War-crimes trials in Serbia
by RTV B92
The Humanitarian Law Centre (Belgrade) analyses war-crimes trials in Serbia
The Humanitarian Law Centre (FHP) believes there is a consensus in Serbia among politicians, the media and the War-crimes Prosecution service that the links between the state security services and war crimes committed in Bosnia should not be made public.
In an analysis of war-crimes trials held in Serbia, on the occasion of the visit by the US envoy for war-crimes issues John Clint Williamson, FHP noted that the trials were organized in a professional manner, that the existing legal framework allowed for efficient work, as well as that the technical conditions were flawless. On the other hand, the FHP objects to the law that does not permit for television broadcasting of the trials. This is ‘seriously jeopardizing any attempt’ to replace the glorification of war-crimes indictees as Serb heroes with a culture of solidarity and empathy with the victims. ‘It is evident that media reports from the trials refrain from showing evidence revealing, or pointing to, the involvement of Serbian institutions in war crimes in Bosnia’, the NGO concludes.
The FHP believes that there is full consensus on an alleged national interest not to publish facts and evidence on these links, in order to prevent the International Court of Justice from ‘establishing Serbia's responsibility for genocide’ and ordering Serbia to pay war reparations. In its analysis, the FHP sees this as an attempt by the current political elite to create a parallel past and history, forgetting that the Hague tribunal has in numerous verdicts established the truth, which does indeed speak of the involvement of Serbian institutions in war crimes committed in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.
Report broadcast by RTV B92 (Belgrade), 27 July 2006: see www.b92.net