BELGRADE – The posthumous acquittal of Slobodan Milosevic, the ex-president of Serbia and the former Yugoslavia, proves that the accusations of Serbia’s involvement in alleged war crimes during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war were a frame-up and the ensuing bombardments of Belgrade and the numerous human casualties were senseless, Giulietto Chiesa, the former European Parliament deputy, told Vesti FM radio on Tuesday.
“I remember everything that was happening at that time very well. All the charges against Serbia and Milosevic had been trumped up. Many people died for nothing in the bombardments that followed,” Chiesa asserted. On March 24, the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) made the final decision to clear Milosevic of war crimes charges.
“Now it is August. But the media have been silent,” the former MP indicated, TASS reports.
Chiesa also said that the tribunal had issued no formal statements on Milosevic and the decision to acquit him was contained in the ICTY decision on the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
In May 1999, the ICTY accused Milosevic of crimes against humanity: murders, deportations and violating laws on war as well as the alleged persecution of Kosovo Albanians along political, racial and religious lines from January to May 1999. In June 2001, the government of Serbia extradited Milosevic to The Hague. The ICTY brought two more indictments against the ex-president in addition to the Kosovo case. Under the first indictment dated October 8, 2001, Milosevic was charged with involvement in mass ‘ethnic cleansing’, killings and persecution of Croats and other non-Serbs on the territory of Croatia from August 1991 to June 1992. Under the second indictment dated November 22, 2001, he was accused of complicity in genocide during the armed conflict in Bosnia in 1992-1995.
Milosevic’s trial began on February 12, 2002, and he as the first state leader to face the ICTY proceedings. Milosevic denied the ICTY’s legitimacy straight from start and said he wanted to defend himself on his own. The trial was interrupted 22 times due to Milosevic’s deteriorating health. Mr. Milosevic suffered from serious heart complications and subsequently died in the ICTY’s prison on March 11, 2006.