[Marxism] Milosevic accuses the West in interview from UN prison
mstainsby at resist.ca
Sun Aug 8 22:59:47 MDT 2004
If anyone has an English text of this interview, please advise...
Milosevic accuses the West in interview from UN prison
Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic accused Western governments of
putting pressure on judges at his war crimes trial, in an unauthorised
interview from his Dutch prison that has drawn protest from the UN court.
Milosevic gave the interview to a journalist from the French daily Le
Figaro, which published it Friday, despite the UN court's strict rules that
defendants should not speak to the media.
The paper said it was conducted in the office he is using to conduct his
own defence, which it said is equipped with a telephone, fax machine and a
computer but not Internet.
Milosevic, who was dressed in sandals and without a tie, told the paper
"the judges of the court had received instructions from Western governments
who have sworn to ruin me."
"This trial has been hatched by the NATO powers," said Milosevic, who
apparently gave the interview in "near-perfect English" to the French
paper, presenting himself as the victim of a "political trial".
He claimed that the Srebrenica massacre, where 7,000 Muslim men and boys
were slain by Serb forces in 1995, "was an immense strategic error of the
Bosnian Serbs, with whom I was having a very bad relationship at the time".
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The
Hague said the French journalist Renaud Girard had snuck in to see
Milosevic under false pretences.
"Renaud Girard was not admitted into the detention ward as a journalist. He
was admitted on condition that no article would come out of it," court
spokesman Christian Chartier told AFP.
"It is regrettable that such a publication would give the impression that
we accord privileges to some members of the media, which is not the case."
But Girard said Friday he had the right to interview Milosevic.
"I did not infringe the rules of the ICTY insofar as I did not go through
the ICTY to meet Milosevic," he told AFP.
"I came with one of Milosevic's advisers and I signed a paper which any
visitor signs barring me from describing the place of detention and the
state of health of Milosevic," he said.
In his interview, Milosevic said that the fugitive wartime Bosnian Serb
military commander Ratko Mladic, who faces charges from the court including
genocide for his role in Bosnia's 1992-1995 war, was not responsible for
the Srebenica massacre, seen as one of the greatest atrocities in Europe
since World War II.
"I do not think that he could order such a thing that goes against Serbian
military honour like executing prisoners of war. It's true that he was seen
in Srebrenica on the televsion pictures... but I think that he left and the
murders were not a result of his actions."
Despite continuing health problems Milosevic has been doggedly conducting
his own defence against more than 60 charges of genocide, war crimes and
crimes against humanity for his role in the 1990s wars in the Balkans.
The wearying task has clearly taken its toll, and the trial has been
delayed over a dozen times as Milosevic has fallen ill. -- AFP
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