Friday, May 05, 2006
ON TRIAL FOR REPORTING 1ST YUGOSLAV WAR CRIME
Will the Whistleblower Who Revealed
the First War Crime in Yugoslavia Go to Jail Soon ?
June 25, 1991: Slovenia and Croatia unilaterally proclaim their independence, the Yugoslav army is deployed at the country's international borders. Three days later, in the village of Holmec, at the Slovene-Austrian border, three young conscripts, attacked by Slovene police who had encircled their tank, waved a white flag and surrendered. They were killed in cold blood by the police in the presence of a cameraman from the Austrian TV network ORF. It was the first documented war crime in a conflict that would continue spilling blood in the former Yugoslavia for the next eight years.
These facts were kept secret for the next seven years until the ORF footage showing the surrender and the execution of the three soldiers -- two Serbs and one Croat -- was finally broadcast on Slovenian television. Pressured by the Slovene branch of the NGO Helsinki Monitor and its president, Neva Miklavcic Predan, an official inquiry was conducted, but it concluded in 1999 that no war crimes at all had been committed (the soldiers would have simulated their execution and they would have been killed shortly afterward in combat).
Things probably could have stayed there -- and the affair could have continued to be completely ignored by the international media -- if Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian president, during his cross-examination of the Slovene President, Milan Kucan, who had been summoned by The Hague Tribunal in May 2003 to testify against Milosevic, had not posed several troubling questions to his adversary and brought several supplementary pieces of information to the case, which included the death certificates of the aforementioned soldiers. Visibly caught off guard, Kucan gave assurances that the case had not been closed, all the while denying that the conscripts had been executed. A few days later, Neva Miklavcic Predan held a press conference in Ljubljana in which she cast a shadow of doubt on Kucan testimony. The statements made at this press conference sparked a defamation lawsuit filed by twenty-six Slovene war veterans whose "feelings were profoundly hurt" by her allegation of war crime.
At the same time, a Slovenian court closed the case once again at the beginning of April 2006, reiterating that no war crime had taken place in Holmec, basing its decision on the 1999 inquiry. On the other hand, in Belgrade, a special tribunal for war crimes finally decided to open an inquest on the matter. At The Hague, despite the evidence provided by Miklavcic Predan, and then by Milosevic, there still does not seem to be any interest in what appears to be the first war crime committed in the Yugoslav wars.
For Neva Miklavcic Predan, however, the case has not been closed. The complaint filed by the war veterans has gone its course and resulted in the trial now taking place. She risks being sentenced to two years imprisonment and the next hearing has been set for May 30. During the first two hearings, the accusations relied on a gross falsification of the ORF video that tries to make one believe that the Slovene police did not fire upon the Yugoslav conscripts.
Furthermore, she is accused of having tried to bribe a government official in order to obtain citizenship for a Roma. This second trial has now been suspended. She could be sentenced to three years more in prison as a result of the proceedings. Finally, a judge in Ljubljana, feeling offended by a remark that Miklavcic Predan made, has also filed a complaint. She is subject to three months' imprisonment if she is sentenced.
Neva Miklavcic Predan considers herself to be the victim of political trials intended to punish her for having cast a shadow over the mini-war of independence waged by Slovenia, which has often been characterized as a model among the new members of the European Union. Even if the affair starts making headlines throughout the former Yugoslavia, it still remains unknown beyond. However, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) have initiated a campaign of support and have requested writing to the Slovene authorities in order to stop the harassment of the president of Helsinki Monitor. We have taken up their appeal, which we reproduce below.
Please write to the Slovenian authorities and ask them to:
i. Put an end to any kind of harassment against Mrs. Neva Miklavcic-Predan, and ensure that her right to a fair and impartial trial be guaranteed in any circumstances;
ii. Conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Humans Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular article 1, which states that "everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels", and article 12.2, which states that "the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration";
iii. More generally, conform with the provisions of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and with all other international human rights instruments binding Slovenia.
· President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Janez Drnovsek, Erjavceva 17, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 478-10-00, Fax: 00 386 1 478-12-00, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
· Premier of the Republic of Slovenia, Janez Jansa, Gregorciceva 20, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 478-10-00, Fax: 00 386 1 478-17-21, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
· Minister of Justice of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Lovro Sturm, Zupanciceva 3, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 369-52-72, Fax: 00 386 1 369-52-76, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Dimitrij Rupel, Presernova 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00386 1 478-23-73, Fax: 00386 1 478-21-70, Email: email@example.com
· Supreme State Prosecutor, Barbara Brezigar, Dunajska 22, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 434-19-35, Fax: 00 386 1, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· District Court of Ljubljana, president, Tavcarjeva 9, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 366-44-44, Fax: 00 386 1 366-45-18, Email: email@example.com
· Local Court of Ljubljana, President Vesna Pavlic Pivk, Miklosiceva 12, 1000 Ljubljana. Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 47 47.701, Fax: 00 386 1 47-47-705, Email: urad.@sodisce.si
· Higher Court in Ljubljana, President Jernej Potocar, Tavcarjeva 9, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 366-40-00, Fax: 00 386 1 366-40-70, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia, President Franc Testen, Tavcarjeva 9, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 336-42-02, Fax: 00 386 1 336-43-01, Email: email@example.com
· Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, President Janez Cebulj, Betthovnova 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel: 00 386 1 477-64-00, Fax: 00 386 1 251-04-51, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Ambassador Mr. Aljaz Gosnar, Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the United Nations in Geneva, rue de Lausanne 147, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: + 41 22 716 17 80, Fax: + 41 22 738 66 65, Email: email@example.com
· Permanent Mission of Slovenia in Brussels, 30 avenue Marnix, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium, Tel : +32 25124466, Fax : + 32 25120997
AUTHOR'S ADDRESS : firstname.lastname@example.org
Regarding the cover up of war crimes by our Nazi allies,
what's the bet ex-Tudjman general, Ante Gotovina, gets released early -in accordance with the deal struck earlier with the ICTY - see
or failing that, ends up conveniently "suicided" or dead from "natural causes" at the ex-Nazi SS dungeon for Dutch WW2 patriots, the Scheviningen prison complex at the Hague a few days after a subpeona is issued to Bill Clinton (as happened to Milosevic)?
Remember, if Gotovina is not released early as agreed (i.e. as promised prior to his arrest), he has vowed to expose Clinton's involvement in "Operation Storm", "Operation Flash" & "Operation Medak Pocket" (which ipso facto would mean exposing current "Kosovo PM" & KLA war criminal, Agim Ceku).
Care to wager a bet which way it will go?
We can count on the BBC, ITN ,Guardian & CNN's Christiane Amanpour to keep us informed of all the facts leading up to this conclusion of course.
Monday, January 16, 2006
A Place To Stand blog article post by Neil Craig:
JUSTICE WEARS A MYLAR BLINDFOLD
This, not subsequently reported over here,
suggests that all is not going well with the preparations for the trial of Croatian General Gotovina. I must admit when I heard that the Croatian (officially ex-)Nazi government announced having found his mobile phone number on file & arranged for him to meet the ICTY in a Spanish restaurant I suspected a deal had already been done. 3 years imprisonment in a minimum security chateau on the Dalmation coast perhaps & then the mass murderer would be free, or get compasionate home leave on account of illness. This has happened not only to Croats but pretty much happened to the original Nazis at Nuremberg. With the token exception of Hess they were all out between 1950 & '55.
However it looks like one side or the other is uncomfortable about the deal. Gotovina is shockingly suggesting that the US government is as guilty as he of the Krajina Holocaust. Longtime readers here will be aware that this has been obvious for years but Gotovina is certainly able to name names & give details which will make it more difficult for the "court" to ignore, though the same does not apply to the BBC. At the time I wrote a letter (unpublished) to the Herald pointing out that the fact that Operation Storm involved a 3 pronged speedy night attack very closely coordinated with artillery proved it could not be run by untrained militia.
The CIA secretly planned operation 'Storm', which took place in August 1995, at the Sepurine military base, near Adriatic port of Zadar,with the knowledge of then-US president Bill Clinton and top Croation leaders.
Globus said it obtained the information from the defence team of general Ante Gotovina, who was arrested last December on charges of having committed crimes against Serb civilians in the operation “Storm” and is awaiting trial before the UN's Hague war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
According to Globus, George Tenet, who later became CIA chief, had “directly” worked with Gotovina on planning operation “Storm”. The paper alleged that Clinton wanted to punish the Serbs
Tenet and at least 12 American military experts had worked with Gotovina in Sepurine, planning military action that resulted in the fall of Krajina. The Americans had, among other things, jammed Serb communication systems and conducted reconnaissance flights for the Croats, Globus said.
Legally, if the term applies, the ICTY are required to indict all those guilty of war crimes. When Milosevic asked Wesley Clark about the legality or otherwise of NATO's attack (Clark was already on record as saying it was illegal but so what) the judge told him he wasn't allowed to ask such questions & quite possibly Gotovina will be told he isn't allowed to give such evidence.
One minor problem is that the statute of the ICC makes it a criminal offence to run a "trial" on a partisan or racist basis. There can be no doubt that Carla del Ponte & indeed Scotland's own corrupt racist judge Lord Bonomy are guilty of this. Still in a world where that obscene genocidal child raping Nazi Bill Clinton still get fawned over by politicians & journalists who do know better justice does not seem to loom.
Hague Tribunal Prosecutor Geoffrey Nice leaving the Hague Tribunal Under Accusation of Sexual Harassment
Srpski Nacional (Belgrade) - April 27, 2006
The Hague - Our paper has been informed that Mr. Nice is alleged to have verbally harassed women working for the prosecution and of having molested in the corridors several employees of the court by grab-ass.
The Nice case is not isolated. Last year a minor official of this court, with doors of his office open, was caught in the act of masturbating. That whole business was covered up and was scarcely mentioned outside the tribunal.
Tribunal spokesman Anton Nikiforov, on questioning by journalists, confirmed that Nice is leaving the tribunal, but said he knew nothing about any charges of sexual harassment against him.
A female journalist of Agence France Presse asked Nikiforov if it was true that a complaint was brought [by protected witness(es)] against Nice for sexual harassment. -"I took that question yesterday and I said that I do not know anything about that case. [Mr Nice] will leave after completion of his contract, since he was engaged solely for the Milosevic case. There is no other reason.
The Milosevic trial is closed and we no longer have the position of prosecutor that was held by [Mr Nice]. That position has been terminated by mutual consent and that has no connection with anything else,” according to Nikiforov.
The Hague Tribunal is not responsible for manifestations of sexual harassment in the Hague. This institution concerns itself only with war crimes on the soil of the former Yugoslavia. Any information that you have in connection with sexual harassment are of a personal nature. If any such thing happens, that is the bailiwick of the UN in New York. That is not for us, and it is not connected with our concerns,” Nikiforov explained.
Copyright 2006 Srpski Nacional (news paper)
Posted for Fair Use only.
Translation provided by: J.P. Maher