CHARGING NATO's political and military leaders and all responsible NATO personnel WITH GRAVE BREACHES OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949 and VIOLATIONS OF THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR
ATHENS, May 3, 1999
The highlands of Kosovo have been the locus of tensions between Albanians and Serbs for centuries and like most of the Balkans, much blood has been shed over this territory. Albanians rely on their so-called ancient heritage to claim first rights to the region, whereas, Serbia focuses on the middle ages when Kosovo was the cradle of the Serb nation and the religious epicenter of the Serb Orthodox faith as evidenced by the approximately one thousand monasteries in the region. The mountains of Kosovo have determinative cultural and historical significance for the Serbs, as they staged the final battleground in 1389 between the Serbs and the Ottoman Turks. After the Serb defeat in Kosovo, the Ottoman continued their successful campaign into central Europe.
During the Ottoman occupation, the vast majority of Albanians readily converted to Islam and were thus afforded preferential treatment by the Turks. In the almost five centuries of Ottoman occupation of Kosovo, Muslim Albanians were encouraged to immigrate to Kosovo and settle in the area at the expense of the Serb population. The Serbs finally liberated Kosovo from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, and as expected, this liberation was accompanied by reprisals and the expulsion of the Albanian settlers who had been previously patronized by the Ottomans. The First World War presented the Albanians with an opportunity to exact reprisals, which the Serbs returned upon liberation in 1918. During the inter war period, the population in Kosovo was equally balanced between ethnic Albanians and Serbs.
During World War II, the majority of Kosovo was swallowed by a Greater Albania under Italian tutelage, while the remainder was occupied by Germany and Bulgaria. Over 300,000 Serbs were expelled from Kosovo during the Italian occupation, while Albanian immigration to Kosovo was encouraged by the occupation forces. Following Tito's liberation of Yugoslavia, Kosovo was absorbed into the Republic of Yugoslavia, much to the chagrin of the Albanian community who had hoped for union with Albania. The Tito regime, however, did not favor the Serbs in the area. Tito's communists did not allow the Serbs, expelled during the Italian occupation, to return and claim their property in Kosovo. In 1974, Tito granted Kosovo full autonomy. The period between 1975 and 1981 can be characterized as the «Albanian Spring» in Kosovo. Due to an exploding birthrate amongst the Albanians and Serb emigration, encouraged by the Tito regime, the Albanian population was rapidly becoming a majority in the 1980s. Once the Serbs had emigrated from the area, they were frequently barred from returning by the Communist regime.
By 1987, Albanians represented a 90% majority in the region. Serb demonstrations against Albanian harassment began to escalate. In response, Milosevic stripped Kosovo of its autonomy in 1989. These chain of events resulted in strikes and violent clashes between the Serb Police Force and Albanian demonstrators. Milosevic sent the military into Kosovo to reestablish control. In 1991, Albanian separatist, prompted by neighboring Albania, declared Kosovo an independent nation, fueling tension further. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was forged in 1996, out of various armed, terrorist, Albanian groups and a wide-spread campaign of terror commenced against the Serb police forces and civilians.
In the fighting that ensued between Serb forces and the KLA, an increasing number of Albanians abandoned the non-violent policies of their elected leader Ibrahim Rugova and began to join the terrorist KLA. By 1998 the KLA is said to have assumed control of 40% of Kosovo and a full scale guerrilla war was in progress. The KLA was financed and accoutered by outside sources with over 30,000 automatic rifles, antitank and other weaponry and sheltered by the indigenous Albanian community. The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) ordered an offensive against the KLA in May of 1998. By August 1998, the FRY army had reestablished control over Kosovo and the KLA had retreated. The Yugoslav Government took measures against the Albanian civilians who had previously sheltered the KLA aimed to eradicate support for the terrorist organization. It must be noted that none of the parties involved in this Kosovo crisis demonstrated much regard for international humanitarian law. Civil rights and humanitarian concerns are usually the first casualties of a civil war, and Kosovo was no exception.
The international community became concerned with the escalating violence in the area. The Security Council enacted Resolution 1160/98, condemning the excessive use of force by Serbian Police forces against civilians in Kosovo, as well as acts of terrorism by the Kosovo Liberation Army. Exercising its Chapter VII powers, the Security Council called upon the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to withdraw its special police forces from Kosovo and enter into a constructive dialogue with the indigenous Albanian community to advance a greater degree of autonomy and self-determination for the Kosvar Albanians within the framework of the Yugoslav state The Kosovo Albanian leadership was concurrently urged to condemn all terrorist activities and pursue their goals through peaceful means.
With Security Council Resolution 1199/98, the Security Council affirmed that the deterioration of the situation in Kosovo represented «a threat to peace and security in the region.» Once again exercising its Chapter VII powers, the Security Council demanded a cease fire to enhance the prospect of constructive dialogue between the Kosovo Albanian leadership and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and avert a potential risk of humanitarian catastrophe. The resolution also contained a caveat that in the event that the parties failed to implement the measures demanded in Resolution 1160, further measures would be taken to maintain or restore peace and stability in the region.
Under the unlawful threat of NATO air strikes, Milosevic was persuaded by US envoy, Richard Holbrooke, to execute two agreements in October 1998. The October 16, 1998 agreement provided for the stationing of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) civilian mission in Kosovo to verify Serb compliance with the above UN Resolutions, while the October 15, 1998 agreement stipulated that NATO would establish an air surveillance campaign over Kosovo to complement the OSCE verification mission.
With Resolution 1203/98, the Security Council endorsed and demanded the implementation of the verification missions provided by the October 1998 agreements as well as the measures called for by the previous resolutions. It also reaffirmed that the deterioration of the situation in Kosovo represented «a threat to peace and security in the region.»
In February, Ministers of the Contact Group met in Rambouillet with representatives of the Kosovo Albanians and the Government of the FRY to negotiate a political solution to the Kosovo crisis. The Contact Group presented the Kosovo Albanians and the Government of the FRY with a previously prepared draft agreement demanding a continued cease fire between the KLA and Serb forces, withdrawal of Serb forces and the grant of extensive autonomy for Kosovo within the framework of the Serbian state under a three year transitional period, with its future after that undetermined. The Contact Group proposed that this autonomy be monitored and secured through the stationing of a NATO «peace force.» This «peace» agreement was served on Milosovic as an ultimatum which he was asked to either accept or face the prospect of NATO air strikes. There were no negotiations involved, nor an actual peace proposed. Yugoslavia had made it patently clear from the outset that it could not accept such an infringement on its sovereignty and thus from their inception, the Rambouillet «accord» was doomed to failure.
Although Milosevic was willing to agree to autonomy for Kosovo subject to a few amendments, he refused to sanction the stationing of NATO troops to monitor the agreement. The stationing of NATO's troops in Kosovo represented an impermissible infringement of Yugoslav sovereignty. Following the March 15 continuation of the Rambouillet talks in Paris, it became apparent that the parties had reached a stalemate and that no agreement would be reached.
On March 23, 1999, NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, upon instruction from the political leadership of NATO member nations, ordered air strikes against Yugoslavia, under the direction of Commander General Wesley Clark and other senior military NATO personnel. The justification offered for these air strikes was that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had failed to meet the international community demands, being the acceptance of the interim political settlement «negotiated» in Rambouillet, full observance of limits on the Serb army and special police force agreed on October 25th, and «an end to the excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo.» Solana further stated that this military action was intended to «support the political aims of the international community» , «by weakening the ability of the Serb forces» «to cause further humanitarian catastrophes.»
Thus started a NATO sponsored humanitarian catastrophe, aimed to prevent «further humanitarian catastrophe.» To «end the excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo» , Secretary General Javier Solana unleashed the far superior, collective, military might of NATO and ordered an excessive and disproportionate use of force against Yugoslavia intended to destroy the vastly inferior Serb military force as well as the civilian infrastructure and environment for generations to come. To end this local, internal humanitarian crisis and preserve «international peace and security» , NATO undermined the most fundamental tenets of international law founded on the cornerstones of non-intervention and sovereignty, as well as the prohibition against the unauthorized threat or use of force -- principles which have served the international community well for the last fifty odd years, to preserve international peace and security and prevent global wars. The lessons drawn by the Kosovo crisis, is that secessionist groups all over the world may rattle their terrorist saber in one hand and wave the humanitarian banner in the other, to attack the sovereignty of nations. The abuse of these principles of international law threaten us all, for inherent is the threat of a redefinition of borders, which, more frequently than not, is accompanied by the outbreak of war.
2. JURISDICTION OF THE COURT
By virtue of Article 1 of its Statue, the ICT has the power to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991. The Prosecutor of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has advised the Contract Group that the situation in Kosovo represents an armed conflict within the mandate of the Tribunal and prompted by Security Council resolutions, the Prosecutor has commenced gathering evidence of such crimes. The crimes committed by NATO's political and military leadership and responsible NATO personnel, constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law and war crimes that fall within the ambit of the ICT's area of competence.
3. ILLEGALITY OF THE NATO AIR STRIKES
The NATO Air Strikes are unlawful because they were not authorized by the Security Council of the UN.
Article 2 paragraph 4 of the UN Charter requires its members to «refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.» This prohibition is jus cogens. It is binding on states both individually and as members of international organizations like NATO. Armed force against other nations is permissible under the UN Charter only where such force is required for the self defense of a nation or its allies (Article 51), or when military action is authorized by the Security Council (Chapter VII). The UN Security Council has primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security and, absent self-defense, only the Security Council may sanction the use of force against a nation.
NATO's spokespeople claim that the bombing is justified under Security Council resolutions 1160/98, 1199/98 and 1203/98. In particular, the US, through its spokesman, PJ Crowley, contends that such authority is inherent in resolutions 1199 and 1203 because they «affirm that the deterioration of the situation in Kosovo constitutes a threat to peace and security in the region.» This argument is untenable. The aforementioned Security Council Resolutions do not authorize the use of force implicitly or explicitly. When the Security Council intends to sanction the use of force, it has always done so in its resolutions, in a clear and unequivocal fashion. The Security Council had no intention to authorize the use of force, since it was clear that such a resolution would raise vetoes from China and Russia who have been vocal in their opposition to the exercise of force against Yugoslavia. It is for this very reason, that the use of force was not resolved by the Security Council, and instead NATO's political and military leadership, unilaterally and unlawfully, decided to circumvent the UN and take matters into its own hands. NATO's actions undermine the authority and the credibility of the Security Council and constitute a flagrant violation of the UN Charter.
Let it also be noted that both the Milosevic-Holbrook October 1998 agreements and the Rambouillet accord were brokered under the unlawful, illegal threat of the use of force. Basic contract law universally hold that agreements executed under duress are null and void. There can be no constructive dialogue under the threat of violence.
The NATO air strikes are unlawful because they may not be justified as an action taken in self-defense.
Self defense and anticipatory self defense are principles provided for by the UN Charter. The precondition for self-defense, however, is that an armed attack must have already occurred. The FRY is a sovereign nation. It did not engage in an armed attack against another sovereign state and it is therefore clearly entitled to the protections provided in Article 2.4 of the UN Charter. The situation in Kosovo can not be interpreted to threaten the territorial integrity of any NATO member, by any stretch of the imagination. President Clinton's absurd argument that the conflict in Kosovo could potentially spill over to a war between NATO members, Greece and Turkey, so as to lay the foundation for an «anticipatory self-defense» is untenable. Tensions between Greece and Turkey have absolutely nothing to do with the repression or ethnic cleansing of the Kosovo Albanians, but conversely such tensions are more likely to escalate if their is a re-definition of territorial boundaries in the Balkans. A hostile, re-definition of Balkan borders is more likely to ensue as a result of the NATO bombings than the «continued» repression and «ethnic cleansing» of the Kosovo Albanians.
The NATO air strikes are unlawful because they are in violation of NATO's own Charter.
The NATO Charter is a self-defense charter authorizing the use of force in mutual self-defense when one of its member states is attacked. NATO may resort to force either in self defense of a member state, or of a non-member state, so long as the government of that state requests NATO assistance. As provided by Article 2 in conjunction with Article 52 of the UN Charter, NATO cannot use force against another UN member state without its government's consent, if the action is not itself in defense of another UN member state, unless the action is specifically authorized by the UN Security Council.
No NATO member nation is directly or indirectly threatened by the situation in Kosovo. Yugoslavia not only did not request the assistance of NATO, but quite explicitly rejected the stationing of NATO troops on its soil. There is nothing in the NATO treaty that authorizes NATO to initiate a war against a sovereign nation.
NATO's new mission statements and desire to broaden its objectives as international military enforcers independent of the U.N. can not and do not legitimize the Kosovo action. NATO is free to re-define or re-draft its Charter or objectives upon the mutual consent of its member states, however it may only permissibly do so within the context of preemptory international law, which places limitations on all states, including NATO member states. The UN Charter, including the prohibitions on the threat or use of force inherent in the Charter, constitutes preemptory international law -jus cogens- which NATO, like its member states, must respect. Article 103 of the UN Charter provides that in the event of a conflict between the obligations of a member state under the Charter and any other international agreement, obligations under the Charter prevail. Therefore, irrespective of any new orientation or definition of NATO's mission and strategy, the use or threat of force may only be employed in self defense or in those cases mandated by the Security Council.
International Law does not provide for a humanitarian intervention exception for the use or threat of force
As it is stated above, international law clearly precludes the threat or use of force against a sovereign nation except in the case of self-defense or where authorized by the Security Council. The UN Charter and modern international law, confirmed by the practice of nations for over two centuries, does not include an separate right for humanitarian intervention that would justify the threat or use of force. The soundness of this principle can not be disputed. The most persuasive argument to justify the preclusion of such a right, is the temptation to abuse it to bypass the cornerstone principles of non intervention and sovereignty. Carving out a humanitarian intervention exception to circumvent the well-founded principles of international law, undermines the already fragile credibility of international law which is aimed to preserve peace and stability within the framework of the status quo.
Uncomfortable parallels may readily be drawn between the rhetoric justifying NATO's air strikes on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and that of Japan's invasion of Manchuria, Mussolini's attack on Ethiopia, Hitler's 1938 «crusade» into Czechoslovakia, or Turkey's invasion of Cyprus. The latter attacks were all predicated on the lofty principals of humanitarian intervention, and all have been subsequently condemned by the international community and judged by history to have been blatant violations of international law. The same is applicable for NATO's air strikes on the FRY.
UN high ranking officials as well as legal scholars have all questioned the prudence of allowing a state or group of states to unilaterally judge their own right, or duty, to intervene in another's internal conflict. The creation of such a right begs the question of who should be entitled to decide when such humanitarian interventions are justifiable in good faith, and when they are not, or the question of why such a right should be selectively applied in accordance to the interests of the intervening parties. There can be no humanitarian intervention exception. Humanitarian intervention involving the threat or use of force and implemented without Security Council authorization, remains, as a matter of law, a breach of international law that threatens peace and order.
From the inception of the NATO air strikes on March 24th, 1999 until May 1st, 1999, NATO has conducted over 10,000 bombing raids on the sovereign nation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In this period, NATO has launched over 2,500 cruise missiles and dropped more than 7,000 tons of explosives. In particular, all types of F-16, F-15, Mirage 2000, B-52, B-2A, F-117A, Harriers and Tornado bombers have been put on loan to NATO from the U.S.A, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Turkey to perform the air strikes on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Missile attacks have also been launched from a number of ships and submarines stationed in the Adriatic, including the USS Norfolk, USS Miami, USS Philippines, USS Gonzalez, USS Nicholson, HMS Splendid, USS Thorn, etc. The damages inflicted by the NATO bombing raids, and sustained by the civilian population of the FRY, are extensive and are not justified by military necessity.
As predicated above, these air strikes are by definition unlawful, as they have been performed in flagrant violation of international law. NATO's unlawful conduct is willful and wanton, as the raids have been knowingly ordered by NATO's political and military leaders, and performed by responsible NATO personnel, with a reckless disregard for the rights and safety of the Yugoslav people. The brutality inflicted on the Yugoslav civilian population by NATO forces rises to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity actionable under the Statute of the International Tribunal.
NATO's POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS AND RESPONSIBLE NATO PERSONNEL HAVE ENGAGED IN THE WILLFUL KILLING OF CIVILIANS AND HAVE WILLFULLY INFLICTED GREAT SUFERING AND SERIOUS INJURY TO BODY AND HEALTH OF CIVILANS. These actions comprise grave breaches of the Geneva Convention of 1949 recognized by Article 2 (a) and (c) of the ICTY Statute.
By and through the air strikes, NATO's political and military leadership and personnel have engaged in the willful killing of civilians and the willful infliction of suffering and serious injury to the health and bodies of civilians in violation of Article 2(a) and (c) of the ICT Statute. A willful act may be defined as one done knowingly without justifiable excuse or with indifference to the natural consequences. When NATO's political and military leaders initiated this aggression, and NATO's personnel implemented it, they knew that the unlawful conduct ordered and performed would, with practical certainty, result in civilian death, injury and suffering.
Since cruise missiles opened the campaign, NATO officials have acknowledged that civilian casualties have become more, rather than less likely. NATO's political and military leaders have the luxury of choosing from a wide and varied arsenal. NATO's leadership may elect what weapons it will use in the exercise of force, how discriminating these weapons will be, and what targets will be selected. Despite the rhetoric that purportedly stringent precautions have been taken to avoid civilian casualties, NATO's political and military leadership and its responsible personnel have demonstrated a marked disregard for civilians casualties, both with respect to the selection and bombing of targets, and with respect to the weaponry chosen to strike these targets. NATO's political and military leadership has shown no reluctance to use weaponry and select targets that enhances the likelihood of civilian casualties and NATO's personnel has not hesitated to hit those target with a complete disregard for the lives and safety of civilians.
From March 24th, 1999 until May 1st, 1999, NATO's political and military leadership and its personnel have willfully killed and injured the following civilians:
The listing is far from comprehensive. Serb officials estimate that the NATO air strikes have killed a total of 1000 civilians, including over twenty children, where as approximately 4,500 have sustained serious injuries.
Despite NATO's rhetoric, there can be no doubt that these killings and injuries were perpetrated willfully. These civilian attacks were either ordered intentionally by NATO's political and military leadership and termed «legitimate military targets» or subsequently rationalized as unintended missile/bomb misses and dismissed as «collateral damage» . There can be no question, however, that the attacks were willful as they were performed knowingly, with a reckless disregard for civilian safety, that rises to the mens rea level of willful action.
The April 6th, 1999 RAF Harriers cluster bomb attack on the city of Aleksinac marked a severe disregard for civilian safety. An expected and accepted outcome of bombing a residential area of a city with indiscriminate cluster bombs, is civilian casualties. This raid obliterated a block of civilian flats, killed 12 and wounded over 40 civilians. The same applies for the April 7th, 1999, NATO air raid one of the oldest neighborhoods of Pristina killing eleven. The NATO raid reduced a number of homes to rubble including the home of Mesut Gash on Zanatska Street, killing Gash, his wife and three children. Shrapnel from this bombing landed as much as two blocks away from the intended targets which were of questionable military significance. The thirteen dead and twenty five seriously injured during the April 8th, 1999 NATO strike in Kursumilja, could not have come as an unexpected surprise to NATO's political and military leadership, nor its personnel, since the air strikes were ordered on targets in the residential center of the town. The raids destroyed an entire residential block and left 400,000 people homeless. This was the inevitable, obvious criminal outcome. The same applies for the Easter morning, NATO leveling of the village of Kosanik in Merdare on April 11, 1999 which destroyed twenty homes and killed five civilians, including an eleven month old little girl, Bojana Tosovic, her father, Bujin Tosovic, Srdjan Cvetkovic, Goran Djukic and Dragan Bubalo. Eight civilians including Zoran Maksic, Veljko Jovanovic, Nenad Vukovic were also seriously injured in this attack
The April 12th NATO bombing of the Belgrade-Skopje-Salonika passenger train was deliberate and resulted in the murder and injury of a number of civilians. At first, NATO's command avoided claiming responsibility for the hit. It later stated that the bridge the train was passing over, was the intended target, and although regrettable, the civilian casualties, were «unavoidable» . The train's schedule, however, was a matter of common knowledge, and its path, had no doubt been recorded by NATO reconnaissance and satellites. Even if we are to assume that the bridge was, indeed, a vital military target, could it not have been bombed a minute earlier, or a minute later so as to avoid civilian casualties? Is this an example of the «deliberate efforts» promised by President Clinton «to minimize harm to innocent people?
The April 14th NATO massacre of 75 Kosovo Albanian civilians and injury of 100 more on convoys traveling on the Prizren to Djakovica road in Kosovo was also willful. The bombing was deliberate and was not the result of one errant missile as NATO spokespeople would have us believe. Survivors speak of jets dive bombing, circling and then re-bombing the convoys. Shrapnel and crater patterns left behind, support refugee accounts that they were hit several times by the same NATO planes. Yugoslav television aired the conversation between the pilot of one of the F-16 that bombed one of the conveys, and the AWAC pilot guiding the strike plane. From the conversation, it is clear that the bombing of civilians was deliberate. The F-16 pilot clearly and repeatedly advised that he saw no military vehicles and that the convey was comprised solely of tractors and civilians. Despite the pilot's requests for clarification, the AWACS pilot instructed the F-16 to fire on the tractors and civilians stating that the convoy was a «legitimate military target» . There is evidence to suggest that the F-16 pilot had already been advised by a UK Harrier pilot that the convoy was comprised of civilians. Is this what NATO terms taking «every precaution to avoid civilian casualties?» NATO has refused to come clean on this incident. It's shameful cover up was exposed by the Yugoslav press and is documented in the world media. It requires no further elucidation. To facilitate future cover-ups, NATO bombed Yugoslav television and radio stations and transmitters throughout the country.
The April 23rd, 1999 bombing of the Serb radio and television headquarters in Belgrade is perhaps the most obvious example of willful killing and injury of civilians perpetrated by NATO forces. This massacre has been condemned by the Vienna based international journalist organization and the world wide media community. NATO has acknowledged that the radio and television headquarter was its intended target. The pretext for bombing the station was that it was spreading anti-NATO «propaganda» and must thus be considered a legitimate military target. By selecting this target, NATO's political and military leaders acted with reckless disregard for the safety of the over one hundred people in the building. NATO leaders knew that the facility was in use and occupied by civilians at the time of the bombing, since the station was broadcasting at the time it was hit. These casualties were not soldiers but innocent civilians - journalists, technicians, television crews, etc. The mechanic Milovan Jankovic (1940), the make-up artist Jelica Muntilak (1971), the technician Dragan Tasic (1968), the security guards Dejan Mrkovic (1959) and Milan Joksimovic (1952), and the set decorator Slobodan Jontic (1945) were amongst those killed. This particular raid made it clear that NATO's political and military leaders, and NATO personnel performing the strike, consider any innocent Yugoslav civilian a «legitimate» target, and that the term «legitimate military target» can be stretched and distorted to include just about anyone and anything physically present in the FRY.
UK Premier Tony Blair has been quoted as saying «I wouldn't believe or take at face value anything the Serb authorities say» with respect to Yugoslav official releases on the NATO bombing of the refugee convoys. By bombing the Serb national television and radio headquarters, as well as the TV RTS studio in Pristina and radio/television transmitters in Jastrebac (Prokuplje), Gucevo (Loznica), Cot (Fruska Gora), Grmija (Pristina), Bogotovac (Pristina), Mt. Goles (Pristina), Mokra Gora (Pristina), Kutlovac (Stari Trg), Cigota (Uzice), Tornik (Uzice), Crni Vrh (Jagodina), Yugoslavia satellite station (Prlike), Novi Sad, Mt. Ovcara (Cacak), Kijevo (Belgrade), Mt. Cer, Mt. Jagodnji (Krupanj), «Iriski Venac» (Fruska Gora), Mt. Bukulja, Gazimestan (Pristina), Krnjaca, Mt. Kopaonik (Belgrade), Mt. Gobelj (Mt. Kopaonik), Vrsac and Usce, NATO's goal is to cut off both the Yugoslav people and the international community from access to any reports and information other than that NATO cares to provide. Over 25 broadcasting facilities have been heavily damaged or destroyed by NATO forces. This strategy is intended to allow NATO's cover-ups to go unchallenged in the future, as by destroying the Serb broadcasting system, NATO will monopolize the supply of information.
NATO's bombing of the small village of Surdelica near the Bulgarian border, deserves separate mention. Not one or two, but sixteen NATO missiles were launched against the small village, destroying three hundred homes and turning fifty civilians, including ten children, literally, into minced meat. There was no military presence in the village, only village families, huddled together in the basements of their homes, seeking refuge from NATO's bombs. The nearest military site to Surdelica is an abandoned base around 3 kilometers away which had been evacuated as of March 15. The slaughter of these innocents by NATO's political and military leaders and responsible NATO personnel, was devoid of any possible military significance and constitutes willful murder.
The May 1st, 1999 NATO bombing of a civilian bus performing its regular passenger service, claimed the life of forty people, mostly elderly and children. A second NATO bomb hit an ambulance on route to assist the injured bus passengers, wounding one physician. Once again NATO spokespeople apologized for the civilian casualties, claiming the road bridge the bus was crossing was a «legitimate,» secondary, military target and that the bus was inadvertently hit. General Naufmann, Chairman of NATO's military committee, in his subsequent press statement stated, «We regret every loss of life, but this happens in military operations and so far we&adiaer;(have done) a good job in avoiding civilian casualties.» The death toll recorded above documents the falsehood of this statement. If this air raid was intended to avoid civilian casualties, why did NATO's command ignore publicized, bus schedules and routes and order the bombing of the bridge at the precise time that a civilian passenger bus was scheduled to perform its route over the bridge? Why did NATO's pilots not take the necessary precautions to ensure that the bridge was unoccupied at the time of the strike? If the Luzane road bridge was such a vital military target to justify its destruction regardless of the civilian cost, why was the bridge a secondary target?
NATO's POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS AND RESPONSIBLE PERSONNEL HAVE UNLAWFULLY AND WANTONLY ENGAGED IN THE EXTENSIVE DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY NOT JUSTIFED BY MILITARY NECESSITY - A grave breach of the Geneva Convention of 1949 recognized by Article 2(d) of the ICT Statute - AND THE WANTON DESTRUCTION OF CITIES TOWNS OR VILLAGES AND DEVASTATION NOT JUSTIFIED BY MILITARY NECESSITY - Violation of the law and customs or War recognized by Article 3(b) of the ICT statute.
The NATO air raids have obliterated a vast number of civilian dwelling particularly in Pristina, Novi Sad, Aleksinac, Djakovica, Prokuplje, Gracanica, Cuprilja, Cacak, Surdelica as well as the suburbs of Belgrade. Tens of thousands of Yugoslavs have been left homeless as a result of these attacks. The level of destruction sustained by these towns and cities is not justified by military necessity.
In addition to the countless civilian dwelling destroyed, a number of public building that serviced civilians, including the post offices in Nis and Pristina, refugee centers in Pristina, Djakovica and Paracin, the local government building in Novi Sad, federal buildings in Belgrade, meteorological stations in Bukulja and Mt. Kopaonik, and a business center in Usce have all been knocked out without legitimate justification. The power supply transmitters in Batajnica, Bogutovac, Resnik and Zemun, the power plants in Krusevac, Pristina and Belgrade on May 1st, 1999, the water supply system in Zemun, the Bistrica hydroelectric power plant in Polinje and telephone lines in Bogutovac have all been damaged as a result of the NATO raids causing needless damage to the civilian infrastructure and great suffering to the civilian population. The bombing is intended to exact as much damage as possible to the civilian populace and in doing so incite the Yugoslav people against Milosevic, «punish» the Yugoslav leader, and force a surrender.
The NATO air strikes have targeted a number of factories and industrial facilities that cater to the basic needs of the civilian population. Over 3,500 large, medium and small industrial facilities have been destroyed or damaged, leaving 500,000 civilians without jobs, and some two million people without the means to ensure their basic sustenance. Most of the facilities targeted have absolutely no legitimate military significance. A small minority of these plants and industry may have had negligible military significance, however this significance, did and does not justify the complete destruction, devastation, and civilian suffering that was exacted by the NATO attacks.
Amongst other, from March 24th, 1999 until May 1, 1999, NATO's political and military leadership and personnel have willfully and wantonly destroyed the following commercial and industrial facilities that cater to civilian needs:
In addition to the above, the Baciste hotel and Hotel Putnik on Mt. Kopaonik were damaged by NATO raids on April 12, 1999 for no military reason, while the Divcibare mountain resort was hit on April 11, 1999 and the Tornik ski resort of Mt. Zlatibor was knocked out on April 8, 1999. The Mineral Hotel in Bogutovacka Banja was seriously damaged during the April 19, 1999 NATO strikes. It is obvious that these hotels and resorts have no legitimate military significance and their destruction amounts to little more than vandalism. The devastation of all of the above enterprises is by definition wanton, given the inherent illegality of the NATO air strikes and the reckless disregard for the rights and property of the Yugoslav state and populace. The devastation of these enterprises were not justified by military necessity, since these targets had no military significance. The purpose of this devastation is to impose suffering on civilians for years to come.
From March 24th, 1999 until May 1, 1999, NATO's political and military leaders and responsible NATO personnel have willfully and wantonly destroyed the following eighteen refineries and warehouses of raw material and chemicals with catastrophic consequence to the environment not only of Yugoslavia but the Balkan region as a whole.
Even if, by some stretch of the imagination, some of these targets can be termed «legitimate» military targets due to the purported military potential of some of their facilities, NATO forces, more often than not, did not chose to «strategically» eliminate those questionable facilities, but opted instead to completely level the entire operation. The Novi Sad refinery, for example, has been targeted again and again, and hit by over thirty missiles, since the NATO aggression commenced. The Jugopetrol warehouse in Zdravcici has been hit on three separate occasions. It had already been leveled by the two earlier attacks. A third attack served no purpose. NATO's strategy is not aimed at impairing these structures to preclude their potential utility, but rather to completely and unjustifiably obliterate them.
From March 24th, 1999 until May 1, 1999, NATO's political and military leadership and its responsible personnel have willfully and wantonly devastated agricultural facilities not justified by military necessity. The following are included amongst the agricultural facilities destroyed:
NATO's missiles have also visited vast destruction on the nation's hospitals and health care institutions. From March 24th, 1999 until May 1, 1999, NATO's political and military leadership and its responsible personnel have willfully and wantonly damaged the following health facilities, vital for the civilian population, especially at a time of war:
NATO's air strikes have almost totally devastated the nation's bridges. From March 24th, 1999 until May 1, 1999, NATO's political and military leadership and personnel have willfully and wantonly entirely demolished the following bridges:
The destruction of many of these bridges has fully obstructed river traffic and the river transport of goods, since the debris from the bridges have blocked passage. It has also left hundreds of thousands of civilians without water since may water supply systems passed through these bridges. In particular, over one million Yugoslavs have been left without water.
From March 24th, 1999 until May 1, 1999, NATO's political and military leadership and personnel have willfully and wantonly knocked out the following railways:
From March 24th, 1999 until May 1, 1999, NATO's political and military leadership and personnel have willfully and wantonly damaged the following roads and bus stations:
From March 24th, 1999 until May 1st, 1999, NATO's political and military leadership and responsible personnel have willfully and wantonly devastated the civilian airports of «Slatina» in Pristina, «Batajnica» and «Surcin» in Belgrade, the Nis airport, the «Ponikve» airport in Uzice, the «Golubovci» air port in Podgorica, the «Ladjevci» airport near Kraljevo and the agricultural and sport air field in Sombor.
The country's road and railway networks, bridges and airports have almost all been knocked out purportedly to cut Yugoslav military supply lines. Nonetheless, General Clark admitted at his April 28th briefing, that despite NATO's furious bombing, Milosevic continues to reinforce his forces in Kosovo and has actually strengthened his military presence in the area. Thus the NATO bombing of the Yugoslav transport system network has not obstructed military supply lines, but only imposed needless suffering on the civilian community and trapped 820,000 ethnic Albanians, as General Wesley Clark contends, into the killing fields of Kosovo. The damages inflicted by NATO forces on the Yugoslav civilian infrastructure are in excess of ten billion dollars. This devastation was unlawful, wanton, intentional and unjustifiable and as such comprises a war crime within the meaning of Article 2(d) and 3(b) of the ICT Statute.
NATO's POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS AND RESPONSIBLE NATO PERSONNEL HAVE EMPLOYED POISONOUS WEAPONS AND WEAPONS CALCULATED TO CAUSE UNNECESSARY SUFFERING - A violation of the law and customs of War recognized by Article 3(a) of the ICT Statute.
USE OF PROHIBITED CLUSTER BOMBS
The use of cluster bombs has been prohibited by International Conventions due the particularly destructive effect these bombs have on civilian populations. A cluster bomb is a bomb container that opens in mid-air and releases smaller bomblets. These smaller bomblets, usually the size of baseballs, are designed to explode on impact, slightly prior or following impact. The metal shards emitted from these explosions typically saturate an area of up to 100 acres. Cluster bombs are indiscriminate. The mid-air discharge of numerous bomblets over a large area, precludes precision targeting for each individual bomblet. Cluster bombs are also deemed indiscriminate weapons that are likely to cause civilian injury, due to the inherent danger of failed bomblets or duds, that do not explode as designed. These duds serve as land mines.
Due to the inherent dud-rate factor, areas that have been bombed with cluster bombs are frequently transformed into unregulated minefields which present an ongoing risk to civilians long after hostilities have ceased. Following bombing raids, these unexploded, failed bomblets are left in plain view or concealed in foliage. Subsequently when touched, the bomblet explodes like a landmine. The failure rate for cluster bomblets range between 5% to 30%. It should be noted that the dud rate estimate for cluster munitions dropped in the Gulf War was found to range between 10-20%, and Iraqi sources have reported that as of August 1991, 400 injuries and 168 civilian deaths have been caused by the duds left behind after the Gulf War. It would be safe to assume that the dud rate of the cluster bombs used in the Kosovo crisis corresponds to that evidenced in the Gulf War. By electing to use cluster bombs from amongst its broad arsenal, NATO's political and military leaders have deliberately and intentionally elected to use weaponry that knowingly will lead to indiscriminate deaths and unnecessary suffering to the civilians of Yugoslavia for generation to come.
NATO pilots have dropped cluster bombs throughout the territory of Serbia. At the village of Gracanica alone, 3,500 cluster bombs were discharged from 14 containers dropped by NATO planes near the Gracanica monastery. On April 6, 1999, RAF Harriers, armed with cluster bombs, attacked Aleksinac, hitting a block of flats, killing 12 civilians and injuring 28. The use of cluster bombs for raids on a residential area is clearly criminal. Moreover, there is strong evidence to suggest that cluster bombs were used against the Albanian refugee convoys on April 14, 1999. This evidence stems from the bomb remnants and craters left at the site. The April 24th deaths of five boys, Edon (3 years old), Fisnik (9 years old), Osman (13 years old), Burim (14 years old), and Vajdet Kodza (15 years old) and shrapnel injury to six more children was the result of cluster duds near the village of Doganovic. It is believed that the boys, who were in the fields tending cattle, were killed and injured by duds left behind after the cluster bombing of the area.
Cluster bombs are weapons calculated to cause unnecessary suffering on the civilian population. NATO's political and military leaders' decision to use cluster bombs in the Kosovo crisis, and implementation of this decision by NATO's personnel, constitute war crimes within the ICT's jurisdiction.
USE OF DEPLETED URANIUM AMMUNITION
NATO's political and military leaders and responsible NATO personnel have violated the laws and customs of war by the employment of depleted uranium ammunition. This ammunition is poisonous and is intended to cause unnecessary suffering. The use of depleted uranium ammunition presents both a chemical toxicity and radiation risk to the people and environment of the entire Balkan region. Experts have already reported enhanced radiation levels in the atmosphere and on the ground in Kosovo. Depleted uranium is found in the 30-millimetre ammunition fired by the GAU-8A guns mounted of the U.S. A-10 «Warhog» aircraft as well as the Tomahawk cruise missiles. Depleted uranium increases the penetrating power of ammunition. The explosion of depleted uranium ammunition creates an airborne radioactive dust of uranium oxide which can be carried several kilometers away from the site by the wind. This dust is poisonous if inhaled or ingested. Inhaled insoluble oxide poses a great risk of cancer due to radiation. Ingested depleted uranium dust poses both a radioactive and a toxicity risk.
The international community has called for a ban of this material which is believed to be responsible for Gulf War Syndrome plaguing over 100,000 veterans from the Gulf War and whose symptoms are analogous to radiation poisoning, characterized by chronic fatigue, weight loss and severe abnormalities in subsequently born children. The use of depleted uranium ammunition has been documented to have cause alarming increases in birth defects, stillbirths, childhood leukemia and other cancers to individuals exposed to depleted uranium treated ammunition during the Gulf War. Exposure to this radioactive material is fatal and has long-lasting effects on the environment. The soil and ground water of areas bombed with depleted uranium ammunition remains radioactive, rendering the water undrinkable and the land uncultivable. The half life of depleted uranium is 4.5 billion years. By employing depleted uranium ammunition, NATO political and military leaders and its personnel are not only putting the Yugoslav populace at risk of potentially inhaling or ingesting the toxic and radioactive uranium oxide released from this ammunition, but they are also actively contaminating Yugoslavia's aquifers and crop producing lands. Groundwater is estimated to supply 90% of Serbia's domestic and industrial needs. By deliberately electing to employ this weaponry, NATO's leadership is poisoning the land, aquifers and population of Yugoslavia.
The noxious effects of depleted uranium are well-known to the US and NATO, despite their constant efforts to downplay the evidence and discourage comprehensive studies. The UN Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities urged Nations to «curb the production and spread of weapons of mass destruction or with indiscriminate effect, in particular nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, fuel-sir bomb, napalm, cluster bombs, biological weaponry and weaponry containing depleted uranium» and has repeatedly warned the world of the environmental dangers provoked by the use of depleted uranium ammunition. NATO's political and military leadership's deliberate and intentional decision to forgo the choice of more conventional weaponry, and instead employ depleted uranium ammunition, when it is fully cognizant of the indiscriminate, long-lasting noxious effects that this ammunition will have on civilians for years to come, falls squarely within the ambit of the offense provided by article 3(a) of the ICT Statute.
BOMBING OF THE PANCEVO PLANT
The Pancevo complex is a combined fertilizer factory and oil refinery located on the banks of the Danube. It was deliberately and systematically bombed on April 18th, 1999 by NATO forces, creating a huge toxic, carcinogenic cloud of gas phosgene, chlorine and hydrochloric acid over Belgrade, with a toxicity level 7,200 - 10,000 times the permissible level, as well as 15-20 kilometer long slicks in the Danube. To make this ecological catastrophe worse, workers at the Pancevo plant released highly carcinogenic, ether dichloride, stored at the Pancevo complex, into the Danube to avert a possible NATO bombardment of these tanks that would have surely poisoned the residents of Belgrade and its surrounding suburbs. Over 50 residents of Pancevo were reported to be suffering from nerve gas poisoning as a result of the toxic fall out from the explosion. This fall out, as well as the ether dichloride released into the river, is expected to flow downstream with catastrophic ecological consequences to Romania, Bulgaria, and the Black Sea.
NATO's political and military leadership and its personnel have intentionally unleashed this environmental catastrophe, by and through their bombing of the Pancevo complex. In doing so, they have discharged a poisonous weapon calculated to cause unnecessary suffering on civilians for centuries to come. There is no evidence to suggest that this complex was being used for military purposes. On the contrary, its obliteration will deprive Yugoslavia of much needed fertilizer for agricultural needs, thus further hampering civilian life. NATO forces were cognizant that the bombing of the Pancevo complex would result in the emission of toxic, poisonous fumes and contaminants that would endanger the health of civilians in the densely populated capital and its surrounding suburbs, and that it would place the ecosystem of the entire Balkan region at risk. NATO's political and military leaders and responsible personnel have violated the laws and customs of war by bombing the complex, as by doing so, they have unleashed a poisonous weapon calculated to cause indiscriminate and unnecessary suffering on civilians, an offense prohibited by Article 3(a) of the ICT Statute.
SYSTEMATIC DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
The air strikes ordered by NATO's political and military leaders and performed by NATO personnel, are aimed at provoking an environmental disaster which threatens to poison the populace of the entire region. NATO's bombing raids have resulted in the systematic destruction of Yugoslavia's environment, not only through the pollution of its rivers and ground water, but the systematic poisoning of its atmosphere. This destruction is by definition, indiscriminate, and the toxic fall out must be considered a poisonous weapon or a weapon calculated to cause long-lasting unnecessary suffering to civilians prohibited by the Laws and Customs of War as recognized by Article 3(a) of the ICT Statute. This action also comprises devastation not justified by military necessity in violation of Articles 2(d) and 3(b) of the ICT Statute.
Amongst others, the NATO bombing of the Prva Iskra chemical plant in Baritz, a non-military target producing detergents, resulted in the emission of large clouds of toxic gases. The bombing of the oil refinery in Novi Sad gave way to unchecked fires, extensive air pollution and the discharge of toxic material into the Danube. The obliteration of the ZAZTAVA plant in Kragujevac by repeated bombings, resulting in the discharge of poisonous piralena liquid into the Lepenitsa river. In Lucani, the repeated targeting of the Milan Blagojevic plastic manufacturing plant resulted in petrochemical explosions and the emission of a carcinogenic cloud over the region. In Belgrade, Bogutovac, Novi Beograd, Gruua, Pristina, Pancevo, Lipovic, refineries and fuel depots have been bombed, resulting in uncontrollable fires and substantial air pollution. In Nis, the bombing of a tobacco plant resulted in the explosion of chemical additives and the discharge of cadmium.
The ecological catastrophe caused by these bombings knows no boundaries. It poses a great toxic risk, which is likely to cause suffering to not only the Yugoslav people, but the population of the greater Balkan region. Already there are reports from Northern Greece of alarming toxicity levels in the atmosphere attributed to the bombing raids. NATO's political and military leaders and responsible NATO personnel have violated the laws and customs of war by bombing these plants, warehouses, refineries and industrial complexes, since by destroying these facilities, they have unleashed an arsenal of toxic pollutants that are by definition, indiscriminate, and will, in all certainty, visit unnecessary suffering on the Balkan population for years to come in violation of Article 3(a) of the ICT Statute.
NATO's POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS AND RESPONSIBLE PERSONNEL HAVE ENGAGED IN THE DESTRUCTION AND WILLFUL DAMAGE OF INSTITUTIONS DEDICATED TO RELIGION, CHARITY, EDUCATION, THE ARTS AND SCIENCES, HISTORICAL MONUMENTS AND WORKS OF ART AND SCIENCE - Violation of the laws and customs of war as recognized by Article 3(d) of the ICT Statute
NATO's political and military leadership and its responsible personnel have demonstrated a marked disregard for Serbia's historical and religious heritage by targeting and destroying religious and historic landmarks that serve as an integral part of Serb national and religious heritage and history. UNESCO's ICOMOS has identified 12 historical monuments in Kosovo, central Serbia and Vojvodina that have been totally destroyed by the NATO air raids and 39 which have sustained substantial damages, many of which are listed on UNESCO World Heritage list. From March 24th, 1999 to May 1st, 1999, the following medieval monasteries and religious shrines, amongst others, have sustained serious damages as a result of the NATO air raids:
In addition to the structural damages sustained by these buildings, the priceless, century old frescos in many of these historical churches and monasteries, are being seriously threatened by the tremors and blasts of NATO explosions.
From March 24th, 1999 to May 1st, 1999, NATO's political and military leaders and responsible personnel have inflicted serious damages on the following historical and cultural monuments, buildings, artifacts and museums:
NATO air raids have also intentionally leveled and damaged modern architectural landmarks. The Ministry of Interior and The Ministry of Justice buildings in the heart of Belgrade were intentionally targeted and destroyed by NATO bombs. These buildings were significant architectural achievements of the latter 20th century designed by the architect Irvin Adidts. NATO claims that these sites were military targets and their destruction justified by military necessity. This argument is unsustainable. It was well known that these buildings, like most of the federal buildings, had been totally evacuated by the Serb authorities upon the onset of the air raids and therefore their destruction involved no military advantage. Destruction of these facilities were acts of vandalism aimed at humiliating and punishing the Serb people.
In addition to the above, NATO forces have destroyed the 195m TV tower on Mt. Avala, designed by the renowned Yugolsav architects Uglijesa Bogunovic and Slobodan Janic and engineer Milan Krstic. The Mt. Avala tower was considered a cultural landmark of Belgrade, not unlike the Eiffel tower in Paris, and it was featured on Belgrade postcards and tourist souvenirs.
NATO air strikes have claimed over 2000 schools, faculties and facilities for children and students. In particular more than 25 faculties, 10 colleges, 45 secondary schools, 90 elementary schools, 8 student dormitories and numerous preschool facilities have been hit. NATO missiles destroyed the village schools of Bogutova, Raska, Lacevci, Tavnik and Lozno during the April 10th raid alone. The school in Bogutovac was hit with no less than six missiles, making claims that the destruction was unintentional hard to believe! The 16.oktobar and Vladimir Rolovic elementary schools have sustained substantial damages in Belgrade, as has the day care in Petlovo Brdo district of the capital. The Youth and children center and Dusko Radovic youth theatre in Belgrade were also hit on April 23, 1999. The elementary school and engineering high school, as well as four libraries in Rakovica have all been victimized by NATO missiles. Two secondary schools, the respective faculties for civil engineering and architecture, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering studies were hit in Nis. The Faculties of Law and Economics and the Radoje Domanovic elementary school in Nis were also knocked out by NATO missiles. The Toza Markovic, Djorde Natsoevic, Veljko Vlahovic, Sangaj and Djuro Danicic elementary schools were are all attacked in the Novi Sad region, as was the Duga day care center and kid creches on Visarionova Street of the City. The Traffic School Center and Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad have also sustained substantial damages. Elementary schools in Lucane and Kraljevo, Cvetka, Aketa and Ladjevci have all sustained substantial damages, as have three Sombor elementary schools. NATO raids have also partially destroyed a school center in Kula and an agricultural school in Valjevo. More documentary information with respect to the devastation of educational institutions will be submitted in the weeks that follow.
The destruction of all of the above facilities by NATO's political and military leaders and its responsible personnel, constitutes destruction and willful damage to institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, historic monuments, etc. within the meaning of Article 3(d) of the Statute of the ICT. This destruction is a war crime that must not go unpunished.
5. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROSECUTOR
Article 16 of the ICT Statute provides that the Prosecutor of the ICT is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since January 1, 1991. By the Prosecutor's own admission, this territory includes Kosovo. The Statute further provides that the Prosecutor acts independently and shall not seek or receive instructions from any Government or from any other source. Under Article 18 of the Statute, the Prosecutor is obliged to initiate investigation ex-officio on the basis of information obtained from any source and shall assess the information received to decide whether there is sufficient basis to proceed.
The facts alleged in this complaint establish a prima facie case. We reserve the right to further substantiate and supplement this complaint with a dossier of photographs and witness accounts. Most of these facts can be readily verified from the international press, NATO's own admissions and reports of the Yugoslav government. The Prosecutor will, no doubt, uncover more evidence during the course of his/her investigation. The facts stated in this complaint clearly document violations of the Geneva Convention and Laws and Customs of War as recognized by Articles 2 and 3 respectively of the ICT Statute by NATO's military and political leaders and personnel.
If the Prosecutors Office and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is to maintain any credibility for impartiality, then it must do so by applying justice equally and evenhandedly. This is a unique opportunity for the ICT to prove to the world that it does, in fact, act independently, and that it neither «seeks nor receives instructions from any Government or source» as stipulated by the ICT Statute. Prosecutor Louise Arbour appears to have already commenced investigations into alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Kosovo. In her April 27 interview on BBC Panorama, Prosecutor Arbour proclaimed that, «We have always made clear that we will always explore personal criminal liability at the very highest possible level that the evidence will sustain.» This investigation can not and should not be limited to the alleged conduct of the Serbs, nor the KLA, but must include the conduct of all actors in the area, which includes the actions of NATO's political and military leaders and responsible NATO personnel. If the Prosecutor's Office is to investigate allegations of Serb war crimes in the area, as it has stated repeatedly, then it must also impartially investigate allegations of war crimes perpetrated by NATO's political and military leadership and its personnel. Where the evidence exists, the ICT must indict all offenders within its area of competence, irrespective of the position, nationality or popularity of those offenders.
There can be no doubt that the criminal conduct of NATO's political and military leaders and responsible NATO personnel, as outlined above, was willful and wanton. Even if we were to suspend our disbelief and assume that the killing and injury of civilians, the bombing of a passenger train, refugee convoys, private homes, businesses, schools, museums, hospitals, cemeteries, monasteries, bus and the systematic and knowing contamination and poisoning of the environment were not premeditated acts aimed to cause unnecessary human suffering and destruction, it must be accepted that when NATO's political and military leaders initiated this aggression, and NATO's personnel implemented its leadership's decision, they all knew that their unlawful conduct would, with practical certainty, result in unjustifiable suffering on the part of the civilian population and unjustifiable devastation. They thus, knowingly, accepted these consequences, and nonetheless, decided to push on, upon determination that this suffering was an «acceptable» outcome. The mens rea requirement for criminally, willful and wanton conduct has been met.
NATO's political and military leaders and responsible NATO personnel have thus accepted responsibility for the unlawful murder and injury of civilians and the extensive devastation that their bombing has inflicted, as an «unfortunate» but «inevitable» outcome of their actions. The mockery and flagrant abuse of international law by NATO's political and military leaders evidence that the air strikes must be deemed, as a matter of law, unlawful. Playing semantics games and dismissing war crimes as «collateral damage» does not alter the fact that war crimes have been committed and their perpetrators must be brought to justice.
NATO's political and military leaders and responsible NATO personnel must be held accountable for their actions. The degree and level of criminal responsibility of each respective individual who contributed to the decision making and/or order and/or performance of the criminal actions outlined in this complaint is an issue for the ICT to determine.