mercredi, novembre 28, 2007

The International Penal Court

News from Cambodia

In the wings of the International Penal Court of The Hague for Yugoslavia

Khemara Jati
Montreal, Quebec
October 6th, 2007

One of our readers in France sends articles relating to the International Penal Court for Yugoslavia at The Hague (IPCY). It may be interesting for our fellow countrymen who faced the situations of this kind. Let us remind however that the IPCY does not depend at 100 % of the UN and the major powers in term of financial support. It is a certain form of independent from UN and major powers pressure. Because it is one of the constancies of the history : the force never in the service of the Law. It is always the opposite : the Law is always used to justify the force’s victory. It is what every student learns from Faculties of Law. Any Court is always in the service of those who finance it. The popular saying always say “Might is right” ? It belongs to us, Cambodians, to draw the conclusions regarding what is happening in our country. We are expressing our sincere thank to our reader in France who lets us known these articles and also about the weekly Paris Match management which makes us known this very interesting book concerning the wings of this institution, nevertheless considered “impartial and irreproachable” !

« Florence Hartmann reveals everything on the wings of the International Penal Court of the Hague

Journalist of "Le Monde" during ten years, in particular correspondence to Belgrade, the author followed in first line the conflicts in ex-Yugoslavia before being expelled from the Serbian capital in twenty-four hours by Milosevic's regime. She publishes her first book in 1999, an edifying portrait of the Serbian president, still in power: « Milosevic, the diagonal of the fool ». Carla Del Ponte chooses her in 2000 as spokeswoman before choosing her as counselor on the Balkans. Hartmann leave The Hague in October 2006, few months after Milosevic's death. In the wings of the I.T.P. and the international institutions, in the trail of the prosecutor, she crossed the closed doors of the high diplomacy and attended uncountable many secret meetings and arm wrestling. From her return in Paris she begins the writing of « Peace and Punishment ». « For six years, I assisted in wings, in grave dysfunctions of the international justice and the policy - in blockings, failures, threats, low knocks, in the only purpose to camouflage the truths, whether they are heavy official secrets or simple particular interests. Now, the justice is in the service of the citizens, and the international justice is in the service of the humanity. In the public sphere, the right is inalienable. I dedicated this book to the victims of mass crimes because it is above all for them that the international justice exists.

« Paix et Châtiment, les guerres secrètes de la politique et de la justice internationales », unofficially translated to English as “Peace and Punishment, the secret wars of the international policy and the justice” of Florence Hartmann, edition Flammarion, 320 p. 19,90 euro. »

Please refer to : or

Paris Match du 19 – 26 septembre 2007

The sabotage of the International Penal Court (IPC). Europe and the United States were warned of crimes.

« I.P.C. was conceived as an alibi, not to work and certainly not to judge the first chief of state charged with genocide! This stillborn Court had to content to be a simple threat to brandish during the negotiations « to defuse any vague desire to answer by military force to the current exactions », writes Florence Hartmann in her book called « Peace and punishment, the secret international wars of politics and justice ». But when, thanks to the will of someone, I.T.C. can finally make inquiries, establish accusations and judge the charged persons, it is perceived by the Quai d’Orsay, then invested by Hubert Védrine, « as the worst idea of these last years ».

Certain members of Security Council (of the UN) want to close the Court in 2010. Nevertheless, both the most symbolic fugitives, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic - Political and military responsibles of the Serbs of Bosnia, hired men of Milosevic, culprits, among others atrocities of the genocide of Srebrenica - were not judged there. But the prosecutor Carla Del Ponte stands firm. Result of the arm wrestling : the Security Council imposes him important budgetary amputations, frank cuttings in suspects' list and in acts of accusation. Not to judge the criminals for genocide with whom major powers negotiated for a so long time, all means are good : coring of the Court, pressures, interventions, proofs receiving, systematic sabotage of Milosevic lawsuit, organized of the fugitive escape.

« The United States of America is the first ones to prevent the Court from becoming emancipated. They always wanted it under custody, placed under the Security Council authority », described Florence Hartmann.

To know the progress of the military actions of the Bosno-Serbian army, given up to Karadzic and Mladic by Belgrade, the public prosecutor's department depends on experts of the Military Analyst Team (M.A.T.). Its members are all, without exception, English and Americans and continue exempting Milosevic of any implication in the massacres in Bosnia and especially in the genocide of Srebrenica.

The Westerners hide the proofs

« The information, collected throughout the conflict by major powers, would have allowed the public prosecutor's department of I.P.C. to confuse immediately most high officials of the atrocities which continued in ex-Yugoslavia », notices Hartmann.

But the Court will often lose years and years to gather documents necessary for the accusations (verbatim, listening, satellite images, videos). By handling back to the Court the listening and the other compromising elements for Belgrade detaining since the beginning of the war, the Westerners would have allowed to be informed about the crimes when they were committed, as well as their preliminary organization. The existence of these proofs in the hands of the Westerners would have revealed their choice not to intervene, nevertheless against their international obligations.

Sometimes anecdotes come to support the merciless demonstration of Hartmann. So, when Del Ponte informs the international community that she will need NATO forces to arrest an accused person, « unbelieving, a high official of the American State department exclaims: « how can you have collected enough proofs to charge him while we gave nothing to you? » And to clarify: « naturally, we had nothing! ».

Florence Hartmann tells a violent exchange at the White House between the vice-president Al Gore and the Swede Carl Bildt, charged by the European Community to negotiate with Milosevic. We are at the beginning of August 1995, one month after the massacre of Srebrenica, Bildt asserts without reddening that « Milosevic was the main Serbian ally in the efforts for two years »! Choked Al gore proves him the opposite: he reads him an extract of the American transcriptions of the phone-tapping in which Milosevic gives orders to Mladic during the operations against Srebrenica. The public prosecutor's department will ask in vain for the minutes of this meeting to the White House. « Neither Al gore, nor Carl Bildt, nor Michel Steiner, the German negotiator, nor the Frenchman Alain Dejammet, nor British Pauline Neville-Jones who participated in this matter agree to testify in front of I.P.C., gets indignant Florence Hartmann.

Carla Ponte will tear away from the Serbian government of the crucial documents : Karadzic and Mladic did not act to Srebrenica without Milosevic approval. Summarized in the book, the verbatim is not expurgated by the Supreme Council of the Defence (S.C.D) of Belgrade denouncing the Milosevic's fault in the genocide of Srebrenica. But the room of the judges accepted the condition of Belgrade: never return these public proofs.

« The biggest democracies preferred to deceive during ten years the public opinion to protect these two criminals rather than arrest them, summarizes Florence Hartmann. The western powers which attended without moving in the massacres of Srebrenica (…) to offer then to Dayton lands covered with mass graves to the executioners, would have had many occasions to mean otherwise by words to regret them. They nevertheless refused themselves there in spite of the gravity of their fault. »

Indeed major powers always knew where were Karadzic and Mladic, and have arranged to facilitate their protection. For a long time both fugitives negotiated with the Westerners their freedom and their impunity. In NATO's H.Q., on October 17th, 1996, the message passed on to the prosecutor Louise Arbour is clear : « as starting point, NATO settled for a policy which is not to arrest the war criminals. » Worse : major powers have “exfiltré”[1] Radovan Karadzic of Bosnia in 1997 - violating then all the international laws, Karadzic being pursued by an international warrant for arrest.

Karadzic and Mladic have negociated their impunity

Jacques Chirac entrusting Carla Del Ponte, on February 29th 2000 : « Boris Eltsine said to me: Karadzic knows too many things about Milosevic » (…) And he warned me that he would send a plane to extract him from Bosnia if necessary, but that he would never let him be arrested. » “Exfiltré” in a Russian plane in Byelorussia, Karadzic soon has the homesickness, and major powers facilitate his return. Then they allow him to find the money necessary for financing of his escape. Western intelligence agents are in charge of his pursue fictitious. Among them the general Philippe Rondot who received mission by Jacques Chirac but without sufficient human resources to proceed to the slightest arrest! The unconfessed objective of this mission is its failure. The masquerades of arrests with noisy helicopters are above all, intended to prevent the fugitive that it's time to change house or convent. « Do not imagine that he is hiding without a hole as Saddam Hussein. He circulates freely, writes, meets his family », often reports Carla Del Ponte, without revealing that he has even the time to receive girlfriends.

Certain anecdotes would be funny if they were not also distressing. Although, in spring 2005, while « no anybody seems to know where is Karadzic » (dixit Del Ponte), « a Dutchman contacts the public prosecutor's department of The Hague. He assures to have seen Karadzic, on April 7th, in the terrace of a coffee shop together with a woman, in Foca (in the Serbian entity of Bosnia). Del Ponte asks NATO to verify the information. « Impossible, because Karadzic was from 6 till 8 April 2005 in Belgrade », retort, some days later, the American responsible for NATO, who asserted up to there, to have lost, them too, any track of Karadzic! ».

Mladic lives in seven apartments!

As the Russian and western governments, the office of Del Ponte handles the precise list of the hiding places of Mladic. Hartmann : « the rest centre of Stragari, near the town of Toponyme (…), another centre of rest of the army, at Rajac, near Valjevo, (…) Mladic is the guest of the general Zivanovic, his friend (…) Who owns a house near Gornji Milanovac (…) When Mladic is under medical treatment, in spring, 2001 then in 2002, at the military hospital of Belgrade (…) he walks in and out by the main door. He is present in the marriage of his son Darko and attends ceremonies in the military circle, in the heart of Belgrade. He frequents the restaurants of his district, attends matches of football. People of Belgrad often crosses him. » It also happens that he lives, simply « at his house in Belgrade ». Florence Hartmann: « From 2003, he navigates between seven apartments rented by his defenders, in the centre of Belgrade, under of false name which he changes every two or three weeks (…) Mladic has practically never left Serbia except for a short stays in his native country of oriental Bosnia on the occasion of family holidays » where he was never worried by the NATO forces. Hartmann dumps the nail: “the Westerners not only prevented the arrest of general [Mladic] (…) They also neutralized the action of I.P.T.” The list of the occasions missed of arrest was raised by Patric Lopez-Terres, the leader of the inquiries of I.P.T., but was not made public yet.

Sylvie Matton

Paris Match N° 3044 from 19 to 26 september 2007, pages 134-135-136.
Unofficially translated by Khemara Jati

[1] Exfiltrer : Put somebody out of reach (from arrests) decided by the international community.