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Criminalization of International Law:
Toronto Lawyers Object
We deplore the fact that US General Wesley Clark is being called by the Prosecution to testify at the Milosevic trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague on December 15, 2003.
General Wesley K. Clark was commander of NATO and chief of US forces in Europe during the NATO attack on Yugoslavia in 1999. This attack was unlawful. In 1999 a group of lawyers and legal academics drafted a Request that the Prosecutor for the ICTY investigate and indict named persons including General Clark for war crimes in connection with the attack on Yugoslavia. This was only one of many such requests and demands from thousands of individuals around the world. The attack was a war crime of the highest magnitude. The Nuremberg tribunal held that the instigation of a war of aggression or a war contrary to international treaties was the most serious war crime - a crime against the peace - and one which contained within it the combined evil of all of the other enumerated war crimes. The NATO attack on Yugoslavia was undertaken in violation of the UN Charter, without UN approval and was thus a crime against the peace.
Professor Michael Mandel and David Jacobs presented a detailed brief to Chief Prosecutor Del Ponte demonstrating that General Clark's actions in Yugoslavia fit the definition of war crimes, crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity. There was overwhelming evidence that the attack was unlawful and that the conduct of the attack on civilian objects breached the Geneva Conventions. Regrettably, the Prosecution has laid no charges to date, despite the fact that General Clark has publicly admitted that the war was unlawful.
Now this unindicted war criminal is being allowed to use the ICTY as a vehicle for his electoral ambitions, and is being furnished with the ideal conditions for so doing: none can report on his testimony, or how his evidence stands up under cross-examination. The power of the US Government is manifest here, as it has successfully demanded that a Tribunal, bound to hold fair and public trials, violate the fundamental rule that justice must be seen to be done. No interest in a fair trial is served, only US interests. Yugoslav interests were ignored as the Tribunal extradited President Milosevic to stand trial in The Hague contrary to its constitution and to the rulings of Yugoslavia's highest court.
The administration of justice is brought into disrepute by permitting the likes of Clark to testify at all, let alone behind closed doors. Unfortunately this is only one of the many examples of disreputable justice administered in this trial.
David Jacobs, Christopher Black, Professor Michael Mandel, Charles Roach, December 12, 2003, Toronto
For further information contact David Jacobs 416-539-0226 ext. 202
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