Defend the life of Slobodan Milosevich!

by Elizabeth Farrell

SLOBODAN Milosevich faces a torrent of lies and abuse in the dock of the so-called International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. This is beginning to seriously damage the health of the former Yugoslav President, who had been diagnosed with a heart condition and suffers form very high blood pressure. He is not only fighting for justice, he is also fighting for his life, warned the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevich at a meeting in London Conway Hall last week.

Paul Davidson chaired the meeting, and speakers included Brian Denny from the Campaign Against Euro-Federalism, Serbian activist Stan Gasparovski and Christopher Black, Milosevich's legal advisor.

Denny raised his concerns about the 'Corpus Durus' system that is used in the trial, which means that the judge is also the prosecutor. There is no jury, and - unlike any trial in Britain - the defendant is guilty until proven innocent. He also mentioned the conditions under which Milosevich is imprisoned.

"The days in court are long, and Milosevich is only given a sandwich and a bad coffee for lunch. By the time he gets back, he has missed his evening meal."

Stan Gasparovski, who had recently been to The Hague to attend the trial, told the meeting about that visit. He warned us about Milosevich's health, saying that his heart condition, 'Essential hypertension with secondary organ damage and hypertrophy of the left ventricle', is life threatening and needs immediate treatment. Stan pointed out that, so far, Milosevich has only been allowed to see the prison GP, and has been refused an examination by specialists, and medical treatment.

Despite all this, he said, "Milosevich is very determined and confident - because he has the truth on his side."

The last speaker was Chris Black, Milosevich's legal advisor.

He told us that Nato's main weapon was to demonise the Serbs and destroy Milosevich, by using propaganda to justify their aggression against Yugoslavia.

He also pointed out that the prosecution's main witness, former head of Serbia's Secret Services Rado Markovich, spoke in favour of Milosevich instead of against him. When he was asked whether Milosevich had given orders to start ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo, Markovich replied: "No such orders were ever given, and no ethnic cleansing took place."

The only evidence against Milosevich, Chris Black rightfully said, "is that he is not guilty."

To join the struggle for justice for Milosevich, contact the International Committee in his defence at

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