Belgrade Court Sentences ClintonThu Sep 13, 2012 11:05220.127.116.11
Belgrade Court Sentences Clinton
Mon Feb 18 05:53:47 2002
Belgrade Court Sentences Clinton
By The Associated Press
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia - A Belgrade court found President Clinton and other world leaders guilty of war crimes and sentenced them - in absentia - to 20 years in prison for NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.
The four-day trial was held in an attempt to resurrect anti-NATO sentiment here and win votes for President Slobodan Milosevic ahead of Sunday's elections.
Belgrade's district court pronounced Clinton and 13 other leaders and NATO
officials "guilty as charged" and ordered warrants be issued immediately for
Court-appointed lawyers were hired to represent the defendants. As each 20-year sentence was read out separately, the crowd behind a row of 14 empty chairs bearing nameplates of the accused, stood and applauded.
"The accused were fully conscious of their actions, they perpetrated thesocially most dangerous acts," presiding judge Veroljub Raketic told some100 spectators and media present at the sentencing.
Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, as well as NATO former Secretary-general Javier Solana and retired commander Gen. Wesley Clark, were all accused last month of war crimes connected with the 78-day 1999 bombing campaign.
"The accused had been notified and summoned to this trial through their attorneys but they have ignored this court, either because they were afraid of
it or they were fully aware of their guilt," Raketic concluded.
The Belgrade judge also ordered the defendants to pay the cost of the trial
and pronounced NATO guilty of the deaths of 546 Yugoslav army soldiers, 138 Serbian policemen and 504 civilians - 88 of them children.
Yugoslavia suffered heavily in the bombing, launched last year to halt Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Milosevic has campaigned on a mixture of anti-NATO slogans and self-awarded kudos for leading the country's "heroic reconstruction" after the bombing, apparently in the hope this will translate into votes on Sunday.
The Belgrade prosecutor said there is no expiration date for the crimes, and
should any of the guilty parties come to Yugoslavia at any time in the future,
they would be arrested on the spot.
The charges, listed in a 120-page indictment, included "inciting an aggressive
war and committing war crimes against a civilian population," as well as use of
illegal means of warfare, attempted murder and "violation of the territorial
integrity" of Yugoslavia.
During the trial, footage of the NATO bombing was shown, but no witnesses
testified, since the list of plaintiffs included "all citizens of Yugoslavia and no
courtroom was big enough to hold all witnesses," Raketic said.
KBOO Benefit with Michael Ruppert
From the open publishing newswire: Michael Ruppert, author of "Crossing the Rubicon", "Confronting Collapse" and the subject of the documentary "Truth and Lies of 9-11" will be in Portland, OR on September 11th. This will be a benefit for KBOO Community Radio. Michael's lecture is titled "No Time to Focus on the Past, We Must Focus on the Crisis of Industrial Civilization and the Emergence of Post-Petroleum Human"