Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica refuses to hand over the ex-President Slobodan Milosevic under the conditions presented by the International Penal Court, based at the Hague. This court was founded by the United Nations Organisation to try cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Numerous requests have been made by this court against various figures in the former Republic of Yugoslavia but after the “Tikha Revolutsija” ( quiet/soft revolution) which brought President Kostunica to power, this court has been predictably obsessed with the figure of Mr. Milosevic. However, the new authorities in Belgrade have stated time and time again that they are not prepared to conform with foreign extradition rights which choose to select targets for political purposes, rather like NATO selects “targets” for dubious military objectives, including Embassies, at times…if things go wrong they can always claim “collateral damage” or play the “ We apologise” cassette. Tired of the “BANG! SORRY!” NATO policy, President Kostunica has made his position clear. If war crimes were committed, they were committed not only by Serbs but also all the players in the arena of the Balkans, an arena which Russia tried to avoid (because it knew what it was doing) and one in which NATO insisted on entering (because it did not know what it was doing). Being a player in the arena, and being guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, it is natural that NATO should appear alongside presupposed Serbian war criminals. One could say that if NATO refuses to accept its responsibilities and to pay for its mistakes, why should Yugoslavia, or Iraq, be subjected to such unfair, unjust and illegal discrimination? A case could even be constructed for NATO to pay damages against these countries for revenues lost, due to the illegal state of affairs created. In the words of President Kostunica: “On the day when the Bosnians, Croats, Albanians and NATO leaders appear at the Court (IPC, Hague), the question of the accusations against (ex-President) Milosevic will be revised”.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON