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Friday, May 05, 2006


Obviously not committed by Yugoslav authorites but by Slovenian Nazis. Obviously not reported by our media so I am reprinting:

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.

Action requested:
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:;
· 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:;
· 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:
· 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:
· Supreme State Prosecutor, Barbara Brezigar, Dunajska 22, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel.: 00 386 1 434-19-35, Fax: 00 386 1, Email:
· 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:
· 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:
· 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:
· 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:
· 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:
· 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:
· Permanent Mission of Slovenia in Brussels, 30 avenue Marnix, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium, Tel : +32 25124466, Fax : + 32 25120997


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