Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 98/8-5

Aug. 17, 1998

International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague Claims Its Fourth Victim

Put the U.N. Justice on Trial

Homicidal Negligence, Abuse of Judicial Powers, Moral Corruption - the Charges


Four Serb Victims of U.N. Justice

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Gen Djukic   Dokmanovic   Drljaca    Kovacevic

PHOENIX - Prisoners from rival gangs banged on cell doors and set off alarms trying call the guards' attention to a sick prisoner who had been moaning in agony. To no avail. When the prison cell doors finally sprung open, some five hours later, all prisoners rushed to help their dying cell mate. Too late.

A scene from a roach-infested Mexican prison? Nope. That's what happened on Aug. 1 at the War Crimes Tribunal jail in the Hague, Netherlands, where Dr. Milan Kovacevic, a Bosnian Serb and a former director of the Prijedor (Bosnian Serb Republic) hospital, suffered a slow and painful death. The Tribunal later said Dr. Kovacevic died of a heart attack, according to a Reuters report carried by the New York Times on Aug. 2.

But the Tribunal lied, according to Dr. Slobodan Ivanovic, a Serb doctor who visited the Tribunal shortly after Kovacevic's death. Dr. Ivanovic said that Kovacevic had died from a ruptured aorta in the abdomen, according to an Associated Press Aug. 10 report. "All prisoners, Serb, Croat and Muslim, banged on their doors to call for the guards," the AP quoted Dr. Ivanovic as saying.

The doctor added that Kovacevic's death had a bad effect on the remaining prisoners, most of who reportedly suffer from depression. "An uprising had been planned, along with a general strike," he said.

A few days before Dr. Kovacevic's death, on July 26, a prominent cardiologist reportedly told Agence France Presse that, "the U.N. court won't have time to judge him (Kovacevic) because his heart will go beforehand if he remains in prison."

Dr. Kovacevic had been kidnapped from his office at the Prijedor hospital on July 10, 1997 by four British soldiers who were pretending that they were delivering a Red Cross parcel to him. The same day, another Bosnian Serb, Simo Drljaca, was murdered in cold blood by a group of NATO commandos, according to two eyewitnesses - his son and his brother-in-law (see this writer's Washington Times column - "NATO's Bullyboys," July 20, 1997, and the TiM GW Bulletin 97/7-6, 7/11/97). Neither Kovacevic nor Drljaca had been on the published list of people indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal. But the Tribunal later said they were secretly indicted in March 1997.

  Furthermore, in February 1996, General Djordje Djukic, also an unindicted Bosnian Serb, was kidnapped by the NATO forces in Sarajevo and flown to the Hague (see TiM GW Bulletin 96-02, 2/22/96). Like Kovacevic, Djukic also became ill at the Hague prison, and was eventually returned to die in his homeland.

The Yugoslav government has protested Kovacevic's death, saying he was denied proper hospital treatment, according to the AP story. The Tribunal and the Dutch authorities rejected the accusation as unfounded.

Meanwhile, legal proceedings against Dr. Kovacevic have now ended, the Tribunal's spokesman told Reuters. The case against the former (Serb) mayor of Vukovar, Slavko Dokmanovic, was also halted after he hanged himself in his cell at the Hague on June 29.

How convenient! For the U.S. court. Why were these cases terminated in mid-trial if the Tribunal really possessed proof of its charges? Was this "world court" really trying to mete out revenge, rather than justice?

For, the bottom line is: Four unindicted Serbs are kidnapped; none are convicted; yet all four end up dead at the United Nations court whose mandate does not allow it to impose a death penalty. But, as you can see, when there is a will, there is a way.

By contrast, two Belgian paratroopers serving within the U.N. forces in Somalia in 1993, were photographed roasting a Somali boy over a flaming brazier. They were sentenced to only a month in jail, and fined £200 (about $333) after admitting the atrocity in a military court in Brussels on June 23, 1997, according to a June 24, 1997 report by the London Telegraph. A third Belgian soldier accused of atrocities during the United Nations "Restore Hope" mission five years ago was said to have forced a young Somali to eat pork, drink salt water, and then eat his vomit. A fourth member of the 3rd battalion of the Parachute Regiment, based at Tielen in Flanders, was photographed urinating on a Somali whom he had allegedly murdered.

Belgium was the third country involved in the U.N. "Restore Hope" mission whose soldiers were charged with serious misdemeanors against the Somali civilians, including rape, torture and murder. In 1995, a group of Canadian paratroopers were investigated for torturing a Somali to death and killing three others. The charges of disobedience, racism, and the rituals for new members of the unit led to the Canadian Airborne Regiment being disbanded in 1996.

And in early June 1997, gruesome photographs of Italian soldiers torturing a Somali youth, and abusing and raping a young Somali girl, were published in a Milan magazine. As a result, the U.N. "Restore Hope" mission will be best remembered by its "Destroy Hope" messages.

Yet despite their confessions and/or indisputable evidence, none of these western U.N. soldiers were ever charged under the War Crimes Tribunal's jurisdiction. Why not? Especially considering that the Hague Tribunal has been also given the duty of prosecuting atrocities committed by the Rwandans in that African country's civil war.

So what is good for the (Serb) goose is obviously not good for the (U.N.) gander? Or as Solon (a Greek philosopher - c.630-c.555 BC) noted some 27 centuries ago: "Laws are like spider webs. If some poor weak creature comes up against them - it is caught. But the bigger one can break through and get away."

Which is why it may be time to put the U.N. justice on trial, starting with its War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague. The charges? Homicidal negligence, duplicity, abuse of judicial powers, and moral and political corruption.

Oh, but how can one prosecute the Tribunal justices without public indictments? No problem. Not according to their standards. These judges' "indictments" were often made in secret, or not at all, before the victims were snatched away and put behind bars. Four of whom are now six feet deep, even though they were never publicly indicted, either. Nor convicted. It's time this U.N. kangaroo court got a taste of its own medicine.

For, with the increasing concentration of power in the hands of an ever smaller number of New World Order people, one cannot help but recall what Juvenal (a.d. 60-130) wondered about a similar situation some 21 centuries ago: "Quis custodiet ipses custodes?" ("Who will guard the guards?").

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Also, check out... "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up""Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street""Kosovo: 'Bosnia II'""What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"

Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"