Friday, March 5, 2010

The criminal's smile

After watching a couple of fragments from the latest trial session of Radovan Karadzic I had an extremely unpleasant sensation: I was looking not only at the perfect liar, but the cold blooded criminal. The political motivated criminal. With large gestures, very relaxed, he was trying to explain how in fact, the images of the media crew were the creation of the journalists who enclosed their space with barbed wire. And that the emaciated people from the images were watching the journalists. And how the genocide was a Muslim-Bosnian "creation", a "myth". No regrets, no second thoughts.
Caught while in Belgrade, after a 13-year hunt, he faces 11 counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other atrocities in the Bosnian war of the 1990s. He do not recognize none of them and refused to be represented legally, considering, as Milosevic, he is strong enough to prove his "innocence". Another important fugitive, Ratko Mladic, is still hiding - or being hidden.
Hidding behind what the former UN Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte called in this book "The Hunt" - muro di gomma/wall of rubber (p.3): "I had encountered, and would encounter, the muro di gomma, during meetings with many powerful people, from mafia financiers to Swiss bankers and politicians, from heads of state like George W. Bush and prime ministers like Silvio Berlusconi to bureaucrats in government offices and the various departments of the UN and, late in my tenure, European foreign ministers who seemed to be prepared to welcome Serbia into the EU's embrace even as Serbia's political leaders, police and army were harboring men responsible for killing thousand of prisoners in cold blood before the eyes of the world". In her account of the time spent investigating Balkan and Rwandan crimes, I always found very interesting the hide-and-seek political game, the diplomatic dance against the blind impulse to deliver justice. In many aspects, the two roads do not meet never.
The ICTY was the first war crimes court created by the UN and the first international war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. It was established by the Security Council in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The difference with the two other war tribunals is that frequently lacked the necessary public and international support in order to deliver justice.

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