Hague Tribunal Exonerates
Slobodan Milosevic for Bosnia War Crimes Ten Years Too Late
The UN war crimes tribunal has determined that the late Serbian
president was not responsible for war crimes committed in Bosnia during
the 1992-95 war. The judges determined that Slobodan Milosevic was
not part of a "joint criminal enterprise" to victimize Bosnian
Muslims and Croats.
Written By: Andy Wilcoxson
18 July 2016 - www.slobodan-milosevic.org
The International Criminal Tribunal
for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has determined that
the late Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was not responsible
for war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
In a stunning ruling, the trial chamber
that convicted former Bosnian-Serb president Radovan Karadzic of war
crimes and sentenced him to 40 years in prison, unanimously concluded
that Slobodan Milosevic was not part of a joint criminal enterprise
to victimize Muslims and Croats during the Bosnian war.
The March 24th Karadzic judgment states
that the Chamber is not satisfied that there was sufficient
evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milosevic agreed
with the common plan to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and
Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb claimed territory.
The Karadzic trial chamber found that
the relationship between Milosevic and the Accused had deteriorated
beginning in 1992; by 1994, they no longer agreed on a course of action
to be taken. Furthermore, beginning as early as March 1992, there
was apparent discord between the Accused and Milosevic in meetings
with international representatives, during which Milosevic and other
Serbian leaders openly criticised Bosnian Serb leaders of committing
crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing
and the war for their own purposes.
The judges noted that Slobodan Milosevic
and Radovan Karadzic both favored the preservation of Yugoslavia and
that Milosevic was initially supportive, but that their views diverged
over time. The judgment states that from 1990 and into mid-1991,
the political objective of the Accused and the Bosnian Serb leadership
was to preserve Yugoslavia and to prevent the separation or independence
of BiH, which would result in a separation of Bosnian Serbs from Serbia;
the Chamber notes that Slobodan Milosevic endorsed this objective
and spoke against the independence of BiH.
The Chamber found that the declaration
of sovereignty by the SRBiH Assembly in the absence of the Bosnian
Serb delegates on 15 October 1991, escalated the situation,
but that Milosevic was not on board with the establishment of Republika
Srpska in response. The judgment says that Slobodan Milosevic
was attempting to take a more cautious approach
The judgment states that in intercepted
communications with Radovan Karadzic, Milosevic questioned whether
it was wise to use an illegitimate act in response to another
illegitimate act and questioned the legality of forming a Bosnian
Serb Assembly. The judges also found that Slobodan
Milosevic expressed his reservations about how a Bosnian Serb Assembly
could exclude the Muslims who were for Yugoslavia.
The judgment notes that in meetings
with Serb and Bosnian Serb officials Slobodan Milosevic stated
that [a]ll members of other nations and ethnicities must be
protected and that [t]he national interest of the Serbs
is not discrimination. Also that Milosevic further
declared that crime needed to be fought decisively.
The trial chamber notes that In
private meetings, Milosevic was extremely angry at the Bosnian Serb
leadership for rejecting the Vance-Owen Plan and he cursed the Accused.
They also found that Milosevic tried to reason with the Bosnian
Serbs saying that he understood their concerns, but that it was most
important to end the war.
The judgment states that Milosevic
also questioned whether the world would accept that the Bosnian Serbs
who represented only one third of the population of BiH would get
more than 50% of the territory and he encouraged a political agreement.
At a meeting of the Supreme Defense
Council the judgment says that Milosevic told the Bosnian Serb
leadership that they were not entitled to have more than half the
territory in BiH, stating that: there is no way that more than
that could belong to us! Because, we represent one third of the population.
] We are not entitled to in excess of half of the territory
you must not snatch away something that belongs to someone
] How can you imagine two thirds of the population being
crammed into 30% of the territory, while 50% is too little for you?!
Is it humane, is it fair?!
In other meetings with Serb and Bosnian
Serb officials, the judgment notes that Milosevic declared that
the war must end and that the Bosnian Serbs biggest mistake
was to want a complete defeat of the Bosnian Muslims. Because
of the rift between Milosevic and the Bosnian-Serbs, the judges note
that the FRY reduced its support for the RS and encouraged the
Bosnian Serbs to accept peace proposals.
The Tribunals determination that
Slobodan Milosevic was not part of a joint criminal enterprise, and
that on the contrary he condemned ethnic cleansing
is of tremendous significance because he got blamed for all of the
bloodshed in Bosnia, and harsh economic sanctions were imposed on
Serbia as a result. Wrongfully accusing Milosevic ranks right up there
with invading Iraq only to find that there werent any weapons
of mass destruction after all.
Slobodan Milosevic was vilified by
the entire western press corps and virtually every politician in every
NATO country. They called him the Butcher of the Balkans.
They compared him to Hitler and accused him of genocide. They demonized
him and made him out to be a bloodthirsty monster, and they used that
false image to justify not only economic sanctions against Serbia,
but also the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia and the Kosovo war.
Slobodan Milosevic had to spend the
last five years of his life in prison defending himself and Serbia
from bogus war crimes allegations over a war that they now admit he
was trying to stop. The most serious charges that Milosevic faced,
including the charge of genocide, were all in relation to Bosnia.
Now, ten years after his death, they admit that he wasnt guilty
after all oops.
The ICTY did nothing to publicize the
fact that they had cleared Milosevic of involvement in the joint criminal
enterprise. They quietly buried that finding 1,303 pages into the
2,590 page Karadzic verdict knowing full well that most people would
probably never bother to read it.
The presiding judge in the Radovan
Karadzic trial, O-Gon Kwon of South Korea, was also one of the judges
in the Slobodan Milosevic trial. Milosevics exoneration by the
Karadzic trial chamber may be an indication of how the Milosevic chamber
would have eventually ruled, at least on the Bosnia charges, if Milosevic
had lived to see the conclusion of his own trial.
Its worth recalling that Slobodan
Milosevic died under a very suspicious set of circumstances. He died
of a heart attack just two weeks after the Tribunal denied his request
to undergo heart surgery in Russia. He was found dead in his cell
less than 72 hours after his attorney delivered a letter to the Russian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which he said that he feared he was
The Tribunals official report
on the inquiry into his death confirmed that, Rifampicin had
been found in a blood sample taken from Mr. Milosevic on 12 January
2006. And that Mr. Milosevic was not told of the results
until 3 March 2006 because of the difficult legal position in which
Dr. Falke (the Tribunals chief medical officer) found himself
by virtue of the Dutch legal provisions concerning medical confidentiality.
The presence of Rifamicin (a non-prescribed
drug) in Milosevics blood would have counteracted the high blood
pressure medication he was taking and increased his risk of the heart
attack that ultimately did kill him. The Tribunals admission
that they knew about the Rifampicin for months, but didnt tell
Milosevic the results of his own blood test until just days before
his death because of Dutch legal provisions concerning medical
confidentiality is an incredibly lame and disingenuous excuse.
There is no provision of Dutch law that prohibits a doctor from telling
the patient the results of his own blood test -- that would be idiotic.
On the contrary, concealing such information from the patient could
be seen as malpractice.
This all gives rise to well-founded
suspicion that powerful geopolitical interests would rather Milosevic
die before the end of his trial than see him acquitted and have their
vicious lies exposed. U.S. State Department cables leaked to Wikileaks
confirm that The Tribunal did discuss Milosevics medical condition
and his medical records with U.S. Embassy personnel in The Hague without
his consent. They clearly didnt care about medical confidentiality
laws when they were blabbing about his medical records to the American
Its an unsatisfying outcome that
Milosevic has been quietly vindicated for the most serious crimes
that he was accused of some ten years after his death. At a minimum
financial compensation should now be paid to his widow and his children,
and reparations should be paid to Serbia by the western governments
who sought to punish Serbia in order to hold Milosevic accountable
for crimes that their own Tribunal now admits he wasnt responsible
for, and was in fact trying to stop.
 ICTY, Karadzic Judgment, 24 March
2016, Para. 3460
 Ibid., Footnote 11027
 Ibid., Para. 3276
 Ibid., Para. 2709
 Ibid., Para. 2710
 Ibid., Para. 2685
 Ibid., Para. 2687
 Ibid., Para. 3288
 Ibid., Para. 3284
 Ibid., Para. 3289
 Ibid., Para. 3295
 Ibid., Para. 3290
 Ibid., Para. 3297
 Ibid., Para. 3293
 Ibid., Para. 3292
 Ibid., Para. 3280
 ICTY Case No. IT-02-54 Prosecutor
v. Slobodan Milosevic, Decision on Assigned Counsel Request for Provisional
Release, February 23, 2006
 Text of Slobodan Milosevics
Letter to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 Judge Kevin Parker (Vice-President
of the ICTY), Report to the President of the ICTY: Death of Slobodan
Milosevic, May 2006; ¶ 31, 76
 U.S. State Dept. Cable #03THEHAGUE2835_a,
ICTY: An Inside Look Into Milosevics Health and Support
Commentaar van Jan Cleton:
"Jaren voor geknokt dat hij vrijgesproken zou worden. Oog in
oog gestaan met Madelin Albright, die met recht de slager van de Balkan
genoemd mag worden. En wat was de misdaad van Milosevic: Hij weigerde
zijn land en volk uit te leveren aan NAVO.
IK HEB 10 JAAR OP DEZE GENOEGDOENING MOETEN WACHTEN.
Mensen wordt wakker, ze doen nu hetzelfde met Putin. Met dit verschil
dat hij nog niet voor een NAVO-tribunaal staat."