Slobodan Milosevic requested provisional release from the international court of justice at The Hague, claiming that he would not seek to escape and that he would present himself at all future hearings.
At the hearing to decide whether or not to tack all the cases against him into one single case, Mr. Milosevic said: “You have asked me if I have anything to say, so I will tell you: I want to be set free. It would be logical and fair that you let me leave. I will not escape. I am totally prepared to come to all the hearings. Certainly I will not leave this battle. The fact that I am detained here in these indecent conditions does not honour this institution, although it is an illegal one”, he added.
The cases levelled against Mr. Milosevic are war crimes in Kosovo, which will open on 12th February, and war crimes and crimes against humanity in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, a case which will begin when the first has ended.
During these hearings, Mr. Milosevic is likely to make clear what was the political dealing of western nations with Serbia during the Balkans crises, information which should prove to be extremely embarrassing to the governments of those countries which are so happy to see him in the dock.
The hypocrisy with which the western nations treated Yugoslavia during the 1990s is immeasurable. As Carla del Ponte, that vindictive and ridiculous pseudo-lawyer figure which poses as the chief prosecutor of the so-called tribunal, a figure who flouts international law at every turn, gloats over her prey, the battle is yet to begin.
Certainly the contortions on her face as the trial draws on will be a picture of human emotion, as will be those of the political players in the Balkans in the 1990s. It is time to spill the beans.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23