Slobodan Milosevic Freedom Center - July 1, 2005

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

On June 1, 2005 ICTY prosecutor, Geoffrey Nice, played a videotape during the questioning of Slobodan Milosevics defence witness, General Obrad Stevanovic. The international media reported that the tape was definitive proof that policemen from Serbia took part in the alleged massacre of 7,000 Muslims from Srebrenica in July 1995.
It is no coincidence that this video was shown on the eve of the ten-year commemoration of the alleged massacre in Srebrenica. By playing the tape the prosecutor not only intended to portray Serbia, and president Milosevic in particular, as being responsible; he also provided a pretext for Serbia's pro-US president to 'apologize' - thus taking responsibility - for something that has not been proven over the last ten years.
The videotape was brought into the trial through the side-door. It was not introduced as an exhibit, or for the proof of it contents. It was only shown to the witness to see of he could identify any of the people on the tape. Because the tape is not an exhibit, Milosevic was prohibited from challenging its authenticity. When he tried call tapes authenticity into question, the tribunal cut off his re-examination, and accused him of abusing the proceedings for political purposes.
Taking a close look at the tape one cannot find any link to Serbrenica. Srebrenica is never even mentioned on the tape, and unlike the rest of the tape, the part showing the executions had the time and date removed. The audio appears to have been doctored, it is completely missing on some parts of the tape, and sounds like it was digitally scrambled on other parts. The location where the executions were filmed is not indicated on the tape either. That footage could have been made at any place and at any time. 
Mr Nices assertion that the executioners were policemen from Serbia is refuted by the tape itself. The vehicles on the tape had license plates from the R.S. Krajina Army in Eastern Slavonia (Croatia), and had the symbols of the so-called 'Skorpions' painted on them. The prosecutions own witness, Milan Milanovic testified on October 14, 2003 that this unit came from Eastern Slavonia - not from Serbia. Milanovic, who was the deputy defense minister of R.S. Krajina, testified that the Skorpions were not subordinated to Belgrade. He said they were sent to Bosnia by the R.S. Krajina government.
Interestingly, the source of the videotape is Natasa Kandic, the head of the Belgrade-based NGO Humanitarian Law Center, which is directly financed by the U.S. government through the National Endowment for Democracy.
The Hague Tribunal has created a media circus, not for the purposes of justice, but to force Serbia to bear the cross for what allegedly happened in Srebrenica. The tribunal wants to write Sebrenica's history once and for all, in spite of several serious questions that remain regarding what really happened there. They want to dig a grave and burry the truth, with the headstone reading "Serbia is guilty."
Neither the Yugoslav Army nor Serbia's police had anything to do with the events in Srebrenica, or the war in Bosnia. Even in reports written by NATO countries this fact is admitted. In the main report of the Dutch government, published in April 2001, it literally says: "There are no indications that the action was taken out in collaboration with Belgrade, neither in terms of political or military coordination."

Contrary to what the prosecutor wants us to believe, President Milosevics efforts were exclusively directed towards finding a just and equitable peace. Instead of ordering a mass-slaughter, Milosevics attitude towards the Srebrenica Muslims is evidenced by his decision to give safe-haven to nearly 1,000 Srebrenica-Muslim fighters who were trapped at the Drina River. At the request of Carl Bildt, Milosevic gave these soldiers shelter and safe-passage to Hungary.

Another important aspect, which remains hidden from the public, is the fact that the Yugoslav authorities arrested several people who were involved in the events at Srebrenica. There is the case of  Drazen Erdemovic, a Croat, who claimed to have personally executed more than 100 people. He was arrested in Novi Sad, Serbia in 1996 and charged with murder and war crimes. Facing a severe punishment in Yugoslavia he, as a Croatian citizen, demanded to be extradited to The Hague Tribunal. The tribunal sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment, and then granted him early release and a new identity. Milosevics government arrested several members of Erdamovics unit, but they were subsequently set free by the DOS government following the coup of October 5, 2000.

All of this, and much more, makes it clear that the accusation that Slobodan Milosevic, as president of Serbia, was responsible for what happened in Srebrenica is completely absurd. The use of the videotape by the prosecution had no other purpose than politics. They want to manipulate public opinion because of their hopeless position. In three years they have been unable to prove Milosevic guilty of a single charge.
What actually happened in Srebrenica is still unclear. There is reason to doubt the official story. As President Milosevic said in the courtroom: I want the truth to be revealed with regard to this insane crime, in the interest of justice. It has to be explained before the world public.

For this reason, Slobodan Milosevic Freedom Center calls for an independent inquiry of this serious issue. It is clear that the so-called Hague Tribunal, because of its biased nature, is unqualified to lead such an inquiry.
Slobodan Milosevic Freedom Center The Hague
Amsterdam July 1, 2005

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