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NATO says The Hague Tribunal (or ICTY) belongs to
NATO. The Tribunal says they and NATO are Partners.
Is the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) a neutral body? Below are excerpts from two documents, which support the charge that it is not.
1. Excerpts from a NATO press conference held by Jamie Shea, spokesperson for NATO during the bombing of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, and Major Gen. W. Jertz. In this excerpt, Mr. Shea explains to a reporter that NATO decides whom the Tribunal investigates, and whom it does not.
2. Excerpts from a 30 April 1999 press conference held by Louise Arbour, then Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY (the Hague Tribunal) and Madeline Albright, then U.S. Secretary of State.
NATO held this press conference on 17 May,
while it was bombing Yugoslavia. Below is the excerpt where Shea says
NATO controls The Hague Tribunal. For the full text of the press conference, with this part highlighted, go to
[You may skip my comments and go to the excerpts from the press conference.]
When this press conference was held, at the end of April 1999, NATO had spent five weeks bombing Yugoslavia, which had not invaded or even threatened any other country. NATO intensively bombed civilian targets. When Radio-Television Serbia (RTS) broadcast coverage of the resulting carnage, NATO bombed the RTS studios as well, killing 16 employees. Later, the government that NATO installed in Serbia in October 2000 arrested the head of RTS, charging him with criminal responsibility for those 16 deaths.
According to public statements made on 14 April by
General Wald, the Pentagon
media spokesperson, NATO attacks on civilian targets could not have been
carried out in error. See, "How the Pentagon Unwittingly
Admitted NATO Leaders are Guilty of War Crimes against Yugoslavia," at
In the 30 April press conference, Louise Arbour, chief prosecutor for an organization that presents itself as a tribunal concerned with war crimes, made no reference to NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslav civilians. Her concern was with supporting NATO's accusations against Yugoslavia.
In this highly visible forum, US Secretary of State Madeline Albright instructed Arbour to indict Yugoslav President Milosevic. Said Albright:
As you will see in the excerpt below, instead of rejecting Albright's instructions (which instructions would have constituted gross interference in the Tribunal's independence if the Tribunal had any) Arbour implied that if NATO wanted Milosevic indicted they'd better come up with more funding and give the Tribunal more help gathering (or, to be accurate, fabricating) evidence.
I have also posted three excerpts in which Arbour refers to NATO countries as her 'partners,' including in providing the Tribunal with information. So we have the coalition which attacked Yugoslavia providing 'information' based on which the Tribunal decides whom to indict for alleged war crimes during NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia.
What year did you say it was? 1984?
If you wish to read the full text of the
conference, it is, as of 1 July 2005, still posted at:
As of 1 July 2005, the full transcript of the press
conference is still posted at
Part A is an excerpt consisting of an exchange between Arbour and Albright on the indictment of Milosevic.
Part B consists of three excerpts in which prosecutor Arbour talks about her NATO partners.
Justice Arbour and I today discussed how the United States can provide more information to the Tribunal, and how to speed up delivery of potential evidence to The Hague. I assured her that we are asking Congress for additional resources for the Tribunal to meet new demands for investigations in Kosovo. And we discussed other needs of her investigations, which I am not going to get into, but which I assure you that the United States will do everything we possibly can to meet.
We are also thinking ahead to the Tribunal's needs after the fighting stops. We have consulted with Justice Arbour and begun planning for how we could facilitate access by Tribunal investigators to crime scenes in Kosovo.
The Tribunal now needs real-time support for its Kosovo investigations, and the United States is determined to give it. The world needs to know exactly what is happening there, and we are committed to helping discover it. Milosevic's victims, and those everywhere who love justice, need to know that there will be no impunity for those who commit these heinous offenses. And we're committed to helping the Tribunal ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
JUSTICE ARBOUR: Thank you. I don't have a statement. I think I'd rather turn to your questions, except to say that I've had very fruitful discussions. We had announced a few weeks ago that we now need unprecedented assistance, in order to respond to the kinds of allegations that are coming out of Kosovo in a time frame that will make our work relevant. The discussions I've had in Germany, in the United Kingdom, here, and that I hope to have in France next week, are very much a part of our effort to obtain this kind of assistance. I'm happy to say that the support that is promised to us is starting to materialize, and I hope that it will permit us to face this massive flow of information and organize it in a coherent fashion that will allow us to discharge our mandate in a real-time environment.
QUESTION: Did you discuss an indictment of Slobodan Milosevic, and did you discuss reports that Justice Arbour is planning to leave this position; and what is the US view of that?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, obviously, the question of what is going to happen to Mr. Milosevic is a subject that is very much on our minds, and Justice Arbour knows what we have said both publicly and privately; that she and the Tribunal need to follow out the trail of evidence to its conclusion. We, as I said, are supportive of her efforts.
She and I did not personally discuss the subject of -- it is my understanding. We talked about the challenge of the position. I was there when she was chosen as prosecutor, and I made very clear to her our tremendous support for the work that she has done and will continue to do. She is a great public servant, and someone that the international community has the highest respect for.
JUSTICE ARBOUR: You know that I've taken the position
that it's inappropriate in my office to single out individuals as
targets for investigations. The discussions that we have, both privately
and publicly, are focused on our desire to bring the evidence forward at
the highest level of political and/or military responsibility.
The full text of the press conference is still posted
1 - Arbour: "We have long-standing relationships with [NATO] information providers. We are now looking at trying to accelerate the flow of that kind of information and the quality of the product. Of course, we're doing so at a time where that the collection capacity of all these potential providers is taxed by the need for them to collect information relevant to their efforts in the region.
"So we are, of course, competing with other interests at a time when we're trying to get access for information for our purposes. It's a dialogue and a partnership that we have to maintain."
2- Arbour: "I can assure you that one of the main subjects of discussion that I raised -- not only here but in all the capitals that I visited recently -- is the need for an immediate, very robust arrest initiative in Bosnia.... I believe that what will ...have a very immediate impact -- would be the demonstration that we have the capacity to investigate and we have partners who have the political will and the operational skills to execute arrest warrants even in hostile environments."
3 - Arbour: "There's no question that we would like to access the largest number of pieces [of information] and to have the capacity to process this information. As I said, I think we've now put in place mechanisms that allow us, in partnership with many others who are in the field in Albania and in Macedonia, to try to process refugee accounts and, from our point of view, select those who will provide the best base for a court case that will be reflective of the magnitude of what has transpired."
Excerpted from the Albright-Arbour press conference.
Aas of 1 July 2005, the transcript is still posted at:
Yugoslav professor Kosta Cavoski has written a series of articles on the Hague Tribunal:
-- In 'The War Crimes Tribunal vs. Gen. Djordje
Illegal Origins' at
In 'Learning from the Inquisition' at
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