QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
JERRY FOWLER: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. Now my colleagues will proceed along the aisles to collect the index cards. And while they’re doing that, I thought we would go through and have a round of response from the speakers in the same order.
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: Just a couple of comments. The first is I think that the Ambassador and I agree that the people Serbia are entitled to face their own former leader who’s committed terrible deeds at the cost of his own people.
It simply would not be possible in my view to have a full trial of Milosevic for crimes committed in respect of Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia in Belgrade. To expect witnesses -- to expect Kosovar Albanians to go and give evidence in Belgrade is simply not realistic. To expect people from Bosnia to go and give evidence in Belgrade, I don’t believe is realistic. But charges are being prepared and, as I’ve said, in any event, there’s an international obligation to allow those crimes to be tried by the International Criminal Tribunal.
I must say the statements that I’ve read from Carla Del Ponte have not expressed satisfaction at all with the cooperation from the president -- from the present Belgrade government. If it’s coming, three cheers, indeed four. If it’s going to come, so much the better. But why the attack? Why the attack on the credibility and the honesty and integrity of the tribunal by the present government? This is something that seems to me is, as I’ve said, not only incorrect, but most unfortunate.
I’m not sure that there’s a great deal between us. It’s a question of priorities. It’s a question of recognizing international law. Ambassador Protic says that there is legislation coming in the Yugoslav parliament. Well, if the legislation comes and it’s carried out it will mean the handing over, certainly, of General Mladic, probably some 13 or 14 other Serb people who’ve been indicted. And I can see no reason in that respect for treating Slobodan Milosevic any differently.
SONJA BISERKO: I would like to add just two things. I have one problem with the state judiciary, which is corrupt as -- sorry. There are two objective, I would say, factors which are against the trial in Belgrade, in a wider context, because of the state of the judiciary. This is the first.
And the second is general denial of the crimes and what has happened in the former Yugoslavia and the relativization of the crimes. This is really something that would really affect the trial itself in Belgrade.
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Again, I was talking about skepticism at the beginning, but it seems that it’s an epidemic that one tackles with a lot of difficulty. I came recently from Belgrade and my impression always was, especially recently, that our people are pretty much aware of most of the stuff that Milosevic is accountable for. And the surveys done in Serbia in the last few months pretty much prove that point. Even the attitude or the atmosphere in Serbia towards The Hague Tribunal has changed immensely in the recent months, after October. Now, about 60 percent of the population are in favor of full cooperation of our officials with The Hague Tribunal. In October, it was 90 percent of the population who were against it. Now someone has done something in order to change the opinion of the majority of the people.
Secondly, I have heard a lot of argument going around, especially within the international public opinion, talking about the necessity of the Serbs to face their own past. Well, isn’t it the best way to face our past to do it by home where our people can hear directly and within their own backyard what Milosevic and the others did in the past? If it’s done in The Hague, out of reach of most of the Serbian population, I don’t believe it’s going to do what some people believe should be done.
And finally, of course any kind of cooperation and understanding between our officials and The Hague Tribunal officials is welcome. And that’s exactly what we’ve been working on in the last couple of months. I believe that sometimes people, and I said that several times, give much -- listen too much to what our president is saying.
We have a parliamentary system in Yugoslavia where the president, of course, with his authority, moral authority, has the right to express his own opinions on a number of issues. But it’s not the system that you guys have here in the States where you have an omnipotent president who pretty much decides about things like that. In our country, it’s not the case. In our country, it’s the parliament who decides about extradition, for example, not the president. He does not have to certify or decide on that.
Secondly, on the federal level, we have a coalition government with Montenegrin socialists, former Milosevic associates, which is complicating our position. That was, unfortunately, the only way for us to get to power on the federal level due to Djukanovic’s boycott of the September elections, but that’s unfortunately or fortunately our political reality.
And in Serbia, our government has been in power only for 2-1/2 months. And what we have done so far, I believe should be a good basis for the positive expectations in the near future. And by the way, General Mladic is not -- from what we know and what our investigation has confirmed -- is not residing on the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia anymore.
JERRY FOWLER: Well, we have quite a number of questions that I’m trying to sort into some general categories. One that has come up in several ways, this one’s directed to Justice Goldstone, but all of the panelists may want to engage on it, is focusing on this idea that there’s an imperative that the Serbian people be made aware of the atrocities committed by the Milosevic regime. Why not simply a Serbian Truth and Reconciliation Council instead of enforcing a more controversial solution upon the Serbian people, specifically the extradition of Slobodan Milosevic?
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: The question of truth commissions and criminal prosecutions, whether national or international, is a complex one. The South African model, so far, has been unique in grafting onto previous procedures adopted by truth commissions, grafting on amnesties in return for full confessions. Well, South Africa may just have got away with it for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the level of crimes committed, as serious as they were, pale into insignificance in comparison to the genocides and war crimes that were committed in the former Yugoslavia, that were committed Rwanda, in Iraq, various other horrible situations that we have witnessed over the last recent decade.
Secondly, a truth commission is not in any way inconsistent with criminal prosecutions. In fact, they’ve both gone on simultaneously in a number of countries, including South Africa. I support truth commissions in situations where it’s appropriate. To put Milosevic before a truth commission, of course, doesn’t make sense. What’s the point? What would be in it for him if he wasn’t going to be offered an amnesty? And to grant an amnesty for the source of crimes that we’re talking about, I think, would find revulsion in the minds and the hearts of any decent person anywhere, and particularly perhaps in Serbia.
So the truth commission is a difficult issue. I think it’s early days at the moment in Serbia. It may be a possibility right now in Bosnia. So it’s certainly no substitute, I have no doubt in the case of somebody like Milosevic, it’s no substitute for an appropriate war crimes trial.
JERRY FOWLER: Do either of the other panelists --
SONJA BISERKO: Yes, I think that I quite agree with Judge Goldstone because to have -- to go on with the truth commission it really needs the acknowledgement of the society or at least the elite, which is conducting it.
In our case, we have a truth commission set up by President Kostunica which didn’t come out with any paper or idea what it will be looking like, there is no mandate yet, so it’s very difficult to say what it will be. It came in the wake of the certification date and I think the arrest and all that was really hurried up because of the very heavy pressure on the government to deliver something with before the 21st of March.
And, unlike the ambassador, I think that the pressure from outside was the most important factor in bringing Milosevic to the prison.
And I think this is an important fact, as I have mentioned before: It’s psychologically very important for the society to see Milosevic somehow brought down and it has changed immensely the society.
But I don’t see yet the readiness really to acknowledge what really has happened. And I agree that people are more ready to cope with that than the elite itself. And this is really where we have wide difference because people are more focused on the existential problems, which are enormous, but that doesn’t mean yet that we have come to a situation that we really recognize as a society what has happened. It is, of course, a process, a very painful one. But I do advocate The Hague trial because I think it’s going to be additional in this process of maturing and bringing people in Serbia to face something, it is more serious, I would say, it’s more relevant on what has happened.
We have situations now that there was a trial on Foca, Srebrenica. Our media, which is a very important mechanism in sort of outreaching the people, have done very little and they’re informed about the trials in The Hague very selectively. So why would it be much better in Belgrade? So this is really the matter of acknowledging, again I say. And this is -- there was opportunity also to explain what Srebrenica was, what Foca was, but there was hardly any serious background information on these two trials, just small notices in the media which was hardly read by anybody because it was not attractive, it was not put in the way that people -- it would reach people.
So it needs really an organized strategy from the regime because we need all these state institutions, the media, to reach people and this is -- this, I don’t see it happening.
JERRY FOWLER: Mr. Ambassador.
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Yes, just a couple of words. I believe that the -- some kind of truth commission is necessary in former Yugoslavia, probably for the entire region, but I don’t believe it should be a substitute for trials, and I would agree with Justice Goldstone.
I also think that a number of issues from our past must come to the surface and should be addressed in every single part of the Balkans because we have been haunted by the past. And a lot of stuff, bad stuff, that happened in the last 10 years came from the misuse of our history and the bad and incorrect perceptions of people of each and every one’s past.
So from that standpoint, I believe that we do need a truth commission which would involve experts from various fields. In a kind of mutual communication, they could come up with a kind of an answer or reconciliation type of agenda for the entire region. But people who are individually responsible for crimes should be tried for those, no question about it.
JERRY FOWLER: One questioner picked up on the suggestion by Justice Goldstone that the ICTY could hold some or all of the proceedings against Milosevic in Belgrade and wanted to ask the Ambassador what he thought of that and if that makes it more acceptable to have a trial, an international trial. And another questioner, just to wrap these together, wondered, for Justice Goldstone, how witnesses could feel more secure -- any more secure going to Belgrade for an international trial than they would for a trial under national auspices.
And I guess for my own purposes, I would add on to that how likely is it, if it were acceptable to the Yugoslav government, that the tribunal would be willing to entertain that prospect?
MILAN ST. PROTIC: I cannot give you a straight answer because that overpasses my competencies. I can’t really decide upon those things, but I believe that the officials who are in charge of those types of decisions back home, including ministries of justice and the prime ministers and probably the presidents, but finally the parliaments of both Serbia and Yugoslavia, can decide on that. I don’t believe that it’s unfeasible to have a kind of a joint trial between The Hague Tribunal and maybe our domestic judges or prosecutors and find a compromise on those grounds, but that’s just my speculation.
What is important for us is, frankly speaking, to preserve our dignity. We’re a proud people and what we have done in facing Milosevic and defeating him in the elections and doing away with his regime goes to the credit of our people. And we cannot do anything which would in any way disappoint the expectations of the people who voted for us and who essentially overthrew Milosevic. Without them nothing of this would have been possible. We wouldn’t be here talking about it and I probably wouldn’t be here at all. So there is much more at stake for us as a nation here than maybe some of you really understand.
This is a historical moment. This is a crossroads of our existence. And dealing with Milosevic and the last 10 years of his rule and 50 years of communism, for us, has enormous importance and especially for the generations to come. And decisions to extradite Milosevic are not -- are, for us, much deeper, much more important, much more fundamental than to people who are concerned only about justice and peace and stability and those types of things. And that’s why I believe that it’s up to us to lead the way in this process.
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: I must say when I hear, with respect, the ambassador talk about just justice and just peace, that’s why I’m skeptical. It’s because justice is necessary for the whole region that an international trial before The International Tribunal is fundamentally important.
I think to answer the question that was put by somebody in the audience, I think there is a difference from the point of view of witness protection of coming to a trial before the United Nations International Tribunal held in Serbia in comparison to a local trial held in Serbia. Steps can be taken.
One’s got to look at the example of a trial taking place on foreign soil, and obviously I’m not suggesting that it’s an exact parallel, but there are ways it could be worked out. It may be that some witnesses would have to have the evidence heard in The Hague or elsewhere.
But there can be no reason, it seems to me, why certainly the evidence of and the defense case, whatever it may be that Mr. Milosevic wants to put, is not heard by the ICTY in Belgrade. I think that would be a very good thing and part of the whole catharsis that is so necessary in that area.
But it is a historical moment, but it’s a historical moment for the whole Balkan region and not only for Serbia. And I think that if that’s lost, then the prospect of lasting peace is not going to be with the Balkans for a long time to come.
SONJA BISERKO: I would like --
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Just one more word on that just justice and just peace. There is something deeper than that. There’s something more important than justice and peace, something more fundamental than that.
SONJA BISERKO: And that’s it.
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Disbelief. If you don’t believe then justice and peace and stability and truth, they become empty words. They have to believe --
SONJA BISERKO: They won’t.
MILAN ST. PROTIC: -- in justice, in peace, in truth in order to achieve something. Other -- if not, that doesn’t mean much.
SONJA BISERKO: Well, I think that the separation or divorce from Milosevic will take years, maybe decades. And this is a process, but justice has to be -- needs to be -- has to be dealt separately from that. And I view it as an historical confrontation for Serbian people because they have missed a historical chance and they have somehow acted against the mainstream for a whole decade or more.
But I believe in justice, so this is why I think justice should be first and then we can, as a society, go through this very painful process. I think this is not wrong what you say, but I don’t think that the justice should be delayed.
JERRY FOWLER: Okay.
MILAN ST. PROTIC:Justice is blind, unfortunately, if I remember correctly.
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: It’s supposed to be.
JERRY FOWLER: There are a number of questions on this same basic theme here, and that generally directed towards Justice Goldstone and Ms. Biserko. And it’s along the lines of if -- I guess I’ll use this one. If the ICTY is not anti-Serb biased, as Justice Goldstone claims, then how does he explain or justify the fact that the tribunal refuses to prosecute the war crimes of the enemies of the Serbs, notably NATO leaders who unleashed terror on innocent people with cluster bombs and depleted uranium?
And why does the ICTY not prosecute these crimes? There’s a reference, also, to leaders, including Tudjman, Bush, Kohl, again NATO. And the question of whether The Hague Tribunal indicted any Croat leader for the destruction of Mostar. It’s for the two of you.
SONJA BISERKO: Well, I think there are already many people brought to The Hague who are not Serbs and many more than Serbs. And I think there is some sort of sequence of events and it took 10 years to indict Milosevic or maybe more people will be coming. I wouldn’t -- and unfortunately, most of the crimes were committed by the Serbian side; unfortunately, I say. So this is not excuse.
And so far, the tribunal has proved to be impartial, even when they made mistakes, they released people, there was such situation as well.
So this is, I would say, wrong approach to this institution because, as Judge Goldstone has said before, there are 300 people who are from different backgrounds, from different countries who would react immediately. So this is not an argument for the anti -- to claim that the ICTY’s an anti-Serb institution.
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: And the question of the NATO -- alleged NATO war crimes, the prosecutor made public an opinion she received in-house from a committee of lawyers in The Hague Tribunal. Came to the conclusion that the NATO actions that were complained of, and particularly with the bombing of the bridge -- there was the bombing of the television studios, and there was the use of uranium-tipped ammunition and cluster bombs. In all of those cases, the committee advised the prosecutor that there wasn’t any crime -- any war crime to investigate and four reasons were given, and one can agree or disagree.
Professor Cassese, the former president of the ICTY, has gone on public record criticizing that opinion and saying that, in his view, it is incorrect and that there were war crimes to be investigated in respect of some of those events.
My own view is that, you know, the prosecutor -- unfortunately, one has to recognize the tribunal have very limited resources. There are three courts. Happily now, there are going to be more. From November of this year, there are going to be 27 ad litem judges as they are called, an additional 27 judges from 27 different countries who will be available to sit in additional courts at the tribunal. But clearly there’s a problem of resources and my own personal view is that the -- if any war crimes were committed by NATO -- and these are difficult issues. I’ve looked at them and I’ve read the -- I’ve read what I can about it. On the evidence that there has been, the crimes that were committed and the number of people who were injured is really on a scale of 1 to 10 at 1 or maybe 2 in comparison to other war crimes, including war crimes committed against Serbs. There’s no question.
And I’m the first to admit that there are many indictments that should come out of the tribunal in that regard and I’m hopeful that they will.
What is happening in the tribunal? I can’t speak for it. I left 4-1/2 years ago and I’m not privy to anything that happens -- that has happened in that office since the end of September of 1996. But these are really not -- this is not evidence and it’s not a fact of any anti-Serb bias. Again, I can give that assurance.
I can understand the perception. I can understand the perception because it’s been mainly Serbs who have been indicted. But you know the reason for that is that the evidence has been available of Serb violations. It’s been difficult, as I’ve said, to get evidence from Serb victims because of their non-cooperation. And again, hopefully, that will improve. And I think if it does improve, then I think that a completely different perception will be created.
JERRY FOWLER: Did you have any comment? There were a series of questions on the -- for the Ambassador about the stance on handing over people other than Milosevic. And the names that were mentioned in particular were the other people indicted with him, Sainovic, Ojdanic, et al., as well as the Serbian officers responsible for the crimes in Vukovar. And there is also reference to Karadzic and Mladic, although I believe in your comments you said that they’re not in Yugoslavia.
MILAN ST. PROTIC:It’s an additional issue, but too much to expect from our government after 2-1/2 months to meet all these expectations. There is quite a few of them, that’s number one.
Secondly, the situation in the country is still pretty volatile, really vulnerable. Some people seem to believe that like after everything that happened in the country, everything is at peace. We’ve got a new democratic government, like everything is la vie en rose, the French would say. Well, it doesn’t happen that way after changes like the one that we had in Serbia and in Yugoslavia. There are still very serious dangers.
The situation, as I said, is very delicate and sensitive, and within that type of environment some things have to be taken one step at a time. I can tell you that members of the Serbian government have been under such tremendous pressure since they were sworn in on January 25th that the new chief of the security police was shot at, minister of interior was shot at, the personal car of the speaker of the democratic forces in the Serbian parliament was blown up.
So there has been a lot of stuff going on which could undermine the whole process of democratization in the country. And we are still going forward with serious and fundamental, comprehensive reform.
The third point is that our governments cannot spend all day long only dealing with issues of expectations and demands of the Prosecutor’s Office of The Hague Tribunal, even though that is one of its priorities.
The situation, economic and social, in the country is so difficult, alarming I would say, that the very prospects of the survival of the new democratic government, both in Serbia and Yugoslavia, depend a great deal on their ability to make the everyday life and standard of living back home better than it was before. So our governments are faced with enormous amount of problems and expectations are pretty high. This is only one of them.
And we’ve got expectations from all over and everyone is being extremely impatient. Our people in Serbia are expecting economic reforms and better life overnight. Montenegrins say, well, we’ve got no time left; we want to go our own way and proclaim independent as soon as possible. Our neighbors are asking for us to deliver as soon as possible. The Presevo Albanians in southern Serbia are saying it’s now or never.
So we’ve been under a tremendous lot of pressure and we at least expected from the international community to have some understanding and some patience in what we have to do. But yet again, we come to Washington or some other places around the world and, again, we’re faced with lists of demands and expectations, all a little too much for a very short period of time.
But what I just said, if you take into account what we have done so far, there’s absolutely no need for that much skepticism and sometimes it even sounds like it’s ill-intentioned. I try to believe that it’s not, but it sometimes just sounds that way.
It seems to me that some people have a problem to cope with the fact that Serbia and Yugoslavia haven’t gone democratic once and for all. And that that’s one of the problems of misunderstanding that we have today in the region and, unfortunately, with some people in the international community just as well.
JERRY FOWLER: Okay. I think we’ve got time for two more questions and then perhaps wrap-up remarks by the panelists. For Justice Goldstone, the questioner wonders if General Pinochet was allowed to return home, why would Milosevic be different? And what effect will his -- would an international trial have on future crimes against humanity?
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: Well, of course, it’s a completely different situation. General Pinochet was not charged by any international court. General Pinochet was sought by a Spanish judge for crimes committed against people in Spain when General Pinochet was head of state. And it was, of course, a landmark ruling by the British House of Lords, the highest court in the United Kingdom, which held that there was jurisdiction on the part of Spain to have General Pinochet sent there to face charges committed 20 years ago in Latin America.
A very interesting illustration of the universal jurisdiction to which I referred earlier: He’s arrested in London to be sent to Spain for crimes committed in Latin America. General Pinochet was sent home on grounds of health, on humanitarian reasons and not for any other reason. And it may be a good thing because it certainly has allowed a lot of outpouring from many victims who’ve had their mouths closed for more than 2 decades since the tortures of the Pinochet regime.
The position with Milosevic is different, clearly, because he’s being indicted by an International Criminal Tribunal set up by the Security Council of the United Nations. And that’s international law and it’s an international obligation on the part of the Belgrade government, which is the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a successor to Yugoslavia, is a signatory to the United Nations Charter which is a super treaty, and that’s the international obligation. So really the legal requirement is without any question.
Certainly the ambassador hasn’t in any way sought to deny that. It’s a political question for the government of Serbia how it reacts and how and when it complies with that international obligation.
JERRY FOWLER: Did you have something?
SONJA BISERKO: I would say that the tribunal can immensely help society to come up to grips with the recent past, but also contrary to what the ambassador say, I think the international community is very inclined to help Serbia once it delivers in terms of its international obligations. And I think that should be a priority and, so far, it has proved to very helpful to Serbia.
They pay our bills, they keep the country running, otherwise it would have collapsed a few months ago. So nobody can say that the international community has been doing anything contrary to the interests of Serbia. So, I don’t think there is anti-Serb sentiment in that way. And I think there is a very positive international environment which should be used and, therefore, the tribunal is a way out.
JERRY FOWLER: Okay, the final question and then we’ll have wrap-up remarks. The second half of Milosevic’s defense to the corruption charges is that the monies -- that money is still being used to support the SDS and the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia, and this was also reported by the International Crisis Group. What -- this is for the ambassador, what is your government’s position on increased transparency on the relations with the Serb Republic?
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Well, first of all, Milosevic being in custody is using all the possible arguments to defend himself. So what he said in the -- during the interrogation that was done with him cannot be used as a firm evidence for whatever was said there. It is an unfortunate and uncomfortable statement by Milosevic, but we couldn’t expect anything better from him.
That proves our point that all that he did was against the interest of the Serbian nation and not in favor of it. And by his last statements, he is just proving that point. That gives us another reason for argument to try him ourselves, of course, in accordance and understanding of the Prosecutor’s Office of The Hague Tribunal.
But as far as I remember -- and some time ago, very many years ago, I studied law and graduated from law school, but I never practiced; good for the legal system in Yugoslavia and probably bad for Yugoslav diplomacy. Anyway, from what I -- if I remember correctly, the statements given during the interrogation cannot be used as evidence in another trial because he may have been lying, and we’ll see if that proves to be true or not. He is trying to clear his name at least for corruption.
And if he shifts the entire debate on who was supporting the “righteous” cause of the Serbs in Bosnia and in Croatia, then he is where he wants to be. But we strongly believe that all of that money was going to private parties and not to what he claimed he spent money for. But he will be taken accountable whichever of those two alternatives prove to be true.
JERRY FOWLER: Well, I think especially from that last answer that the -- you’re being too modest about the effect on the legal community your not practicing law. And I wanted just to kind of focus in on what was the second part of the question, which was your government’s position on transparency between your government and relations with the Serb Republic.
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Well, we’ve got nothing to hide. We have just signed an agreement on parallel relations between Yugoslavia and Republika -- Serb Republic, Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the auspices of the high representative of the international community in Sarajevo.
We have offered to the Sarajevo government, the Serbian government has offered a treatment -- on a treaty on a free trade zone for entire Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia; Croatia was also invited to join in. So we have established diplomatic relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the ambassadors are going to be exchanged. If they’re not -- these days it’s going to happen probably next week.
We have so many times since October 5th repeated our recognition of the independence and state sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have agreed with the military to cut off any kind of financial assistance to the military of Republika Srpska as of May 31st. So I believe that we have done a great deal, even though the demand was only to make it transparent. Well, we decided to cut it off.
And I can also tell you that the officials of the Yugoslav military were relieved once we decided to cut it out because their budget is very much limited for this fiscal year, and this was just another financial burden for them. So I believe that we have done more than was expected from us in terms of establishing new types of relations with Republika Srpska.
But since, of course, our people live over there, there are Serbs who are citizens of both the Republika Srpska and Bosnia-Herzegovina. We have the right and interest of establishing cultural, economic, and other relations between us. Of course, within the --
SONJA BISERKO: I go back to Republika Srpska because I think it is still seemed as a manned military booty of this war. And I’m afraid that President Kostunica is representing this continuing line with a former policy and he has been very clear about it. And there is no doubt that he’s seeing Republika Srpska as Serbian land to be united with Serbia. Therefore, there are -- there is ground to be skeptical about and although this -- I will say cosmetic move from the government, because it is under the pressure received from outside.
So there is much more to be shown that really Serbia has -- is not returning to Serbia because Republika Srpska is doing what it needs in that way. And that the -- Mladic and Karadzic be arrested as soon as possible and refugees be allowed to return to Republika Srpska because only a handful of them have returned so far.
So this is something that Serbia has to show willingness, but it is open for such a process which will really help reintegrate the whole region. As far as it’s only ethnically pure territory it is very highly -- it is hard to believe that a process will go along the lines that everybody is expecting.
So it’s not enough just to say -- give these statements because it was clear over the last 10 years that Republika Srpska Army and Republika Srpska Krajina, as long as it existed, was one army and its center was in Belgrade. Therefore, there has to be much more proof that this story’s over.
And I hope that the new government will come up with a clear line on Republika Srpska, on Montenegro and Kosovo, because as long as there is no definition on what Serbian borders are, I don’t see progress in the region. Thank you.
JERRY FOWLER: Justice Goldstone.
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: I’d just like to make one comment and that is not to forget the victims. The whole purpose of international justice is to bring justice to victims of terrible crimes. I repeat, the victims of Milosevic are not only -- and I stress not only -- in Serbia.
And the purpose of setting up the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was to bring justice to the whole of the former Yugoslavia, not only one area.
And of course, it’s to be welcomed and I think everybody in this room welcomes the democratic government that is now in -- ruling in Serbia. But it should not be forgotten that the crimes that were committed by the Milosevic regime were committed in the name of the Serb people, and Milosevic was voted into power by the Serb people.
And the victims are impatient. We’re talking about crimes committed by that regime and it’s army in ’91, ’92, and 1993. How much longer must they wait to get justice? The trial can commence and it seems to me that it’s in the interest of the whole region that sooner rather than later Milosevic should face trial in The Hague.
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Excuse me, Justice Goldstone, but you had your chance in Dayton, but you haven’t done it. Now it’s up to us. Milosevic could have been apprehended in Dayton, but at that time, he was a pampered kid of the international community. Even though I agree with you that the crimes -- worst crimes were committed in ’91, ’92, ’93.
Sometimes, I ask myself, is Milosevic really indicted by The Hague Tribunal because he is accountable for war crimes or because he refused to sign the Rambouillet agreement?
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: It just -- it’s really, with respect, a ridiculous suggestion because the -- no indictment could have been prepared. Have you read the indictment against Milosevic?
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Yes.
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: You think that takes 48 hours to prepare? And the indictment over Kosovo is a very complex indictment, it mentions -- and over 300 murders had to be separately investigated. Knowing the little bit I do about the way prosecutors’ offices work, that indictment took many, many months to prepare and began long before Rambouillet.
MILAN ST. PROTIC: That tells you that it wasn’t prepared only to blackmail Milosevic and push him to sign the Rambouillet accord.
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: Only -- that’s the politician, not the man.
MILAN ST. PROTIC:No, no, no. You just tell me one thing now. You’re absolutely confident that Milosevic would have been indicted even if he signed the Rambouillet?
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: Absolutely.
MILAN ST. PROTIC:Absolutely?
RICHARD GOLDSTONE: Absolutely.
MILAN ST. PROTIC: Why wasn’t he indicted after the Dayton accords when you had your chance to find the evidence for ’91, ’92, ’93? I rest my case, Justice Goldstone.
JERRY FOWLER: I think with that spirited exchange we will bring the proceedings to a close. I thank very much our distinguished panel and I thank you for coming and I hope to see you again.