Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Officially, Radovan Karadzic was arrested on Monday, July 21. Except there are multiple reports indicating the arrest actually took place on Friday, July 18. Furthermore, Serbian police was specifically said not to have taken place in the arrest. So, who did actually arrest Karadzic? The Tadic government isn't telling.

Now, Serbian law doesn't recognize habeas corpus, but I'm pretty sure one's not supposed to be subject to arrest by someone other than police, or held for several days before being brought before a judge. But hey, he's a "war criminal," right? Who cares? Not like he's a mujahedin fighting to "stay home," or he'd get sympathy from the West...

Now, Serbian constitution does not allow for extradition of citizens - except to the Inquisition. Currently, Serbian authorities are refusing to extradite Miladin Kovacevic to the United States. Kovacevic is accused to severely beating another college student in a bar fight in upstate New York. So, illegal rendition of former presidents, generals and government officials to a self-appointed, illegitimate quasi-court is perfectly all right, but extraditing someone who almost killed someone else in a bar fight? Oh no, can't do that...

Wait, illegal rendition?!


See, to have a proper extradition, you have to at least have an extradition hearing. There are all these judicial procedures. Neither Slobodan Milosevic (who was arrested on completely different charges - and never prosecuted! - before being rendered to the Inquisition) nor Radovan Karadzic ever got a hearing in court. They were simply packed into a van, then into a helicopter, and shipped off to a foreign country, where their chances of getting a fair trial are less than zero.

(If you're arguing that the ICTY has actually acquitted people - like Ramush Haradinaj or Naser Oric, think again. Those people they could acquit without bringing their own existence into question. Acquitting a Serb leader? No way. Without the alleged Serb "joint criminal enterprise", the whole Tribunal is pointless.)

Under Serbian law, Karadzic also had the right to appeal his arrest. His lawyer said he had mailed the appeal on Friday. Somehow, the all-efficient (ha!) Serbian Postal Service said on Monday that no such appeal has been mailed. So, as thousands of people demonstrated in downtown Belgrade, under the truncheons of riot police, Karadzic was packed off into a police van and shipped out of the country.

Now, Imperial satrap Boris the False and his followers love to talk about the Tribunal as "Serbia's international obligation." They are always big on obligations, somehow forgetting their job isn't to fulfill foreigners' demands, but to protect Serbian interests. And that would include, one supposes, upholding the law, from the Constitution on down. Of course, as that would require actually defending Kosovo, giving people they arrest a fair hearing, or not sending riot police to beat up people they don't like, it's too much of a hassle. They'd rather democratically democratize democracy the entire democratic day.

What happened to Karadzic is merely a symptom of a sycophantic, collaborationist regime gone mad. There hasn't been law in Serbia for a very long time. Since 1944, some say (or rather, 1941). Even the "evil Milosevic" still paid lip service to law, however. That's more than his "democratic" successors have done since 2000, embracing rather the all-trumping "convenience." The true purpose of the law, however, was never to bind criminals (they disobey it by definition), but to constrain the government from abusing the innocent-until-proven-guilty. So much for that, then.

For the second time after the October 2000 coup, the government, the media, and the "non-governmental sector" are all under firm control of the same (foreign) interests. The first time was during the martial law in the spring of 2003. Now the boot is treading a bit more softly, but it is still the same boot. And it is still stomping on the human face, forever.

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