GEOFFREY NICE, HOW SERBIA GOT AWAY WITH GENOCIDE
Serbia tampered with evidence: 'blacked-out', redacted, shortened (not in 'full stenographically recorded form'), full records not provided for 'dates leading up to, surrounding and in the aftermath of the Srebrenica massacre,' but there were also other concealed / protected documents and collections... New evidence against Serbia sheds more light on the depth of Serbia's involvement in the genocide.
COPY ABOVE: One of examples of Serbia's tampering with evidence. The document is titled "Minutes of the THIRTY-SIXTH session of the Supreme Defence Council held on 12 May 1995".
Geoffrey Nice is the London barrister who led the prosecution team against Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague. Asked to comment on 'blacked out' minutes of wartime meetings of Yugoslav political and military leaders, including Slobodan Milosevic, he responded:
"The evidence to which you refer, the SDC [Supreme Defence Council] records, was obtained as a result of outstanding and inspired work by the Milosevic team's top researcher. The material once identified had to be handed over by Serbia pursuant to the court’s decision, and there was no good reason for hiding any significant part of it from pubic view.
Yet by a deal struck between the now former Chief Prosecutor and Serbia the most important parts of the documents are ‘blacked out’ from being seen by anyone except the lawyers and judges in our case, who were able to read them in full, although in private, in order to make arguments and to reach verdicts.
The ICJ could, I believe, have asked for access to the full documents. It is simply incomprehensible to me that they did not ask for such access and chose instead to work with the redacted – the 'blacked out' – versions that were made public by the ICTY. Of course it would have been only logical that the initiative to request the full SDC collection should come from the side of the Bosnian legal team. I do not know if it actually happened.
... First, it is important to note that Serbia did not hand over to the Prosecution (OTP) the complete collection of SDC records. For example, for the year 1995 the OTP received recordings for only about half of all the sessions held by SDC.
Further, some of the SDC records were not handed over in their full stenographically recorded form but were produced as extended minutes. That means that they were shorter than steno-notes but longer than the regular minutes. The dates of the missing meetings or the meetings where this lesser form of record was provided, as I recall, were significant – namely dates leading up to, surrounding and in the aftermath of the Srebrenica massacre. The full records of those meetings need yet to be provided. At the same time, these documents, significant as they are, do not constitute a single body of evidence that will explain once and for all what happened and who was culpable. They do provide a much fuller context and provide some very valuable testimonials of things that were said by Milosevic and others. In their un-redacted form they would point all who are interested (not just governments and lawyers) to other documents that have never been provided and that might well be more candid than the words of those at the SD Council meetings who knew they were being recorded by a stenographer. Second, it should also be remembered that there are other protected document collections and individual documents which were, and still are, protected by direct agreements between Belgrade and the former OTP Prosecutor, i.e. they were not protected by the Trial Chamber. These documents are difficult now to identify but if and when Bosnia-Herzegovina decides to reopen the ICJ case it will be essential to require Serbia and/or the ICTY to produce all those documents for the ICJ. "
Full interview is available on KBSA 2000 web site (you will find English language version in the middle of the page).Our analysis: According to new evidence (see "Srbijanci u Potocarima" published by Sense Tribunal):
"Among the members of the Serbian forces who - after the fall of Srebrenica on 12th July 1995 - came to Potocari were members of the Serbia's Uzice Corps, according to a protected prosecution witness in the trial of former Chief of Yugoslav Army, General Momcilo Perisic."
At the trial of the former Chief of the Yugoslav Army General Staff Momcilo Perisic, the prosecution has admitted into evidence a number of photographs taken on 18 July 1995 at the Bosnian Serb Army's Main Staff Headquarters in Crna Rijeka. The photographs show witness Ned Krajisnik with generals Ratko Mladic and Momcilo Perisic. This confirms that one of the highest ranking Yugoslav Army Generals was at the scene of the crime during the genocide. According to the indictment, Perisic is charged with providing support to the Bosnian Serb Army and contributing substantially to the crimes its troops committed. Thousands of Bosniak men and boys were executed in Srebrenica between 13 and 19 July 1995, after they were captured by the forces under Ratko Mladic’s command. The indictment also alleges that the status and benefits of Ratko Mladic, who was the commander of the Republika Srpska Main Staff, were regulated through the 30th Personnel Center of the Yugoslav Army.
The ongoing trial of former chief of Serbian State Security Service (DB) Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, Serbian MUP reserve officer Milomir Kovacevic has revealed that Scorpions, who participated in the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, were in fact under the control of Serbian State Security Service. (See: "Arkan's Men and Scorpions Under State Security Umbrella").
As Florence Hartmann explained, according to the latest court revelations,
"During his stay in Western Slavonia and Baranja in 1991 and 1992 the witness had several close encounters with members of the Serb Volunteer Guard (SDG) led by Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan, and with the ‘Scorpions’ unit. Kovacevic contends that both formations were controlled by the Serbian State Security Service, headed at that time by Jovica Stanisic. Franko Simatovic was Stanisic’s deputy. In September or October 1991, the witness attended a meeting where Raznatovic showed a blue ID card issued by the Serbian State Security Service and claimed that the Serbian government and the intelligence service were behind him. The ‘Scorpions’ were at that time guarding the oil fields in Djeletovci, the witness said, adding that a Serbian intelligence officer in the field told him that they operated there DB control."
"1800 of Perisic’s VJ [Yugoslav Army] officers, including Gen. Ratko Mladic, were sent to serve within the VRS [Bosnian Serb Army] formation in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war and they held positions at all levels of the VRS commanding structures. Evidence shows that the decision to attack and capture Srebrenica, and other remaining eastern Bosnian enclaves, was made in coordination with Perisic and under Slobodan Milosevic’s leadership. They decided that additional VJ units were to arrive in Srebrenica and Potocari at the beginning of the killings. Perisic failed to prevent his subordinates from committing the genocide and he failed to take adequate measures to punish them afterwards. Instead, a number of the VJ officers who participated in the killings were promoted after July 1995 with his approval."