‘Mladic verdict was determined even before court was formed’
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found the former Bosnian Serb general guilty on 10 out of 11 counts of crimes he was accused of. On Wednesday, the court sentenced Mladic, 75, to life in prison for his alleged role in atrocities dating back to the 1992-1995 war, including the massacre of Bosniak men and boys in Srebrenica.
Mladic pleaded not guilty on all charges. He also accused the tribunal of being a “NATO court,” adding that all charges against him were “lies.” Following the verdict, analysts told RT that the tribunal had, in fact, never been a fair trial. They say it was more of a show used to spread a view of the 1992-1995 conflict that would suit the interests of NATO and the US.
The general was declared a war criminal by the NATO powers even before the court was formed, so it is clear that he was “determined” to be found guilty in any case, journalist and political analyst John Bosnitch told RT.
RT:Is this a verdict that you anticipated?
John Bosnitch: This verdict was anticipated even before the court was formed. During the civil war in Bosnia, the European powers, which were backing the Muslim and the Croat side, were calling General Ratko Mladic a war criminal even before the court was formed to try him. He was never given a presumption of innocence even from the first day.
RT:Then are you surprised that the trial lasted as long as it did?
JB: If you are going to try people in full, it sometimes takes quite a lot of time to do it. You draw the trial out, you let both sides appear to have a fair trial; you let them present the evidence; you disregard the evidence that shows that the accused party is innocent; you refer only to the evidence that is proven in many documents to be untrue and then you convict him.
What we have here is not a delivery of justice through a lengthy and detailed trial but a very complicated and purposely drawn-out show trial to keep the name of General Mladic in the news for the best part of a decade and to thus demonize the entire Serbian people.
RT:Mladic was accused of crimes against humanity. This is a very high-profile case. Are you confident that all of those who committed such crimes during the war in Yugoslavia have been brought before the tribunal?
JB: The point is that the tribunal was a one-sided tool of the NATO powers. The purpose of the tribunal was to find one side guilty, and that was the Serbian side, because they were accused of being war criminals long before the court was formed.
There is no surprise about the way it was done. What is surprising is that anyone, anywhere expected even the slightest chance that General Mladic might be acquitted. That, I am sure, no normal rational person could have expected. Not because he is guilty but because he was determined to be found guilty even before the first witness presented any evidence.
So as long as the public knows that there was no other possible verdict even if the man was innocent, then that’s fine. The NATO powers have had their show trial; we have had the media reports upon it.
We know that the media, especially the mainstream media, which pushed this case, were described by the US president as the lying mainstream media. Another lie was perpetrated through the means of the court and the media.
The war was promoted by the West. The West pushed the Muslims into the war, provided them with weapons, backed them through the war and the lying media delivered the verdict. Now we are just doing the autopsy on the death of justice.
This verdict also creates a potentially dangerous precedent as it could be used by the US to justify future invasions launched without any internationally approved mandate, international affairs commentator Marko Gasic told RT.
“This verdict was necessary primarily for the US, to find someone guilty of genocide is to create yourself a false moral mandate to stop future supposed genocides,” he said. “On the basis of this verdict, the USA will give itself a right to attack anywhere, anytime with its acolytes to [defend] its own interests.”
Gasic also said that the Mladic trial was “a tribunal financed by the US, Saudi Arabia and George Soros.” According to Gasic, it had only one purpose: “to achieve the prosecution of a targeted nation – the Serbian nation.”