Slobodan Milosevic: 22 pauses in the investigation
The Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is 171 defendants, 5 thousand interrogated, almost 11 thousand trial days, more than 2 million pages of transcripts and 20 acquittals. The public criticized, first of all, the national composition of the accused; most of the prisoners were from Serbia. Among the defendants is one woman - the “Iron Lady”, the head of the Republika Srpska in 1996-1998, Bilyana Plavsic. The case of the former head of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic became loud for the tribunal. According to the official version, the politician provided military assistance to the Bosnian Serbs in 1992, when they proclaimed an independent republic in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 1998, the Albanians in Kosovo took up arms in order to achieve independence. Slobodan Milosevic, elected president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, sharply criticized Albanian separatism. According to investigators, Milosevic ordered military units to be sent to Kosovo.
The statesman was very popular among the Serbs. In 2001, the ex-president was arrested on suspicion of corruption and handed over to the tribunal. The prosecution was put forward on counts qualified as crimes against humanity (in particular, murders on racial, political and religious grounds, torture and unlawful imprisonment). In addition, Milosevic was accused of deportation of 750 thousand Albanians from Kosovo. In a defensive speech, he refuted these points and accused NATO of war crimes by providing photographs and videotapes.
"During the civil war in Bosnia, cruelty and suffering occurred for all three parties, and the fault lies primarily with those who forcibly separated and began to violence, with the strategies of this violence outside Yugoslavia ... The whole institutional system of Serbia was blamed, which provided me support: parliament, political organizations, media. Citizens who supported me en masse and accused me several times at free multi-party elections are accused, ”the defendant said at one of the sessions.
In prison, he was seriously ill - we are talking about problems with the heart. Because of this, the process was interrupted 22 times. The media reported that the former politician in The Hague did not receive medical care, his wife complained about the lack of necessary equipment. It is known that the court refused to release the prisoner to Moscow for treatment. He died in prison from a heart attack in 2006. On the eve of his death, Milosevic sent a letter to Sergey Lavrov. The former president said that he was specifically forced to drink the "wrong" drugs. For a long time, the media reprinted rumors of a possible suicide.
5 million dollars for Radovan Karadzic
The leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, received 40 years in prison for genocide committed during the Bosnian war. In 1992, he became the first President of the Republika Srpska.
Karadzic has been hiding from court for 12 years, while he spent most of his time in Belgrade. In the West, Karadzic was believed to be under the official protection of the Serbian army, government and political elite. For information on his whereabouts promised $ 5 million. Prior to his arrest, Karadzic lived under the name of Dragan Dabic and worked in a private clinic (in his youth he received a psychiatrist specialty at Sarajevo University). In addition, the "criminal number 1" wrote poems and published in medical journals. His specialty in psychiatry was the fight against depression. The man gave lectures for beginners. It was very difficult to learn Karadzic - his appearance has changed a lot since the war. He grew a beard and gained weight.
In 2008, a man was identified, arrested and taken to The Hague. He was convicted on 10 counts, one of which concerned the organization of the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. During the Bosnian war, the city was recognized by the UN as a safe haven. Muslims flocked here trying to save their families. Srebrenica remained an island of calm in a flaming country. The city was defended by peacekeepers, but they did not intervene in the conflict. On July 11, the army of the Republic of Serbia entered Srebrenica. At least 8,000 people were killed in the city and its environs; the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia recognized these events as genocide. Karadzic was accused of participation in the siege of Sarajevo. This tragic page of the Bosnian war lasted 44 months. The townspeople were left without water and light, they bombarded Sarajevo daily. Hospitals, schools and markets - snipers considered any target to be suitable. During the three years of the war, 150 thousand people fled from the city.
At one of the meetings, Karadzic said that he was in secret agreement with the American diplomat Richard Holbrooke. He allegedly promised to free the former head of the Republika Srpska from persecution.
Ratko Mladic: denial of genocide
According to the court, the general gave orders for the murder of Muslims in Srebrenica; according to his order, the military exterminated the male population between the ages of 10 and 65. Meanwhile, part of the Serbs refuses to recognize his participation in the massacre. As proof of the innocence of Mladic, they cite documentary footage in which the general participates in the evacuation of the civilian population, comes into the buses and asks the Bosnians to leave the city.
Cemetery in Srebrenica
Until 2001, Mladic was under the auspices of Slobodan Milosevic, President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. At the first meeting in The Hague, the military declared his innocence. He accused the tribunal of bias and called it "a trial for the Serbs." On November 22, 2017, the former commander was sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide and crimes against humanity. Anna's daughter Mladic committed suicide in 1994. The general claimed that Anna was killed.
Ramush Haradinai: the killer's smile
The sentence was unexpected for the former prime minister of the partially recognized republic of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj. The leader of the Albanian armed groups was accused of killing 300 people. At court hearings, witnesses reported that Haradinai raped women and tortured their victims. According to one of the charges, it was he who ordered the deportation of Gypsies and Serbs. Total points were 37, and for all of them the man was acquitted. The media reported the death of 9 witnesses under unclear circumstances (one died in a fight, another got under the wheels of a car, the third got a gunshot wound). Serbian sources told not only about the dead, but also those abducted; their number, according to various estimates, amounted to 400 people. The acquittal of Haradinaj was appealed, but the verdict of the court after re-examination did not change. In 2017, the former Albanian commander headed Kosovo’s government for the second time.
Another loud ICTY process is the case of Vojislav Seselj. The former vice-president of Serbia, the head of the Serbian Radical Party has been behind bars for almost 12 years, awaiting the verdict of the tribunal. Previously, he was in prison several times for activities aimed at inciting ethnic hatred. Seselj led the Serb detachments in Bosnia and Croatia. He was charged with genocide and torture. In March 2016, the tribunal issued a acquittal policy. The Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who participated in military operations in Serb Krajina, was acquitted. Initially, the military was sentenced to 18 years in prison; Croatia responded to this decision with large-scale protests, in the country Ante was considered a national hero. In 2012, the Appeals Chamber recognized his innocence.
Several defendants of the ICTY have committed suicide. After the announcement of the verdict, General Slobodan Pralyak, who led the unrecognized republic of Herceg Bosn, committed suicide. Former President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina Milan Babic was found dead in a cell where round-the-clock video surveillance was conducted.
Despite the end of the work of the ICTY, the war criminal proceedings continue. Incomplete cases are transferred to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. In addition, at the end of 2017, the prosecutor’s office of Bosnia and Herzegovina charged 25 former Bosnian soldiers with crimes against the Serbs.