A blog on Bosnia, the Balkans, and other random thoughts.
It's always interesting to read the practical viewpoint of the insiders involved in a process.Obviously it's to be regretted that no formal verdict was reached but nevertheless a lot of evidence got onto the court record. The ICTY's critics never say anything about the kid-glove treatment Milosevic received at the hands of the judges - I suspect if he'd been defending himself in an ordinary court of law the rambling bullying that passed for his cross-examination would have got smacked down prettyy quickly.
Some people have been a bit unkind about Mr Nice's modest past in the British courts.I Think that the man is quite typically excellent on detail but bad on the big picture.Frankly who cares about the nit picky (or even tabloid style) details of whether Milosevic referred to the Judges as Mr or not? And this 'When they let him sit down he slouched, and insulted them with his body language'.I mean what is that all about? Petty rubbish when the man is accused of genocide.Still, its still a story even though it probably tells us more about Geoffrey Nice than Milosevic!
My own opinion for the reason articles on Milosevic focused more on his ettiquette (or lack there of) instead of the pressing issues of the crimes he was being accused, and whether or not the prosecutors could legally prove his guilt is simply that the former is more interesting that the latter. Note, I didn't say more important, just more interesting.You can see a similar pattern perhaps developing with the Seselj trial. While just reading articles from SENSE news (which I find to be a very good source for tribunal briefs) one is bombarded with stories of his lack of courtroom decorum and outrageous statements. Although his trial is just starting, most of the articles tend to focus on that, as oppose to the charges he is facing. In an odd way, and odd considering Milosevic was charged with a number of serious war crimes, including genocide; is that I feel as if the press uses these "bad behavior" incidents to show what a "bad guy" Milosevic is. Although the facts of his dictatorship and role in the Balkan conflicts speak more clearly than any rude remark Milosevic made in court.
The specific details of Milosevic's conduct of his defence aren't individually significant but put together they flesh out the manner in which he deployed his challenge to the authority of the court.And an insight into the person may give us an insight into how individuals are capable of setting atrocities in motion.
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