[Marxism] Milosevic accuses the West in interview from UN prison

Macdonald Stainsby 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
Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope

More information about the Marxism mailing list