Thursday, April 21, 2005

Trial in Absentia

According to the BBC, the Hague Inquisition physicians declared that Slobodan Milošević's blood pressure was "too high," and that he was at risk of a heart attack. So the "judges" banned him from the courtroom and tried to continue the "trial" without him.

This is precisely what Canadian attorney Tiphaine Dickson warned about, in February this year:
Elsewhere in the Appeals Chamber ruling, however, President Meron made a startlingly ominous claim: the right to be tried in one’s presence is not absolute (it, too, it seems, is but a "presumption") and can be obviated by "substantial disruption" of the proceedings. This disruption need not be deliberate or even intended by the accused, and can be caused merely by illness. The possibility of holding in absentia proceedings in the [Milošević] case as a result of illness... had just been approved ...

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group published a similar analysis the same day (February 20), making the following point:
no legal system in the world recognises a difference between a defendant being too ill to defend himself, and too ill to stand trial. If Mr. Milošević is too ill, the trial should come to an end immediately. The ICTY has invented this distinction for the purposes of imposing defence counsel on Mr. Milošević, just as soon as his defence got under way...

This sudden muzzling of Milošević comes as a shock only to those who haven't monitored the course of the "trial" over the past couple of months. While the Prosecution was presenting its case, mainstream media eagerly published trial updates, most often simply repeating prosecutors' claims as if they were established truth. Milošević's defense, by contrast, has been ignored almost completely.

If reports by a well-informed and knowledgeable supporter of Milošević are accurate - and they are based on official transcripts, so it's easy to check - the prosecution's case has been repeatedly exposed as a convoluted mess of lies, distortions, fabrications and conjecture. From the top EU observer, through Macedonian medical workers, to the CSI examiners of Racak dead, defense witnesses have been destroying the Prosecution's case. Prosecution's cross-examinations have consisted mainly of cheap, racist ad hominems and attempts to disprove evidence with pro-Imperial propaganda.

At a status conference on Thursday, April 14 - Milošević once again refused to introduce written testimonies in lieu of live witnesses, demanding the right to a public trial. He also demanded equal time to present his case; the "court" gave him only 150 days, while the Prosecutors had over 300 - not to mention years of time to prepare a case, millions of dollars in resources, and complete domination over the media, which Milošević is forbidden to contact.

In short, the "trial" has been going so badly for the Inquisition, it has decided to resort to trickery and have Milošević tried in absentia.

Whether the trial takes two more days or two more years, everyone knows what the verdict will be; the evidence to convict Milošević may be nonexistent, but to acquit him would destroy the ICTY, its backers, and the hordes of their sycophants. The entire justification for Washington and Brussels' meddling in the Balkans would be shot to pieces, the entire forged history of the 1990s exposed as a fraud that it is.

This is a show trial - it always has been - trying to create a perception of fairness (note that most ICTY supporters argue for just that - "perception" - not actual fairness). Milošević has already been convicted in the Empire-dominated court of public opinion; his "trial" at The Hague is only an effort to give the propaganda an official imprimatur. Everything the Prosecution has done - from issuing the indictment during NATO's war; adding to it retroactively Bosnia and Croatia; amending the indictment afterwards; calling 300 witnesses, none of which was worth a damn; and resorting to logical fallacies, creative reasoning and routine violations of common sense, not to mention jurisprudence - demonstrates that they just don't have a case. But Milošević isn't fighting their meaningless indictment, he is fighting the ICTY itself, and its paymasters - and apparently, too well. Like him or hate him, agree with his policies or not, one must respect the man's courage and tenacity.

After Milošević was prevented from attending his own lynching, defense witness Kosta Bulatović refused to testify. The Inquisition accused him of being "in contempt of the court." He wasn't, really - but he should be. Contempt is the only proper animus towards this malicious, fraudulent circus that defiles justice with every fiber of its being.

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