The Guardian July 18, 2001

Hague Court: He who pays the piper ...

by Michel Collon

If they tell us that everything that has happened in Yugoslavia is the 
fault of one man, while hiding the role of the German and American Secret 
Services to blow to pieces this too independent country ...

If they hide the discreet but revealing words with which Clinton and other 
NATO leaders admitted that they were carrying out this war on behalf of 
globalisation and the control of the oil supply lines ...

If they admit today that public opinion was manipulated with regard to the 
true reasons for past wars (Korea, Suez, Algeria, the Gulf) and the crimes 
committed by the armies of the West during those wars, while now claiming 
that the media is telling the truth about Yugoslavia

If the Western leaders affirm in 1998 that the KLA is a terrorist 
organisation, in 1999 that it is not and that in 2001 it most certainly is.

If they want us to believe that justice will be done by a tribunal that has 
no legal basis, is largely funded from private finance, has no respect for 
any of the basic principles of law, that changes to its rules can be made 
whenever it suits it to do so...

If they claim that it was right to wage war and kill thousands of civilians 
to put in power a democratic and legalist President when the deportation of 
Milosevic was carried out in violation of the laws of Yugoslavia and of its 
judicial system by that government ...

If they claim that the criteria of what is democratic must be fixed by a US 
President, elected by a quarter of the population and with the financial 
contributions of billions of dollars from the multi-nationals and the 
manipulation of public opinion by the most stupefying media in the world 

If they tell us that such a President can put in power, arm, finance and 
protect Mobutu, Sharon and Pinochet and nearly all the military dictators 
in the world for the last 50 years, while claiming the right to condemn the 
heads of state they do not like ...

If they expect us to believe and accept all this, then they take us for a 
bunch of idiots.

So who is paying the piper?

Well, between 1994 and 1995, the War Crimes Tribunal received from the US 
Government US$700,000 cash and US$2.3 million worth of computer equipment 
from a US multi-national.

From the Rockefeller Foundation it received US$50,000 and from the US 
multi-millionaire speculator, George Soros, US$150,000. Soros was 
financing, at the same time, the main Albanian separatist newspaper in 

Another donor is the giant Time Warner media empire. And then there is the 
Oh, so official "Institute for Peace", set up by President Reagan.

A large number of the Tribunal's lawyers come from the Coalition for 
International Justice, founded and financed by: Yes, you-ve guessed  
George Soros. In May, 2000, its lady President McDonald thanked the US 
Government for "generously providing $500,000", and said:

"The moral imperative to end the violence in the region is shared by all, 
including the corporate sector. I am pleased, therefore, that a major 
corporation has recently donated computer equipment worth US$ 3 million".

With sponsors such as these, it is easy to understand why the Tribunal only 
pursues the enemies of the United States.

That is why the Croat and Muslim Nationalist leaders remain unpunished for 
their crimes of ethnic cleansing during the wars of 1991 to1995.

Likewise the leaders of the KLA and of NATO who were responsible for an 
illegal war and for deliberately destroying the civil infrastructure of 
Yugoslavia and for using unlawful weapons (cluster bombs and depleted 
uranium bombs) are not being pursued.

Act independently

According to article 16 of the statute book of the War Crimes Tribunal, the 
Prosecutor is to act independently and not be subject to orders from any 

According to article 32, the expenses of the tribunal must be covered by 
the United Nations budget. These two principles are constantly being thrown 
out of the window.

The President of the Tribunal, Gabriella Kirk McDonald told the United 
States Supreme Court:

"We benefited from the strong support of concerned governments and 
dedicated individuals such as Secretary Albright. As the permanent 
representative to the United Nations, she worked with unceasing resolve to 
establish the Tribunal. Indeed, we often refer to her as the "mother of the 

What a charming mother! She declared on national television that sending 
500,000 Iraqi children to their death was "justified"!

When the War Crimes Tribunal's Chief Prosecutor, Louise Arbour indicted 
Milosevic, guess whom she informed first: Bill Clinton -+ two days before 
informing the rest of the world.

Like her successor, Carla Del Ponte, she often appeared in public with US 

In 1996 she met the Secretary-General of NATO and its European Commander in 
Chief "to discuss the logistics of co-operation", before signing a 
"memorandum of mutual understanding".

Why Milosevic?

Its reasons for pursuing Milosevic are:

1) To lay guilt on the Serbian people as a whole and thereby hide the fact 
that the US and Germany provoked and encouraged the wars in Yugoslavia.

2) To intimidate any head of state that resists globalisation.

3) To whitewash NATO-s criminal war, whose pretences and media lies have 
fallen through.

Violation of laws

The Tribunal violates several totally fundamental principles of law: the 
separation of power (executive, legislative and judicial); equality between 
prosecution and defence and the presumption of innocence until proven 

Why the Tribunal is illegal

The International War Crimes Tribunal was founded in 1993 by the United 
Nations Security Council (with 15 members dominated by the great powers and 
the US veto) on the insistence of Senator Madeleine Albright.

The normal channel for creating such a tribunal, as the United Nations 
Secretary General pointed out at the time, would have been "via an 
International Treaty established and approved by the Member States 
permitting them full exercise of their sovereignty".

However, Washington imposed an arbitrary interpretation of Chapter VII of 
the United Nations Charter, that allows the Security Council to take 
"special measures" to restore International peace.

Is the creation of a Tribunal a "special measure"? Hardly! The 
International War Crimes Tribunal itself is not legal.

Without precedent in the history of law, the Tribunal was empowered with 
the task of setting up its own laws and regulations -+ regulations that it 
has modified frequently.

Through a totally ludicrous procedure for making changes, the President can 
make them on his own and have them ratified by fax by the other judges! 
(rule 6).

Furthermore, the laws of the Tribunal can be retrospective  edited and 
tailored to fit the facts after the event.

The Prosecutor can also change these rules (the defence can-t). And there 
is no "investigating judge" enquiring into charge and counter-charge. The 
Prosecutor conducts the enquiry any way he/she pleases.

The Court can refuse a defence lawyer or simply not listen to him if it 
finds him "aggressive" (rule 46).

The Prosecutor can, with the approval of the judges, refuse to allow 
council for the defence to consult certain books, documents, photos and 
other material proofs (rule 66).

Moreover, the source of testimony and information can stay secret. This 
means that the CIA agents can fill their dossiers with illegally gathered 
accusations (through phone tapping, corruption, theft) without having to 
submit to any kind of verification or cross-examination.

Representatives of other States (participants in the conflict, but allied 
to the United States) can also submit confidential information without 
having to undergo any questioning whatsoever.

An indictment can remain secret "in the interests of justice" (rule 53), so 
the accused cannot defend himself in the normal way.

A suspect, i.e. someone who has not even been indicted, can be detained for 
90 days before being charged -+ ample time to extract a forced confession.

Then rule 92 stipulates that confessions will be deemed trustworthy unless 
the accused can prove the contrary. Everywhere else in the world, the 
accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

No national tribunal, in the United States or anywhere else in the world, 
would operate in such a blatantly unlawful and arbitrary manner.

But when it comes to condemning the enemies of the United States of America 
principles of law no longer count. According to the masters of the world, 
right belongs to the strongest and the richest.

Back to index page