Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Tue Jul 1 10:26:29 MDT 2003


I am aware of a demo in The Hague against the treatment of Slobodan
Milosovic. I haven't gone due to personal circumstances, but my point of
view is this: I think that if you are objective, you can indict Milosovic on
a number of counts.
But I totally object and reject the hijacking of a person to be put on trial
in another country than where the alleged crime was committed, however
laudatory the official motives for this abduction might be. That is to say,
I think the general jurisprudential principle in this case (and I am not a
jurist other than in the sense that my name is Jurriaan) is that Milosovic
must be judged among his own people, not by a bunch of juridical people who
want to save the world somewhere else. Therefore, I have from the very start
strongly objected to the abduction of Milosovic from Yugoslavia and his
incarceration in Holland, which I consider illegal and I fully agree with
Milosovic in this sense, and sympathise with the inconvenience that he must
suffer being here in Holland. I am also prepared to protest against his
imprisonment and trial here, however without making any statements about his
guilt or innocence. Fact is, I don't know and it is not my business, it
belongs to the people he governed. But I am not going to pontificate about
judging Milosovic, because Yugoslav people here feel I do not know enough
about it. We do have socialist lawyers in the Socialist Party, but I haven't
spoken with them either. If you go and say that Milosovic must be trialed in
Holland, then you are saying that jurists in Belgrade are incompetent, and
that is a big, arrogant claim and we ought to investigate that before
talking all sorts of nonsense. If indeed there are problems with Yugoslav
jurists, then they can invite help from overseas. If however you endorse the
abduction of Milosovic for trial in The Hague, you are endorsing
imperialism. Now we must be very clear about not endorsing imperialism,
because it is very easy for a clever imperialist to slip one past us, and
trick us into their ideology. But as far as this type of thing is concerned,
they don't fool me. So my position is simple: free Milosovic, send him home,
and let the courts deal with him there.

I emphasise again however that this is my personal opinion, freely
expressed, and that I am not a lawyer. My present concern is not with legal
issues, but with imperialism and social justice.



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