Yugoslavia, Rwanda the ICTR ICTY demonic kangaroo courts
Propagate myths of ancient tribal rivalries (tall v short people, North v South v East v West, Slavs v Persians v Aryan Muslims); invade strong with full-spectrum foreign backing and declare it a civil war; attack the national defenses by terrorizing, even slaughtering masses of the population and provoking a badly weakened national army into destroying itself, while leveraging a powersharing deal with a shattered government; with the ignorant, unquestioning, even somnolent backing of a thoroughly zonked international public opinion, declare the national defense 'genocidal'; and haul the defenders (Serbs standing in for all Yugoslav nationals, and Hutus standing in for all Rwandan nationals] before a mock court, a 'Victims' court' established by your comrades in arms, the UN, and streamlined of all the rudimentary protections for the defendants (presumption of innocence, burden of proof on the prosecution, rigorous evidentiary rules, etc.,) to gain the modern waste capitalists' equivalent of Justice, monetary compensation or reparations in the form of a total national sell-off to private investors--but these duties are not exacted from the beneficiaries of the terrorist crimes committed by foreign aggressors, but from the very victims of the Western Imperialist aggressions.
But I'm letting that one episode of LA Law I did back in '88 go to my head here--I remember my big speech was, 'I lost MY SON! Somebody has to PAY!' . . . right. Let Me Black make the real case for la defense. --mc]
----- The ICTR - Answers from Chris Black As promised we are circulating answers to the questions on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that were raised in the previous mail-out 'The ICTY & ICTR - Sister tribunals in disinformation'.
The outstanding questions were:
1.. Does the fact that the accused has decided to retain legal counsel mean they recognise the Tribunal?
2.. The Hague court had 1200 employees representing the prosecution and this was against a handful of volunteers for Milosevic. Is it the same one sidedness at the Rwanda tribunal and how many prisoners are held there and do they have a defence lawyer forced on them or can they choose one themselves?
3.. Can you tell me, who funds the ICTR, is it the same crowd that fund the Hague fiasco?
Our sincere thanks to Chris Black for the following answers:
1) No, the accused here do not recognize the legality of the Tribunal. However, just as at the ICTY, whether that is expressed in court or not depends on the lawyers acting for the accused. Just as at the ICTY there are three groups of lawyers--the first and the smallest, including myself-- have publicly stated and in court repeated that we do not recognize the Tribunal as legitimate and that it is a purely political creation used to demonize the Hutus the same way the ICTY is used against the Serbs.
The second group are lawyers who want to play the game for the furtherance of their own careers and do not challenge the Tribunal at all, though even among that group many are disgusted by the unfairness of the trials here. These lawyers tend to come from Britain, US, Belgium and West Africa. Though there are two US lawyers who oppose the Tribunal very strongly. Then there is a third group who we believe to be active agents of the prosecution and various western govts and who do their utmost to persuade the accused to plead guilty or not challenge the prosecution theory of a "genocide".
The issue of having lawyers at all or taking the Milosevic route was discussed many times between the accused and lawyers who challenge the legitimacy of the ICTR. In fact, in 2003 the lawyers mounted a strike to protest the political nature of the tribunal and the unfairness of the trials. It lasted three days and we completely shut down the Tribunal. It was the first strike of its kind. However, the strike was broken by several British and American lawyers who support the Tribunal.
The accused understand the position of Milosevic and followed his trial closely. However, they felt that as Africans they were more isolated than Milosevic, who got a lot of press coverage and had a voice and that if they conducted the trials alone without counsel they would be completely ignored. They, therefore, asked counsel to stay and represent them and try to fight for the truth in the trials, as that way they would have some voice outside the courtroom. It is in that light that I have tried to write articles re the trials so that some information gets out of the media embargo here.
The situation for the Hutus is very different from the white prisoners at the ICTY. The trials are barely mentioned in the media, they never get bail, they are in worse conditions and the allegations against them are worse. So, for these reasons, even though they reject the tribunal as a legal body they have chosen to have counsel in court.
Several of us have been threatened by the RPF regime in Rwanda and US officials for trying to bring out the reality of the events in Rwanda, and we work under worse conditions--e.g., malaria, typhoid, etc., are common, no electricity for months on end, etc., etc.
2, Yes, the ICTR runs the same way as the ICTY and until last year had the same prosecutors, Louise Arbour and then Carla Del Ponte. There are about 1200 employees here for 60 prisoners, everyone a Hutu. No one from the opposing forces, who, in our view, committed most of the war crimes in Rwanda (Tutsi-RPF) has been charged. The reason being that the RPF was and is supported and financed by the US and UK, and a trial of the RPF would lead to the exposure of the US and UK govts' parts--as well as that of the UN, itself--in what happened in Rwanda.
3. All the films made so far about Rwanda take the US govt and RPF line that the Hutus were the bad guys when, just as with the Serbs, it was the exact opposite. The ICTR, it won't be a surprise, is funded by exactly the same people as the ICTY. The two are really one entity, a gulag of non-courts, of fascist justice masquerading as "advances in int'l law."
Lead counsel, General Ndindiliyimana