The Guardian November 7, 2001


The Hague: Milosevic accuses NATO

During a pre-trial hearing at The Hague on October 29-30, former 
President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, accused the NATO Western 
alliance of staging "criminal aggression" against Yugoslavia. The tribunal 
set February 12, 20002, as the starting date for his trial on charges of 
war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to Kosovo, Bosnia and 
Croatia.

Mr Milosevic demanded that the chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte be 
disqualified.

"... we heard her yesterday, loud and clear, reading the indictment 
concerning Kosovo, which only deals with events from the 24th of March 
until the end of first week of June, when ... the whole planet knows that 
it is exactly from the 24th March until the first week of June, inclusive, 
that NATO committed its criminal aggression against Yugoslavia.

"The indictment and what we have heard implies that NATO did not commit 
aggression against Yugoslavia, but rather that Yugoslavia committed 
aggression against itself...", said Mr Milosevic.

During those 78 days and 78 nights of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia 22,000 
tons of bombs were delivered causing huge number of victims.

"IF the court is able to remain blind to the fact that from the 24th of 
March to the first week of June aggression was committed, that the number 
of victims was huge, that 22,000 tons of bombs was delivered and that an 
attempt is being made to blame all this on Yugoslavia as if it committed 
these crimes against itself and to absolve NATO  and I think that even 
such an illegal court must take into account these facts  ... then it is 
obvious this is not a court, but only a part of the machinery for the 
execution of crimes against my country and my people.

"If the latter is the case, ... and therefore, the court is part of the 
machinery, then, please, read the verdicts you have been instructed to 
reach and stop bothering me  making me listen for hours to texts written 
at the level of a seven-year-old child; to put it more precisely  a 
retarded seven-year old child..."

Mr Milosevic pointed to the influence of the trials on terrorism in the 
south of Serbia.

"I wish to warn you that these days, these weeks and months Albanian 
terrorists at the south of Serbia are cutting throats, setting the fires, 
raping, beating up, plundering and doing everything else they used to do in 
Kosovo and Metohia.

"They were given wings because in distinction to the current American 
administration that has declared an antagonistic position regarding 
terrorism, the previous administration was in alliance with terrorism.

"They knew that Osama bin Laden was in Albania two years after he 
demolished their embassies.

"They even commented on that fact when meeting with me and my associates. 
So, please do not induce terrorism in the south of Serbia because people 
there are suffering too much.

"You should also bear in mind that because of such terror and under the 
Untied Nations auspices 330,000 persons were driven from Kosovo and 
Metohia. 330,000 mainly Serbs under the auspices of the United Nations.

Judge May redirected matters to Mr Milosevic's physical and mental state.

Mr Milosevic requested that cameras in his prison cell be removed, and that 
they cease having officials present when his family visits.

"The explanations for cameras in the cell are senseless. It is explained 
that cameras are needed to prevent me from committing suicide.

"I wish to declare here in front of this court that I would never commit 
suicide because first of all I do not want to do that to my children and my 
family ...

"Secondly. I would never commit suicide because I have to fight here, to 
destroy this court and this mockery of a trial and its employers who are 
using this court against persons fighting for freedom in the world."

Following the reading of the "Kosovo indictment" Slobodan Milosevic 
declared the indictment to be false.

"And that is for two reasons. First, there is a total intention to 
completely switch the roles played by the two sides in the conflict... "

At this point the microphone was turned off.

After the reading of the "Croatia indictment", Mr Milosevic described it as 
"the second act of the crime committed against my people, because it 
proclaims the victim to be the culprit in order to protect the real 
culprits for the crime against Yugoslavia.

"It is absurd to accuse Serbia and the Serbs for the armed secession of 
Croatia that caused civil war, conflicts and sufferings for the civilian 
population. The indictment even attempts to refute the late Croatian boss 
Franjo Tudjman who in his message to the Croat people said... "

The mike was cut again.

* * *
To join or help this struggle, visit: http://www.sps.org.yu/(official SPS website) http://www.belgrade-forum.org/(forum for the world of equals) http://www.icdsm.org/(the international committee to defend Slobodan Milosevic)

Back to index page