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Jacques Verges says he's Milosevic's Lawyer. It's a Lie.
(Is pretending to be Slobo's attorney a new parlor game?)

by Jared Israel and Nico Varkevisser

[Posted 17 August 2003]


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In response to a Hague Tribunal ruling in November 2001 ordering Slobodan Milosevic to accept Ramsey Clark and another attorney as his legal advisers, Slobodan Milosevic publicly stated 20 months ago that regarding his Tribunal case, he has never gotten or been interested in getting any legal advice from anyone.

Nevertheless attorneys such as
Ramsey Clark and Jacques Verges, who is identified with Nazism, pretend to be Milosevic's legal advisors and/or attorneys. Others claim to be part of a Legal Committee that has not existed since February 2002.

Last year, the notorious Jacques Verges was
interviewed on Deutsche Welle, the German State TV station that broadcasts worldwide in 31 languages. He claimed he was Milosevic's attorney and then, as is customary for fictional attorneys of Milosevic, he slandered the client. In the following text we reprint two sections of the Deutsche Welle broadcast. Time permitting, we will post a streaming video with clips from the broadcast and comments by us. Its a lulu.



So many attorneys, so little legal work


Recently the subject of Jacques Verges and Slobodan Milosevic has come up in Internet discussion. Verges is a French lawyer who has falsely portrayed himself as Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's attorney in the case at The Hague Tribunal. Falsely portraying oneself as Milosevic's attorney is a popular sport among lawyers of a certain type. See for example our articles on Ramsey Clark's televised appearance at the national Press Club this past May. [1]

Attorney Verges has given at least 170 newspaper and TV interviews in which a) he is *correctly* identified as having been the lawyer for Carlos the Jackal and Klaus Barbie, also known as the Butcher of Lyons, and b) he is *falsely* identified as Milosevic's lawyer.

Here's the truth: Verges has never been involved in *any* legal work for Milosevic; he has never given Milosevic *a word* of legal advice; he has never served as any kind of advisor to Milosevic *in any way.* We know this first hand because we have been, respectively, the spokesperson for Milosevic's support committee, in charge of all press conferences and general activity in The Hague (Nico Varkevisser) and the Website editor (Jared Israel).

Apart from a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Milosevic support group last December, and apart from Milosevic's two Yugoslav attorneys, who work as researchers, not as legal counsel, the only lawyer who has done legal work for Slobodan Milosevic is Nico Steijnen. Steijnen brought cases before the Dutch and European courts. Steijnen has worked for free. No attorney has lifted a finger to raise money to help pay Steijnen's legal costs. No attorney has helped Steijnen fight The Hague Tribunal's ongoing effort to disbar him.

Some attorneys claim to be part of a supposed Milosevic Legal Committee. No such committee has functioned since February 2002.

Ramsey Clark and Jacques Verges have gone further, claiming to be Milosevic's legal advisors and/or attorneys. In November 2001 the Tribunal did *order* Milosevic to accept Clark and another lawyer named John Livingston as legal advisors:

[Text of Tribunal record of their Order starts here]

Update No. 197 - 16 November 2001

MILOSEVIC Case ("Kosovo" and "Croatia")

On 15 November 2001, the Trial Chamber ordered Ramsey Clark and John Livingston to be the accused's legal advisors. The accused had asked to meet with them. The Code of Professional Conduct for Defence Counsel Appearing before the Tribunal shall apply to them. This legal advice shall not be at the expense of the Tribunal. The accused shall be entitled to communicate fully and without restraint with the two legal advisors in accordance with Rule 67 of the Rules of Detention.
(Scroll down to 16 November 2001)

[Text of Tribunal record of their Order ends here]

Alas, apparently somebody forgot to consult Milosevic.

On 19 November Milosevic had one of his Yugoslav attorneys hold a press conference condemning this attempt to force him to accept unwanted advisors. And during his next public appearance, at a Motion Hearing on 11 December, Milosevic, as ever cool but as ever firm, stated:

[Excerpt from 11 December 2001 Hearing Begins]

Page 149

The accused [Milosevic]: I have been informed in the meantime that without my request, you have assigned certain advice that I did not ask for, interpreting my agreement to receive visits by certain individuals as a request for legal advice. My response to that has been addressed to the Registry that I do not consider that whoever visits me and has a law degree should be appointed as my legal counsel, and I don't think it would be permissible for visits to continue to be restricted, visits by persons who wish to visit me in accordance with the Rules that you have established and on a nondiscriminatory basis, since other people in that prison are allowed such visits.

Judge May: Mr. Milosevic, if you don't want advice from Mr. Clark and Mr. Livingston, which we understood you did, who do you want it from?

The accused [Milosevic]: No, I'm not asking for any advice from anybody. I have said that I would like to be granted the possibility to be visited by people who wish to visit me. That's all.
(Scroll almost to the bottom, to line 11 of "page" 149)

[Excerpt from 11 December 2001 Hearing Ends]


Jacques Verges, attorney for Milosevic despite... Milosevic


Jacques Verges was interviewed on Deutsche Welle, the German State TV station, last October 25th. This broadcast was sent all around the world. Millions have seen it.

In that broadcast, Verges and Deutsche Welle not only repeatedly stated the lie that Verges was Milosevic's attorney, they claimed that because he was Milosevic's attorney he had been barred from Hague Tribunal proceedings.

Here are the first two 'scenes' from the transcript of the Deutsche Welle broadcast:

[Deutsche Welle excerpt begins here]

Scene I - Title appears: Deutsche Welle, "European Journal," October 25, 2002

Voice of male announcer: You're Watching News World International.

[Female announcer appears]

Female announcer: In pursuit of evil. Verges, the French lawyer. Jacques Verges is a well-known name in France. He's a lawyer who once said he had a passionate interest in evil. As a result he's defended Nazis, collaborators, despots and tyrants from the Left as well as the Right. He remains a convinced lefty even in these post-Communist times and now he's back on the warpath. This time the evil he's attracted to comes in the form of one Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav dictator.

[Scene II - We see Attorney Jacques Verges outside the building where they check people's IDs before allowing them to proceed to The Hague Tribunal. Verges is talking rather calmly to a policeman.]

Announcer: Jacques Verges is arguing with these Dutch police officers. They're refusing to admit him to the courtroom in The Hague Tribunal where Slobodan Milosevic is on trial.

Verges: They're refusing to allow Mr. Milosevic's lawyer to enter. This tribunal is illegal. In all democracies, trials are public - this trial's being held under police supervision.

[Deutsche Welle excerpt begins here]

Despite the amazing coincidence that Deutsche Welle captured this "spontaneous" moment on film, one thing is clear. Whatever Verges and the policeman were chatting about, Verges was *not* excluded from The Hague Tribunal for being Milosevic's attorney, because he *wasn't* Milosevic's attorney.

But TV viewers didn't know that. Being told that Verges was barred because he worked for Milosevic, people would naturally believe that Verges worked for Milosevic.

Having established this lie as fact, Deutsche Welle broadcast various horrific statements by Verges, statements which damned Milosevic either by identifying him with views he detests (such as Holocaust denial) or by defending him in ways that made him appear guilty of war crimes.

Take this exchange about the supposed massacre in Srebrenica (Bosnia) in 1995:

[Excerpt from 25 October Deutsche Welle broadcast starts here]

Deutsche Welle: Milosevic himself claims the Srebrenica massacre was planned with the help of the French secret service and was carried out by Muslim soldiers.

Verges: I refer to the evidence given by general Moriean [phonetic spelling] concerning the Srebrenica massacre - he was there to represent France and the international security forces - he told a parliamentary investigatory committee in Paris that he asked Milosevic to do something to stop the attack on Srebrenica. Milosevic met this request so he's clear of any wrongdoing here.

[Excerpt from 25 October Deutsche Welle broadcast ends here]

Note that the above exchange conveys the impression that:

a) There *was* a massacre at Srebrenica carried out by official Bosnian Serb forces and that

b) Milosevic was at the top or near the top of the chain of command of these forces.

These are the very lies that the Tribunal is trying to prove.

Notice that, even as he slanders Milosevic with lies, Verges maintains his pose as a Milosevic supporter, by saying that this fiction which he has just spouted clears Milosevic of wrongdoing. Of course it does the opposite. But the pose of being Milosevic's friend makes Verges' remarks all the more harmful since the millions of people who viewed this broadcast would think:

'Well he's Slobo's lawyer. He's doing his best to defend the man - but oh god! Milosevic was in charge at Srebrenica! What a monster!'

Verges also used the Deutsche Welle interview to engage in a bit of Holocaust denial. We will post more on that later. That Verges would advocate Holocaust denial will make perfect sense after you read the Philadelphia Inquirer material we have posted at

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes
Nico Varkevisser
Spokesperson, ICDSM (International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic)


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Footnotes and Further Reading


[1] Our articles on Ramsey Clark, all of which were written by Jared Israel and Nico Varkevisser, are:

* "Ramsey Clark Poses as Milosevic's Lawyer...
and then smears the "client" on nationwide U.S. television!" at

* "More on how Ramsey Clark Attacked Milosevic at
the National Press Club,"

* "Ramsey Clark's IAC Accuses us of Slander, but they get the facts wrong..." (discusses Clark's June 29 2001 flight to Belgrade) at

* "How Ramsey Clark Labored to Protect Nazi Émigrés," at

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