[R-G] Milosevic: 'Ask Chirac about Srebrenica'
bstoller at utopia2000.org
Fri Sep 27 05:53:29 MDT 2002
AFP (with additional material by BBC). 27 September 2002. Milosevic says
Serb massacre in Srebrenica was invented.
THE HAGUE -- Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic told the UN
war crimes court on Friday the 1995 massacre of Muslims in Srebrenica --
Europe's worst atrocity since the Holocaust -- was "made up" by the
Bosnian Muslim government and the French.
"Ask (French president) Jaques Chirac about Srebrenica," Milosevic told
the court in The Hague on the second day of his trial for genocide in
Bosnia and other war crimes in Croatia.
Milosevic alleged there was a meeting in July 1995 between unnamed
representatives of the Muslim government in Bosnia and French General
Bernard Janvier, the United Nations force commander for Yugoslavia at
the time, to stike a deal to surrender the UN-protected Muslim enclave
of Srebrenica to the Serbs.
The court accuses Milosevic of being behind the murder of more than
7,000 Muslim men and boys -- most of them civilians -- when Serb forces
overran the UN enclave.
But Milosevic said on Friday the slaughter was carried out by a
mercenary unit under the command of the French secret service.
He told the judges the Bosnian Muslim government and the French decided
"genocide committed by the Serbs will be made up ... as a pretext for
military intervention" in Bosnia.
"I want the truth to be revealed for this insane crime," he said.
Milosevic denied that he knew anything about the Srebrenica massacre
until after it was committed. He denied the involvement of Bosnian Serb
wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his general, Ratko Mladic, both of
whom are indicted alongside Mr Milosevic over Srebrenica.
"I am convinced the military honour of Mladic and Krstic would not allow
them to execute civilians," he said. "Radovan Karadzic swore to me that
he did not know about a thing about this and all subsequent information
supports this," Milosevic said.
Milosevic has been on trial at the ICTY since February on charges of
committing war crimes in Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia during the Balkan
wars of the 1990s. The section of the trial relating to Kosovo ended on
September 11. The section on Bosnia and Croatia began on Thursday.
Milosevic, who is acting as his own council, was given a total of nearly
three hours on Thursday and Friday to make opening remarks in his own
In the remaining minutes of his opening statement on Friday the former
president again blasted Western powers for supporting "Croatian facists"
who were "etnically cleansing Serbs" during the war.
"Ethnic cleansing is the greatest crime of all, regardless of who
committs it," he said.
The 61-year old also blasted former US president Bill Clinton's policies
during the war in Bosnia. He said Clinton's stance led to the
involvement of Muslim extremists in the Balkans conflicts.
"The truth is quite opposite to what you are claiming. It was the Serbs
who were persecuted, in danger, under threat and killed," Milosevic
The former president showed the court gruesome pictures of severed
heads, which he claimed belonged to Serbs who were slaughterd by Muslim
"When they start beheading your people in wars to come, then you will
know what this is all about," he thundered.
Milosevic stressed once again that he worked for peace in Bosnia.
"All five peace plans (for Bosnia) were accepted by us so as far as
Serbia and I personally are concerned everybody owes us recognition for
the continued struggle to attain peace," he said.
At the end of Milosevic's opening statement, the court went into closed
session to hear testimony from a protected witness.
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