where he said that the “wrong people” are in the Hague.

That is a sensitive issue. Unfortunately, there were war crimes in the Homeland War, but Croatia waged a just war of defence. Personally, as a legal expert, I am not satisfied with the outcome of trials in The Hague, not only when it comes to the Croatian side. I’m not sure that the right people from Croatia were tried there either,” Josipovic said.” http://daily.tportal.hr/149386/Josipovic-meets-Croat-emigrants-living-in-New-York.html

The other Brammertz’s criticism refers to Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor’s public greetings (while in Knin /town freed from Serbian occupation 1995/ for Homeland Thanksgiving Day, 5 August 2011) sent to the Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac who were sentenced for war crimes in the Hague in April 2010/ now on Appeal. AFP-source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jTcXKhogAfG1az_wMQ_4umVXsldQ?docId=CNG.6a98fd76164f24b8e8592a408fbde487.801%20Croatian%20PM%20hails%20war%20crimes%20generals

Croatia’s HINA News Agency & Vecenji List reported 8 December that the Croatian Ambassador to the UN, Ranko Vilovic, has dismissed as unfounded and unacceptable the assessment by the Chief Prosecutor ICTY Serge Brammertz,that high-level Croatian officials continue to glorify illegal war-time conduct and question the impartiality of the court’s judgment (HINA). Croatia is a member state of UN Security Council. http://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/hrvatski-veleposlanik-optuzbe-s-brammertza-neprihvatljive-su-clanak-353924 (article in Croatian)

Homeland Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Croatia on 5 August as that day in 1995 the horrible war of Serbian aggression in Croatia ended with the liberation of Croatian Krajina from Serb occupation.

Perhaps Brammertz thinks that Croatia should not have engaged in defending itself from murder and mass expulsions of Croatians from their homes by the Serbs in 1991 – 1993? Perhaps protecting ones territory and life is an illegal war-time conduct for Brammertz? (In this of course, I exclude any actual war crimes that may have been committed by individuals.)

Brammetrz also criticised Croatia for not delivering certain documents to the Hague. http://www.croatiantimes.com/news/General_News/2011-11-28/23483/ICTY_Prosecutor_Brammertz_critical_of_Croatian_authorities%27_reaction_to_Gotovina%27s_verdict

Ostensibly these relate to the so-called artillery-diaries he has claimed for years that Croatia has and which, according to his hunch, will prove unnecessary/excessive shelling used by Croatia over the town of Knin, during the liberating Operation Storm, 1995.

In 2008 Serge Brammertz reported that Croatia was concealing the so-called “artillery-diaries” from the Operation Storm in order to obstruct the court in reaching a conviction against Generals Gotovina, Markac and Cermak.

Chief Judge Alfons Orie declined to entertain this application by Brammertz citing not enough evidence suggesting that Croatia kept such diaries or that they exist. http://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/orie-odbio-prijavu-jer-nema-dokaza-da-rh-zna-gdje-su-dnevnici-clanak-172190 (article in Croatian)

http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/newsbriefs/2009/12/10/nb-05

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Politics/?id=3.1.1724117622

But – like Carla Del Ponte – Serge Brammertz is keeping his warped thrust. There were times during the Gotovina and Markac trial in the Hague when the question of United Nations Military Observers (1995) having kept diaries and that these are to be sought by the court. But, not a single one has arrived as yet and as far as I am aware.

Certainly the landscape and buildings of Knin after Operation Storm did not match any similarity of devastation that excessive shelling usually brings.

It seems that the so called artillery-diaries allegedly being hidden in Croatia may well be Brammertz’s cruel fantasy tale, costing Croatia not only the funds it cannot spare but also justice, just like Carla Del Ponte’s cruel tale that Croatia was hiding General Gotovina.

I wonder why Brammetrtz doesn’t insist on Serbia providing documents that allegedly exist which would demonstrate to the court whether it was Serb’s themselves that left Croatia in August 1995 voluntarily in droves or whether they were expelled by Croatia – the latter is labelled by ICTY as joint criminal enterprise, and is pinned to the convictions of Gotovina and Markac – now on Appeal.

Brammetrz criticises Croatia’s high-ranking officials for criticising or giving an opinion on the court’s work, and for sending regards to Generals Gotovina and Markac, convicted of war crimes in April 2010, now on appeal!

It is truly annoying to say the least that such words can come out of the mouth of the person who represents an institution of justice – court.

Being free to give opinions on public organisations (eg ICTY) and being free to say hello or greet anyone without the fear of being judged or your name smeared with vilifying innuendo should come under basic human rights.

After all it was the Operation Storm that freed Croatia from the tarror that the Homeland War violently imposed upon her.

ICTY prides itself of protecting human rights but in Brammertz’s case that protection seems grossly prejudicial to the point annoyance.

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Politics/?id=3.1.1724117622

http://www.anhourago.eu/show.aspx?l=7238867&d=504

Related post by Ina Vukic:

http://inavukic.com/2011/11/20/general-ante-gotovina-and-calvary-at-icty-in-the-hague/

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