The Hague Inquisition at Work

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Criminals in judicial cloaks are tied to Šešelj’s case…

When at the end of December of last year the media made reports from the solemn, even pompous closure of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), they often forgot to report that … no closure actually existed. This was deception. The Hague tribunal simply replaced the signboard from ICTY to IRMCT.

Formally the “new” institution will carry out the “residual” functions of two tribunals – the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. However this is also deception. IRMCT exists in two formats – in the Hague and in Arusha (Rwanda). And if in the Hague only the signboard was placed (IRMCT remained in the same building in which the ICTY was), in Rwanda for IRMCT instead of using an old room, a whole complex of new buildings were constructed (for the implementation of “residual functions”!). The IRMCT is led by the former president of the ICTY American Theodor Meron; many judges of the ICTY are a part of the judges -there is the same chief prosecutor of the ICTY S. Brammertz…

Although the official purpose of the IRMCT is the “completion” of the activity of two tribunals, the trials continue. Now this structure prepares the appeals for the General Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadžić for consideration. Appeal hearings on the case of Karadžić take place on April 23rd and 24th … The process against the former leaders of the security service of Yugoslavia J. Stanišić and F. Simatović is ongoing. Both of the accused were acquitted five years ago, but the appeal chamber appointed a new trial. The media tells tales about “the highest standards of justice”, but in practice we see the destruction of these standards. Stanišić/Simatović’s process is the longest in all the history of international justice: the accused are still at the first stage of the process (!) although they were imprisoned by the Hague tribunal in 2003!

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And here there is the new verdict of the “residual mechanism” – in the case of Vojislav Šešelj. The leader of the Serbian radical party and professor of law V. Šešelj after 13 years of being detained in the ICTY prison was acquitted of all charges in March, 2016. In prison he received multiple cancers and some other diseases. There was an attempt to physically eliminate Šešelj in prison. A pacemaker was sewed into his heart, which later appeared to be “faulty”: instead of correcting the rhythm it zapped V. Šešelj with a current; after being diagnosed with asthma, Šešelj was transferred from a cell with opening windows to a completely closed cell without access to fresh air …

After being acquitted, Šešelj raised the question about compensation for his illegal detention. He was the only one among those were accused by the ICTY who dared to do this in a legally strict form. All those who were earlier acquitted preferred to leave the Hague tribunal as soon as possible, because they understood very well that their acquittal is a political affair. For example, the former president of Serbia Milan Milutinović was acquitted because he agreed to shift the blame onto Milosevic. The former chief of the General Staff of the army of Yugoslavia Momčilo Perišić was acquitted because he was a US agent and was caught transferring classified information to the CIA…

And only V. Šešelj was acquitted in other circumstances. The structure of the court that acquitted him was unusual: the Frenchman Jean-Claude Antonetti, who rebelled against the Hague’s arbitrariness, became the chairman of the trial chamber, and the second casting vote belonged to the Senegalese M. Niang. The third judge opposed acquittal, but the unique combination of circumstances left him in the minority.

The fact that the ICTY is not a legal structure but a political one is also recognised by the leadership of this institution. The head of the ICTY C. Agius at a meeting of the UN Security Council declared: “There is one systemic institutional problem in the sphere of international justice – it is politics”.

Voislav Šešelj was the only one who put up a fight against the tribunal from the first day of his voluntary arrival in the Hague. And on April 11th the Appeal chamber of the “Residual mechanism” made the decision to cancel Šešelj’s acquittal and to find him guilty of committing international crimes, having sentenced him to 10 years of imprisonment. V. Šešelj won’t serve this sentence – he already spent 13 years in the Hague prison, but with this verdict international “justice” closed the question of demanding compensation.

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There is also an even more serious reason for the sentence given to V. Šešelj – the tribunal tries to hide its own crimes. The charges against professor Vojislav Šešelj was false from the very beginning. The former chief prosecutor of the ICTY Carla Del Ponte recognised in her memoirs that the charges against Šešelj were cooked up by her in connection with the demand of the then Prime Minister of Serbia Đinđić to remove the leader of the Serbian Radical Party from the political arena. The prosecutor’s office wasn’t able to begin the process against Šešelj for five years, it wasn’t able to prepare the case even for the 13th year! The prosecution witnesses stated directly in court that the prosecutor’s office forced them to give false testimonies against Šešelj, threatening them and their families: this was testified by more than three dozens of prosecution witnesses!…

Now Del Ponte is the head of the international commission of inquiry on Syria… The former president of the ICTY, who rejected Šešelj’s claim for an investigation into the crimes of the prosecutor’s office, is now a member of the International Court of Justice of the UN … The judge O-Gon Kwon who approved the false charges against Šešelj became the President of the Assembly of member states of the International Criminal Court…

Too many criminals in judicial cloaks are tied to Šešelj’s case, that’s why the cancellation of his acquittal was inevitable. Matters of law have no value here. The appeal chamber didn’t find any violations in the loudest violation of the rights of the accused in the history of international justice, namely: depriving the accused of the right to a defence. As a reminder: it was stated to Šešelj that he himself must pay for the arrival of the defence witnesses in the Hague; nobody else was issued such demands. Šešelj was the only accused person who the judge advised to “appeal to his supporters to give 5-10 euros” in order to raise funds for a defence! The appeal chamber didn’t find any violations of the rights of the accused in this.

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Šešelj’s case made history. This story gives a right idea of those who over the last few decades have supported the myth about a “western sense of justice”, telling people hypocritical arguments about the “rule of law”. It is very important to see the difference between this hypocrisy, on the one hand, and international law on the other hand. The disappointment that sounds concerning international law mustn’t lead to its destruction. It is necessary to remember that in the subsoil of the International Courts of Justice a new, “global” law is being formed on the sly. Externally it looks international, but it’s it antipode. The purpose of “global law” is to destroy international law and substitute it.

Vojislav Šešelj’s case became bright confirmation not only of the dangers of “global law”, but also of the fact that international law is one of the most important values of modern international relations. This value demands the firm support, despite all the efforts of the hypocritical carriers of the “western sense of justice”.

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