The Macedonian Tendency: Everyone is on trial at the Hague

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Everyone is on trial at the Hague

The United Nations war crimes tribunal is not really a court of law. It is a political process directed by the United States and the European Union to punish their political enemies and reward their friends. However, good things sometimes are born from bad policies and the article below shows that this court is having a beneficial effect. The court is working hand and glove with EU promises of membership to get the Balkan states to behave.

Now, if only Macedonia could somehow use this tool to get Greece to behave better towards it ethnic Macedonian minority.

Court on Crimes in Former Yugoslavia Hits Its Stride - New York Times

mong the tribunal's 10 fugitives today are two famous men who have been seen in Serbia, the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander, Ratko Mladic, both indicted on genocide charges. But the government insists it does not know where they are.

The prosecution is particularly pleased about the recent arrival of Momcilo Perisic, the Yugoslav Army chief of staff during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. His trial may rank among the most significant. General Perisic's indictment says that from Belgrade, he secretly ran the surrogate Serbian forces fighting in Croatia and Bosnia, providing the Serb-run troops with personnel, equipment, provisions and payment. His case could directly link Belgrade, and Mr. Milosevic, with military actions and atrocities outside Serbia.

At the tribunal prison, the newcomers include former top officials from Macedonia and Kosovo, two other Balkan regions that need approval and money from the West. Croatia been told its bid to join the European Union will be delayed until it delivers its main fugitive, Gen. Ante Gotovina. "This is the first time political pressure has been applied on such a scale, and we see that it works," said Mirko Klarin, director of Sense, a news agency that has monitored the war crimes court. With so many new suspects, the tribunal can schedule several group trials to speed proceedings. But court officials say privately that even without getting its 10 fugitives, the tribunal cannot meet the Security Council deadline of 2008. Discussions are under way to transfer at least a dozen low-level suspects heldhere to be tried in their home region.

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