Thursday, February 23, 2006

Part One of the latest three-part dispatch on the Serbian war crimes trials, from Jasmina Tesanovic:

Belgrade 21 February, 2006

When Bad Guys become Good Guys

Today the " Good" Guy of the Scorpion Srebrenica trial
finally spoke out: I shot the six Muslim men, I am
guilty before God and you will decide, from the
special court for war crimes, if I am guilty for you
too. I obeyed the orders... Others, the "Bad" guys at
the same trial, are in denial.

At this hour, B92 and some other media are
unofficially reporting that General Ratko Mladic in
charge of Srebrenica action is being arrested, but the
Serbian official government is in denial. Only a few
hours ago, the special adviser of president of
president Kostunica said he knew nothing, except that
it is imminent.

I just arrived from the mountain place close to
Belgrade where Mladic has been reported to be hiding
in the past, in a military base.

Mladic has been seen a little bit everywhere. Until
2002 Mladic was openly "hiding" in Belgrade, he was
buying bread at the same bakery as my friend, but
since 2002, the rumors, or stronger things, have even
killed some supposed eye-witnesses involved in his

At this moment there are difficult negotiations in
Vienna for the future status of Kosovo, torn between
90 percent majority Albanians, demanding autonomy
after Milosevic's troops pulled out in '99, and the
Serbian central government which is fighting for its
sovereignty in that part of a once-united country. A
difficult task for the EU leading the negotiations,
but an excellent opportunity to demand that all the
parties comply with international war tribunal.
Mladic, who until recently was claimed to have big
popular support for his non-surrender, seems to have
lost all of it these days; from good to bad guys.
Yes, we all know he gave the orders.

8 p.m Contradictory news on B92, is he arrested, about
to be arrested, or already flown to Hague?
Again, as when they were arresting Milosevic back in
2002, we are relying more on tips and foreign press...
B92 is broadcasting a football game, they will
interrupt if the biggest goal in Serbia is scored...

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