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Milosevic getting no less than he deserves



Published: Tue, September 4, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



For all the public posturings of erstwhile Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic, that the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague is merely a NATO puppet, the day is coming closer that Slobo will finally be called to account for his crimes against humanity. A Dutch court has rejected his request to be freed, ruling that the tribunal is an independent and impartial court. And Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said Thursday that she is preparing two more indictments against Milosevic for crimes in Bosnia and Croatia including charges of genocide, the most serious crime in the statute of the tribunal.

There is something almost pathetic in the whining of the man who terrorized the Balkans that his accommodations are unsatisfactory, that his isolation is unfair and that contacts with his family should not be monitored.

Of course, there are thousands lying in mass graves in Kosovo and Bosnia whose homes and lives were destroyed by Milosevic's murderous henchmen, who will never have any accommodations, who will be forever isolated and whose families will never again have contacts with them. But, of course, none of that was the fault of Milosevic. Just ask his wife, who can't understand why a head of state should be held accountable for the activities of the men following his orders.

Crimes against humanity: Milosevic already faces three charges of crimes against humanity, including mass murder and deportation, and one of violations of the laws or customs of war during Serb & quot;ethnic cleansing & quot; against Kosovo Albanians in 1999. Del Ponte's announcement of the new charges should satisfy those who feared the brutality of Serb forces as they slaughtered thousands in Bosnia and Croatia to realize Milosevic's goal of a greater Serbia would go unpunished.

It is evidence of his unmitigated arrogance that the man who trampled on the human rights of tens of thousands should now whimper about his own presumed rights. He maintains that his & quot;illegal imprisonment & quot; is a & quot;massive violation of my rights. & quot;

It was necessary for the tribunal's Judge Richard May to explain to Milosevic that the rules of the detention unit applied to all the detainees, & quot;not just you. & quot; Because Milosevic has refused to retain an attorney, the court will be appointing a lawyer as a & quot;friend of the court, & quot; not to represent Milosevic, but to & quot;assist the court & quot; by ensuring that the defendant's interests are protected and that he gets a fair trial.

Fairness for a man who personified unfairness. Humanity for a man whose inhumanity stunned the world. Rights for a man who denied rights to others. In a civilized world, even the most uncivilized individual is treated as if he were a real human being. Otherwise, we would be no better than he.




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