REVIEW OF SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TRIAL, WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE (HRW 2006)
"Without Serbia, nothing would have happened, we don’t have the resources and we would not have been able to make war."— Radovan Karadzic (the RS Assembly, May 10-11, 1994.)
Weighing the Evidence: Lessons From the Slobodan Milosevic Trial
Even though the lengthy trial process did not lead to a verdict, the information introduced at trial was itself important. Future generations will use the evidence to understand the region’s history and how the conflicts came to pass. Because no truth commission has been established to look into the events in the region, the Milosevic trial may be one of the only venues in which a great deal of evidence was consolidated about the conflicts. The fact that Milosevic had the opportunity to test the prosecutor’s evidence in cross-examination enhances its value as a historical record. The evidence will also be useful in other trials at ICTY.
Evidence introduced at trial of Slobodan Milosevic showed exactly how those in Belgrade and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia financed the war; how they provided weapons and material support to Bosnian and Croatian Serbs; and the administrative and personnel structures set up to support the Bosnian Serb and Croatian Serb armies. In short, the trial showed how Belgrade enabled the war to happen. As a former UN official testified “The [Serbs] relied almost entirely on the support they got from Serbia, from the officer corps, from the intelligence, from the pay, from the heavy weapons, from the anti-aircraft arrangements. Had Belgrade chosen even to significantly limit that support, I think that the siege of Sarajevo probably would have ended and a peace would have been arrived at somewhat earlier rather than having to force them militarily into that weaker position.”