STATEMENT BY Professor VELKO VALKANOV,
FOUNDER AND CO CHAIRMAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE TO DEFEND SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC (ICDSM)
CAN THE TRUTH BE KILLED?
To the Organization of the United Nations
To the International Public
Yesterday the judges of the so-called International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia demonstrated in the clearest way that for them their political tasks and goals are much more important than truth, justice and law.
In the Pre-Defense Conference for Slobodan Milosevic’s defense case, which is expected to start in July this year, they were stubbornly refusing to prolong the unjustly short three month period for the preparation of the defense case, in spite of the fact that physicians had forbid President Milosevic to work more than half that time.
They have refused once again without discussion the request for President Milosevic’s provisional release for medical treatment, recovery and appropriate preparations for the rest of the process.
For presentation of the defense case, they have allocated 150 working days in spite of the fact that for its case the Prosecution had twice as much time. The judges kept the right for themselves to refuse any defense witness as irrelevant, even during his/her testimony.
They have refused to discuss the demands of President Milosevic for issuing subpoenas for the leaders of the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia and for issuing orders to the intelligence services of the leading NATO countries as well as to the state of Serbia and Montenegro to disclose the relevant documents, justifying their refusals with unacceptable procedural reasons.
Ignoring totally the fact that Slobodan Milosevic with his seriously damaged health conducts his own defense while being in illegal detention and deprived of any adequate material, financial or time resources, the judges have imposed or tried to impose a whole series of procedural restrictions and obstacles relating to the order of the defense witnesses and to the information that has to be submitted on the witnesses and on the content of their testimony.
Particularly irritating was the way yesterday’s proceedings were conducted by the presiding judge Patrick Robinson, who has been, in the same manner as his predecessor Richard May, switching off the microphone to President Milosevic and attempting to turn the debate on the presentation of the defense case into discussion between the judges, prosecution and friends of the court, without listening to the opinions of Slobodan Milosevic about the issues of his primary concern.
Only a day earlier, the newly elected member of the Trial Chamber, judge Ian Bonomy from Britain ruled with his vote to the detriment of Slobodan Milosevic in a situation where the opinions of the other two judges were in conflict on the issue of the acquittal for the charges of genocide.
By this act Ian Bonomy confirmed that in only two months he managed to become acquainted with a million pages of relevant material – an unbelievably disgraceful example of legal malfeasance.
The Hague tribunal is attempting to kill the truth. Nobody in the World needs such a false court, except those in NATO who are responsible for the most serious crimes against peace, against Yugoslavia and against the Serbian people.
In this moment when the whole world is rising up against aggression and terror, but also against the associated manipulations of the law, and when the people of Serbia with more and more courage enter the battle for truth led by Slobodan Milosevic, the crime against truth, law and elementary human rights being perpetrated at The Hague, must be stopped now.
ICDSM and its national sections, today, in their statements and public actions, will intensify the struggle against the Hague crimes. Fighters for truth and freedom for Slobodan Milosevic grow in number. Recently, the Parliaments of the Russian Federation and of the Republic of Belarus appeared with powerful declarations. The same was done by the World Peace Council. On the initiative of Canadian poet Robert Dickson, the most renowned international artists – Harold Pinter, Peter Handke, Alexander Zinoviev, Rolf Becker, Valentin Rasputin, Dimitri Analis, Nikolai Petev and many others are signing the petition demanding that this crime, the last, desperate phase of the NATO war against Yugoslavia be stopped, in the interest of humanity and in the interest of peace.
The truth cannot be killed. Freedom for Slobodan Milosevic! Freedom for Serbia!
Sofia, 18 June 2004