Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A death and a reminder

Zdravko Tolimir (1948-2016) died in The Hague today, of causes unknown.

Reports of his passing will without exception note he was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. None will say the verdict was passed in a kangaroo court, established by the Atlantic Empire to conjure a fig leaf of legitimacy for its conquest of Yugoslavia.

Everyone will quote the pious proclamations of presiding "judge" Theodor Meron, who said Tolimir "was aware of the genocidal intent of the Bosnian Serb leadership and was responsible for genocide.”

Likewise, everyone will bring up Srebrenica, and the supposed Serb massacre of Muslim "men and boys" (always that phrase), not missing to call it the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.

Just about no one - in the West, anyway - will mention Prisca Matimba Nyambe, a Zambian judge appalled by her colleagues' abominable standards of evidence. Buried behind 534 pages of farcical "fact" findings, Nyambe's brave dissent calls out the other "judges" for failing to prove even a single charge in the indictment.

“Without a single piece of evidence adduced during this trial of a written plan of a JCE to Murder, or any evidence of direct statements showing such an intent, the Majority relies upon circumstantial evidence to draw conclusions of a culpable mens rea,” Nyambe wrote. 

By JCE she meant the notorious doctrine of "Joint Criminal Enterprise," concocted by an American lawyer for the specific purpose of securing convictions of people the Tribunal sought to convict on the basis of who they were, rather than what they may or may not have done.

The entirety of the Tribunal's evidence against Tolimir, Nyambe wrote, was circumstantial and based on presumptions and suppositions of the other judges.

"On the totality of the evidence on the record, I am wholly unpersuaded that the Accused is
guilty of any of the charges alleged in the Indictment," she concluded.

Not only was Tolimir not guilty, but the prosecutors - and the judges that sided with them - failed to prove that many of the things in the indictment actually happened, Nyambe argued. For heaven's sake, this is the court that decided the killing of three people represented "genocide."

Not seven months after convicting Tolimir, Meron cited as credible third-hand hearsay "evidence" accusing the Bosnian Serbs of a plot that was actually a WW2 Nazi Croatia plan targeting the Serbs themselves. So much about his credibility, or that of the actual joint criminal enterprise that is the ICTY.

I have little doubt the kangaroo court will sink to even lower depths before its fell purpose is served. Until then, however, Zdravko Tolimir will remain a prime example of what Empire's "truth" and "justice" really look like.


dave said...

The Zambian judge is honest, apparently honesty is important in Zambian etiquette according to everyculture.com:

"Proverbs are an important part of Zambian society. They are part of the oral tradition and have become catchphrases in which a lesson is taught. For example a Kaunde proverb is "Bubela bubwel," which translates to "lies return." This is a proverb used to warn against gossip and telling lies because it can make you look foolish later."

Aleks said...

Thanks for that Nebojsa. I just read the whole dissent, and these bits jumped out too:

84. ....The evidence in this case shows that many in the column were killed in combat—possibly as many as 3,000 men. 233 Therefore, owing to this evidence citing other causes of death at that time as noted by the Chamber—including combat-related killings, suicide, in-fighting, and natural circumstances 234 —I cannot hold beyond reasonable doubt that these bodies were victims of murder at the hands of the Bosnian Serb Forces, and, therefore, I must dissent from the Majority holding that these causes of death were “very much a minority”. 235 As stated in the Judgement:

[T]he Chamber does not have the evidence before it to make the finding that these deaths constituted a minority of the Srebrenica-related missing.

85...Consequently, I cannot find that any “forcible transfer” contributed to a finding of genocide or conspiracy to commit genocide. Nor can I find, based on the totality of evidence on the record, that the Bosnian Muslim civilians of the Srebrenica and @epa enclaves were persecuted by Bosnian Serb Forces with the requisite specific intent. As I have not found the underlying crime of Forcible Transfer or a JCE to Forcibly Remove the populations of the enclaves, I cannot find the Accused criminally responsible for these movements under any mode of liability...

86. Additionally, while I find that a JCE to Murder the Bosnian Muslim men spontaneously arose on 12–13 July 1995, I dissent to the Majority holding that a JCE to Murder was a “highly organised murder operation developed and shared among and between numerous high-ranking VRS officers and implemented by countless members of the Bosnian Serb Forces”...

Not to mention the emotional bias such from witnesses such as David Wood:

56. ....Further, I note Wood’s conclusion of the situation in Žepa, including the fact that the Accused put his pistol up in the sky, constituted ethnic cleansing directed by the Accused; in doing so he even compared the situation to the Holocaust. 158 I find this description of Wood to be totally misplaced as it does not reflect the situation on the ground. I do not believe that the presence of a General with a pistol standing in the midst of 3,000 to 4,000 civilians, who were protected by their own ABiH General, conjures up a scenario that can be linked in any way to the Holocaust or ethnic cleansing....

Nowhere have I seen Judge Prisca Matimba Nyambe's dissention published in full outside of the official ICTY transcript...

Aleks said...

Hey Nebojsa, have you seen this. It also goes to the dissenting judgment of Nyambe above, i.e. actually proving 'intent'.


I bet the Hague will close up shop well before they admit their dodgy legal practices under Joint Criminal Enterprise. The humanitarian warriors will give it a miss as setting the bar 'too high', as how it should be placed, would affect sleep.

CubuCoko said...

I'm not the slightest bit surprised. This will help the future jurists debunk the ICTY as a kangaroo court - small comfort to those railroaded by it, but an important thing for posterity nonetheless.

James said...

Have you seen this article? Perhaps another wrongly convicted general will be freed?:


Massacre at Tuzla Gate Square on May 25, 1995, when 71 persons were killed and 240 injured, the explosion was not caused by missiles fired from the cannon with the Serbian positions on Mount Ozren!

This is the conclusion of five ballistic forensic experts from the Czech Republic, Israel and France, which were last year and this year worked separate expertise explosion on the Square. This sheds new light on this tragedy, which by all reminiscent of the scenario which was served in the case of "Markale".

These findings are even more weight, because it will be tomorrow before the Higher Court in Belgrade found requisition of the Ministry of Justice, which seeks to recognize judgments from Sarajevo. According to her, General Novak Djukic was sentenced to 20 years in prison, as Commander of the Tactical Group "Ozren" then allegedly ordered the shelling of Tuzla.