Slobodan Milosevic is being tried in The Hague, why not Saddam?
The world of global politics is presently moving very fast. North and South Korea are reuniting. The Unitied States is beginning to recognize Cuba. Israelis and Palestinians have just about killed enough children to turn the world against the entire murderous mess. little George is making the whole world wonder about his sanity with his kill Saddam campaign. The U N is being forced to give immediate consideration to Iraq before bad boy little George draws his guns and starts a killing spree in Iraq. And in The Hague, Slobodan Milosevic is on trial for genocide.
The world needs to unite and bring bin-Laden and maybe Saddam Hussein to The Hague for crimes against humanity. And what about the leaders of the Taliban? All these international sociopaths needs to be brought to justice.
It is time that we begin to hold the leaders of countries and the leaders of giant international corporations accountable for their sociopathic behavior and crimes against humanity. It is time to increase the peace in the world by expanding the role of the World Court. It is time to create WorldPeace through world law as opposed to world war.
Think about Israel and Palestine having a forum in the World Court to resolve their differences. Think about bringing the supporters of the suicide bombers to trial. Think about holding individual army commanders liable for the killing of innocent civilians.
The time is coming when the world will use the World Court for justice. The time is coming when polluters of the world environment will be held accountable to the entire world. The time is coming when countries who harbor international criminals will be held accountable. The time is coming when manufacturers of land mines and the countries where they are disbursed will be liable to their victims.
One of the undeniable foundations of WorldPeace is world law. And the faster the power of the World Court expands, the faster peace in the world will increase. We already have a level of WorldPeace. The objective is to increase it. WorldPeace will never be perfect peace. WorldPeace will never be more than equality and justice for all the people of the world.
Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 04:06 GMT 05:06 UK
Analysis: Milosevic genocide charges
Milosevic rejects the tribunal's legitimacy
As the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic enters its second phase in The Hague, the BBC's Alix Kroeger looks at some key points in the prosecution's case.
In November 1994, Dzenana Sokolovic, 31, and her seven-year-old son Nermin Divovic were fired on while walking in Sarajevo.
Ms Sokolovic was wounded by a bullet, which passed through her and hit her son in the head, killing him.
Nermin's death is catalogued in the indictment against former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes in Bosnia.
When the Bosnia phase of Mr Milosevic's trial opens on Thursday, the prosecution will be trying to prove the most serious charge on the book: genocide.
And it won't be easy.
As well as genocide, Mr Milosevic is indicted for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the laws and customs of war - legal phrases which cover some of the bloodiest events of the Bosnian war.
These include the siege of Sarajevo, the Srebrenica massacre, and the detention camps at Trnopolje and Omarska. This phase of the trial will also cover incidents in Croatia.
The difficulty for the prosecution will be to link these events directly to Mr Milosevic: that, as the indictment claims, he "planned, instigated, ordered, committed...or otherwise aided or abetted" these war crimes.
In Kosovo, covered by the first phase of the trial, Mr Milosevic, as Yugoslav president, clearly had some authority over the Yugoslav army.
Whether or not he is legally responsible for the army's activities will be up to the judge to decide.
In Bosnia, the issue is a little different.
The Bosnian Serbs had their own leadership - Radovan Karadzic, their president, and his military commander, General Ratko Mladic.
Both are under indictment for war crimes themselves, both remain at large.
Mr Milosevic was indisputably in close contact with the Bosnian Serb leadership, but the lines are much more blurred.
For a genocide conviction to be secured, the court has to be satisfied the defendant deliberately set out to remove an entire ethnic group.
So far, the prosecution has only secured one conviction for genocide - against General Radislav Krstic, one of the commanders on the ground at Srebrenica in 1995, when more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men were killed by the Bosnian Serb army.
None of this is likely to trouble Mr Milosevic.
He has refused to recognise the tribunal or the charges against him, and is conducting his own defence, including the cross-examination of witnesses.
Despite his training as a lawyer, the former president seems less concerned with the legal aspects of his trial - such as disproving the evidence against him - and more with playing to the gallery, his audience in Serbia.
But the prosecution has stumbled, too.
It promised insider witnesses who would pin responsibility for Kosovo directly on Mr Milosevic.
By no means all of them have obliged. The former head of the Serbian secret police, Rade Markovic, told the court his forces had strict orders to protect civilians.
In the case of one insider witness, Ratomir Tanic, there were serious questions about his credibility.
Mr Tanic changed his statement, saying at first he'd heard Mr Milosevic give orders in a face-to-face meeting, then later claiming he'd eavesdropped on one of the president's phone conversations.
The political party to which Mr Tanic said he belonged denied he had ever been a member.
Running behind schedule
However, protected witness K-34 described in court how Serb forces had orders to slaughter villagers in Kosovo to "cleanse" the province of Albanians.
When Mr Milosevic questioned his evidence, the witness, a Yugoslav army private, retorted, "You weren't there - I was."
With indictments spanning three different wars, hundreds of thousands of victims, and thousands of possible witnesses, the Milosevic trial had the potential to run for years.
But the tribunal set a strict timetable. Prosecutors have until 16 May 2003 to make their case.
Between now and then, they intend to call 177 witnesses, 71 for Croatia, and 106 for Bosnia.
But the trial is running behind schedule. Mr Milosevic has fallen ill twice, causing hearings to be suspended until he recovered - in one case, for two weeks.
However, not all the evidence will be heard in court. This is not a jury trial; the judge alone will decide on Mr Milosevic's guilt or innocence.
The prosecution has collected written witness statements to support evidence presented in open court.
There is a lot riding on this case: not just for Mr Milosevic, or the tribunal, but the countries of the former Yugoslavia too.
In Serbia itself, coverage has been muted.
Mr Milosevic has played on the widespread perception that this is victors' justice, a kangaroo court biased against Serbs.
The prosecution has emphasised that it is putting an individual on trial, not an entire people. Mr Milosevic has sought to create exactly the opposite impression.
Even if the prosecution secures a conviction, it may never convince the people of Serbia that justice has been done.
Milosevic slams Croatian leader
By Katie Nguyen (Reuters) - October 2 2002 16:04
THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Slobodan Milosevic, on trial for war crimes, has slammed the credibility of evidence from Croatia's president, saying Stjepan Mesic had Serb villages torched in the Balkan conflicts of the early 1990s.
The two repeatedly clashed on Wednesday as former Yugoslav president Milosevic cross-examined Mesic -- the first head of state to testify at the biggest international war crimes trial in Europe since Hitler's henchmen were tried at Nuremberg.
"I see you have a real hang-up about Milosevic. You mentioned me in every other sentence yesterday," said Milosevic, charged with committing genocide in Bosnia and crimes against humanity in Croatia as part of a plan to create an ethnically pure Greater Serbia.
"According to your instructions Serb villages (in Croatia) were destroyed," Milosevic, who is conducting his own defence, told Mesic. "I heard about the torching of villages and lodged a complaint with (late Croatian) President (Franjo) Tudjman."
Mesic, who was the last to hold the rotating presidency of the old Yugoslav federation before its bloody collapse in 1991 and who later went on to lead Croatia, denied the accusation.
In earlier testimony on Tuesday, Mesic, 67, portrayed Milosevic as an unfeeling warmonger bent on breaking up Yugoslavia and seizing Croat land.
But Milosevic, who became Yugoslav president in 1997 after seven years as leader of Serbia, said any insurgency by Serbs living in Croatia was the result of oppression by Croats.
"Is it correct that...through the culmination of ethnic intolerance towards Serbs...(and) through the adoption of many laws, the Croatian authorities instigated discrimination and chauvinism?" Milosevic said.
He quoted comments he said were made by officials of the Croatian Democratic Union -- a political party Mesic co-founded with Tudjman -- which included: "Outside the boys are singing we're going to slaughter the Serbs."
Mesic dismissed allegations that Serbs lived in an atmosphere of fear as an "exaggeration", saying: "Those who wanted to cut off parts of Croatia are those who are to be blamed for radical statements."
Milosevic has refused to plead out of scorn for the Hague tribunal. Judges have entered not guilty pleas on his behalf.
Contained in the indictment against Milosevic is the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica in Bosnia, Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two where up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed after Serb forces overran the U.N. "safe area".
Prosecutors at the U.N. court last month wrapped up their case on Kosovo, where Milosevic and former aides are accused of expelling almost one third of the Albanian population from the Serbian province, and have now turned to Croatia and Bosnia.
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