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Emperor's Clothes
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Have you seen the Emperor's Clothes movie 'JUDGMENT!' ? It proves the Western media lied about Bosnia!

Learn more about 'JUDGMENT!' here.

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A Victory for Truth in the Netherlands!
Interview with Nico Steijnen

Interviewer: Andy Wilcoxson

[Posted 10 January 2004]

Also see: "Dutch Politicians must Answer in Court for NATO War Crimes," at http://emperors-clothes.com/news/case.htm 

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Andy Wilcoxson: Hello, this is Andy Wilcoxson calling.  Jared Israel from Emperor’s Clothes suggested I call. I edit the Yugoslavia news section at EC  – and by the way Jared sends his warmest regards –

Nico Steijnen: Tell him I send him mine as well.

Andy Wilcoxson: I’ll do that. I’m calling because I have a few questions about the January 26th court case that the Permanent Committee on War Crimes has brought, concerning the bombing of Yugoslavia.

My understanding is that former Dutch Prime Minister Kok, former Minister of Defense de Grave, the former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Van Aartsen, and former Chair of the Dutch Parliament Van Nieuwenhoven, have to appear in court to answer for their war crimes against Yugoslavia. The question is, have they been indicted?

Nico Steijnen:  No, that’s not the point. We made a promise before the aggression against Yugoslavia began in March 1999 that if these the Dutch politicians joined with NATO and gave the green light for the attack to commence that there would be consequences for them, and the first consequence was that we would bring them into court in any way we could to account for their acts.

In most Western countries the prosecutor is part of the government administration, and so it is very difficult to get criminal charges brought against government officials.

The way around this problem is to bring civil litigation and that is what we intend to do. In preparation for this case, the court of appeals in The Hague has ordered that these Dutch officials must testify and give evidence about, for example, NATO’s use of cluster bombs on the Serbian city of Nis, and whether that violated the principles and norms of international humanitarian law, for which the State of the Netherlands can be held accountable.

So now they have to testify. Of course they’ve tried to resist, but the court of appeals has ruled that they must testify. We will be able to hear them in court and this will put us in a better position for the following proceedings – the legal proceedings for damages.

Andy Wilcoxson: Could this possibly lead to criminal charges being brought against these people?

Nico Steijnen:  Many people in many different countries, Canada, the UK, Germany, and Spain, for example, have tried to bring criminal charges against NATO officials, and in each case the charges have been thrown out.

But now we have discovered some new facts. We have evidence that the Dutch Parliament was informed by the Dutch Government that there were plans, during the war, that if Milosevic would not surrender there would be attacks against civilian targets. The Dutch Parliament was informed of that, and we have the documents to prove it. So now we can bring charges spearheaded by this new information.

For us it is a great victory that these officials have to come to court and account for their actions.

Unfortunately, one of them, Ms. Van Nieuwenhoven, the former chair of the Dutch Parliament, absolutely refuses to attend.

She is undertaking action in the district court to get out of having to testify, and we are keeping an eye on this, because we do not want to allow her to slip through our fingers.

Andy Wilcoxson: Could she be arrested for defying the court order?

Nico Steijnen:  We can always bring criminal charges against her, because you are right, it is against the law for her to defy the court by refusing to appear.

However, there are other actions which we can take that will generate a lot of negative publicity for her. Under that sort of pressure maybe she will give in and decide to testify on her own

Will we bring those criminal charges if we have to? Absolutely, but then it would be up to the criminal prosecutor to decide whether or not to pursue those charges.

She has brought us some complications, but I am convinced that she is on the losing end. We see the same phenomenon here that you are seeing with the Milosevic trial. The mainstream media is just ignoring all of this. So in causing these problems she is helping us in a way, because it brings publicity to the issues we are concerned about.

The complication with Van Nieuwenhoven might cause a delay in the proceedings.  If the judge allows Ms. Van Nieuwenhoven not to testify then I will have to challenge his competence. If I am successful in getting the judge dismissed, or if he withdraws himself, then a new judge would have to be assigned and that could cause a delay.

Andy Wilcoxson: How would that affect the demonstration you had planned outside the courthouse?

Nico Steijnen:  Well, we couldn’t have it on the 26th.  We’d postpone it to whatever date the hearings we are moved to. But I hope that everything goes smoothly and we can proceed as planned.

Andy Wilcoxson: Well, if there are any delays we’ll help you publicize it.

Nico Steijnen: Thank you. We have very little money for publicity. I am doing all of this work for Mr. Milosevic and for the groups of Yugoslav victims for free. But the most important thing for me is not publicity. My main focus is to get on with the legal proceedings and make the best of it.

Andy Wilcoxson: After the court proceedings have concluded will you be able to release the transcripts so that we can see what happened in the courtroom?

Nico Steijnen:  Yes, after proceedings of this nature the judge issues an order, and a summary of the testimony is released.

We certainly realize that there will be some parts of the evidence that the world will be very curious about. For example the issue of whether there was any warning before the NATO bombing of the Radio-Television Serbia (RTS) studios.

It is part of international humanitarian law that you must issue a warning before you bomb a non-military target where civilians could be present.

As you know, the then-director of RTS has been jailed because the Serbian courts said, “you must have known this attack was coming“, but he absolutely denies that there was any sort of warning before the attack.

Most people don’t know that cluster bombs were one of the weapons most frequently used by the Netherlands --

Andy Wilcoxson: The Netherlands was using cluster bombs too?

Nico Steijnen: Yes, together with Britain, and on a large scale. But after the tragic attack on Nis they stopped.

My question is why were they using cluster bombs in the first place?

Andy Wilcoxson: They’re designed to cause maximum human suffering.

Nico Steijnen:  Yes, and their use is a violation of international law. These are questions of great importance, not only for the people of Yugoslavia, but for the world.

After I question these government officials, I will ask the judge for permission to call military personnel to give testimony. Hopefully, over the long term we will be able to involve many people. You know we have been going on now for three to four years with very little publicity, because just like the Milosevic trial the media ignores us. But we won’t let that stop us. We will persevere and maybe we will get some good results. I am optimistic.

Andy Wilcoxson: Is there a fairly large group of lawyers working with you?

Nico Steijnen: In the beginning, during the period of the war, there was a lot of cooperation and many legal experts were working together to find a legal way to stop the war. But as time went on most of these people lost interest and abandoned the issue. So the group is not very big. Right now there are only two other lawyers that I work with. And Nico Varkevisser is also working together with me, but he is not a lawyer. He is helping where he can. We have a website that people can visit at: www.natosued.org. The website isn’t finished yet. It is still being prepared. We have a lot of things that we would like to publish there,  things that have to be translated into English and Serbian, and we need translators.

***

A film from Emperors-Clothes
"Judgment!"

"Judgment!" shows step by step how the images that demonized the Serbian people were fabricated.

It began in the summer of 1992 when ITN, the British news station, sent a film crew to Bosnia. ITN shot footage in a humanitarian refugee center then doctored the film and presented it to the world as proof of Serbian atrocities. You probably saw the worst of the ITN photos: an emaciated man behind barbed wire in what was, we were told, a Bosnian Serb "death camp". "Judgment!" proves there was no "death camp" and the man wasn't behind barbed wire. It was all fabricated.

Based on footage shot by a Serbian Television film crew that accompanied ITN, "Judgment!" demonstrates precisely how ITN used trick shots and clever editing to create visual lies. And visual lies are the worst - worse than verbal lies - because people believe what they see. Or think they see.

Order the 32 minute video for yourself. Get a copy for a friend who doubts the media has lied about the Serbs. Get copies into the hands of the more open-minded news people and to politicians who may have been misled. Show it at churches, at union meetings, to business and veterans groups, to groups of your friends.

Show it on every campus.

Let every citizen of every NATO countries see this film. It needs no introduction. It makes a complete argument and its conclusions are irrefutable. Therefore it jogs the mind that has been fogged with lies; it jogs the mind to life, to think.

If you can, please donate or raise money so we can afford to get the film translated into French, German, Dutch and other languages.

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