Saturday, 21 February 2015 20:25



by Stephen Karganovic



justice scale 


Within the last few weeks two important judgments have come down from the Hague. One was handed down by the International Court of Justice [ICJ] in relation to Croatia’s suit against Serbia for genocide arising from certain events during the 1990s secession conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and Serbia’s countersuit arising from a similar factual matrix. The other judgment was an appellate decision handed down by the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [ICTY] in the “Popović et al.” case. Central to it was the issue of genocide allegedly committed by the defendants in Srebrenica in the course of the same conflict, in July of 1995.    

The common thread of these judgments is the issue of what constitutes genocide under the Convention and what evidentiary criteria are to be applied in determining whether or not it had been committed. As the brief comparative analysis that follows will show these two international courts, both ultimately dependencies of the United Nations, have relied on substantially different legal standards in adjudicating essentially the same issue.

But before we enter into a more detailed discussion of the main issue, it would be worthwhile to point out a problematic dictum in the “Popović et al.” judgment which is paradigmatic of the way ICTY functions but might have easily escaped notice.


Leaked State Department Cables Expose the ICTY’s Hypocrisy Print
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 20:29


[Srebrenica and the Hague Tribunal are two faces of the same coin. In the absence of conclusive empirical evidence for the basic contentions of the Srebrenica lobby (genocide and 8,000 executed men and boys) advocates of the official narrative are compelled to resort to the only remaining argument they have: the made-to-order verdicts of ICTY in Srebrenica-related cases. These verdicts and their overwhelmingly flawed conclusions are widely used to fill evidentiary gaps and to intimidate and often shut up those who would doubt the official wisdom. Therefore, an effective critique of the official version of events in Srebrenica necessarily includes a thorough review of the nature and practices of the institution whose task is to give the propaganda story an aura of judicial respectability. Our associate from the United States, Andy Wilcoxson, has done admirable research work in the past. The analysis that follows is in that tradition and demonstrates the improper links and influences that are at work behind the scenes in the chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague.]


Leaked State Department Cables Expose the ICTY’s

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 19:06

[We recommend to our readers this classic piece by Lt. Col. John Sray, U. S. Army, about the war in Bosnia. It was written in October 1995 and is available on the internet at: The feature which stands out in the discussion by an experienced military man that follows is critical analysis. That is very rare today in official discourse at all levels. Lt. Col. Sray does not spare any of the participants in the Bosnian war. That is in itself a very positive recommendation. It means that he has not sold out to anyone and that he thinks and analyses what he sees around him using his own head. We see in him a kindred spirit to the readers of the Srebrenica Historical Project website. ]

Realistically Estimating the Number of Srebrenica Massacre Victims Print
Saturday, 06 July 2013 08:07

[The knowing and deliberate conflation of battle casualties sustained by the 28th Division during its breakout from Srebrenica to Tuzla, in the days following the fall of Srebrenica on July 11 1995, with execution victims is a key component of the deceptive official Srebrenica narrative, and it is also perhaps the most cynical. It uses human remains as propaganda props. It also gives the lie to the disingenuous claim that those who invoke facts to question the fictitious 8.000 figure are callous and disrespect “victims of genocide.” Our US colleague Andy Wilcoxson has created a map showing the geographical location of the so-called “secondary mass graves” in relation to the path followed by the column and its combat with units of the Serbian army along that route. All the data are derived from ICTY Prosecution materials submitted in various trials. This confirms the picture of immense column losses that ICTY Chambers have systematically downplayed. The reason is simple. The number of “missing” is finite and the identification tricks played by the ICMP laboratory in Tuzla cannot change that mathematical reality. That means that the more combat casualties are admitted, fewer slots will remain for “genocide victims,” i.e. executed prisoners. Mr. Wilcoxson’s devastating analysis lays bare one of the chief mechanism of Srebrenica disinformation.]

Sunday, 09 June 2013 10:15

Testing the Pilica Massacre Narrative


[The paper that follows was read at the XII International Law Association meeting in Tara, Serbia, 5 – 9 June 2013. It focuses on some evidentiary issues that arise in relation to proving some key aspects of the Srebrenica massacre. We recommend it to our readers on its own merits, but also as a response to Srebrenica genocide advocates whose best argument seems to be that what has been confirmed in ICTY judgments automatically acquires the status of sanctified truth beyond the pale of permissible inquiry or further discussion. A thorough analysis of ICTY judgments with attention to the sort of evidence that has been admitted is long overdue. When scholars finally get round to it, the results are bound to be shocking. The article that follows, with a rather narrow focus on the evidence that was uncritically admitted by several chambers in relation to the goings on at the important massacre locale of Pilica-Branjevo, is a foretaste of what a comprehensive study of this aspect of the Tribunal’s procedures would reveal.]

Getting away with proving mass murder

Attachment 1 Erdemovic Enlistment Contract Signed by Mladic

Attachment 2 Erdemovic Enlistment Contract signed by de Gaulle

Attachment 3 Model of prisoner with hands tied behind his back as described by Q

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 20:27

[Srebrenica as Genocide? The Krstic Decision and the Language of the Unspeakable, by Katherine G. Southwick [Yale Human Right & Development Law Journal, Vol. VIII ( explores some fundamental theoretical issues about the legal nature of the events surrounding Srebrenica in July 1995. The most controversial of these issues is whether those events may rightfully be described as genocide. The author, Katherine Southwick, expresses some serious doubts in that regard and argues that the Krstić Chamber should have adhered more closely to the provisions of the Genocide Convention. The author’s discussion is based on the ICTY judgment in the Krstić case and she argues that according to the International Law Commission, “the distinguishing characteristic of the crime of genocide is the element of specific intent, which requires that certain acts be “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” By excluding consideration of the perpetrators’ motives for killing the military-aged men, such as seeking to eliminate a military threat as the defense alleged, the Krstić chamber’s standard for establishing specific intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims, in whole or in part, was incomplete. In addition, stretching the meaning of certain terms in the definition, such as a group “in part” and “destroy,” also suggests a misapplication of the word “genocide.” In effect, adopting an interpretation of genocide that cannot and will not be universally applied, the Chamber untenably broadened the meaning of the term. To the extent that this landmark finding influences modern interpretations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, the author proposes that limiting the finding to crimes against humanity—thus maintaining clearer distinctions between these sets of crimes—would have better served the authority of the international tribunal, the development of international humanitarian law, and the capacity of other states to comprehend and respond effectively to future instances of mass violence. We put this analysis before our readers not just for its cogency, but also because it demonstrates that the facile propaganda view of Srebrenica is not an open and shut case and certainly not the last scholarly word on this subject.]

Thursday, 14 March 2013 22:29

[The comment below has provoked lively responses. One of them is by Canadian attorney Christopher Black. He seems to point out some fundamental flaws in the strategy followed by the Karadžić defence. By acquiescing to the rules for the admission of evidence being turned on their head, Mr. Black seems to be suggesting that Dr. Karadžić is, in effect, acting as the Tribunal’s enabler in subverting the proper administration of justice, and all to his own ultimate detriment, of course. Here is Mr. Black’s view of the DNA affair.


“I fail to understand why the Karadzic team does not make a demand for full disclosure instead of piecemeal demands and why they do not hold press conferences to complain about what is going on. Further, having some "expert" produce a summary of the conclusions of these DNA labs is nothing less than hearsay in the absence of the hard evidence.


“If the prosecution claims to have DNA of a claimed missing person then to prove that person was killed they need to call witnesses to say so. And even if they can do that then they still have to prove the unlawful execution of the person to whom the DNA belongs.


“They also need to prove the provenance of the DNA – that is, does it come from the remains found in relevant locations or does it come from a relative or the live "missing" person? There must be a continuous secure chain of evidence. The ICTY purports to say none of that is relevant. If I was on that team – if I was Karadzic – I would walk out of the trial. Why do they sit there taking this crap?”


Our comment follows.]


Procedural monkey business usually is an infallible sign that something is not right with the evidence. The illustration that follows derives from the current practice of the Hague Tribunal. It has to do with the defendant’s right of access to the most significant material evidence used against him in relation to Srebrenica charges. It concerns also the important issue of the denial to the accused of the right to independently test the evidence used against him. These circumstances raise a legitimate question: is there anything resembling equality of arms between the parties in dispute before ICTY, the Prosecution and the Defence? But that poses some broader questions as well. Is there a shred of professional integrity remaining in the Hague Tribunal? Is there a distinction between the Prosecution and the Chamber, or are those bodies indissolubly conjoined and act in unison, as a sort of joint enterprise aiming to achieve essentially identical objectives to the detriment of the Accused?

Sunday, 03 March 2013 18:57

          It has been evident for some time that a concise exposition of basic facts about Srebrenica would be useful. Over a decade and a half after the event Srebrenica continues to be engulfed in heavy fog or, to put it in contemporary language, disinformation. Following the Leninist Agitprop model, messages about Srebrenica can be divided in two categories. The first consists of “agitation”, which means a simplistic story line for the broad masses, not overly concerned with facts and arguments, and certainly not encouraging critical analysis. It is based on the repetition of emotional platitudes such as “genocide” and “eight thousand executed men and boys”. The second category projects a propaganda line geared to a more select and influential public. It is based on the pseudo-history of the Yugoslav conflict promoted by the Hague Tribunal and the political apparatus which sustains it.   

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 20:24

Several preliminary considerations are in order when assessing the credibility of the received narrative about Srebrenica:
•    How could Serbian Army commanders have thought that a massacre of 8,000 individuals, and the subsequent relocation of nearly as many corpses, could have remained unnoticed by NATO forces that were controlling the airspace over Bosnia and monitoring all troop movements on the ground?  

•    How could an allegation of the execution of 8,000 individuals be made and then widely accepted if the only hard evidence in The Hague Tribunal’s possession that points to summary execution involves the remains of 442 persons that were found with blindfolds and ligatures?

Saturday, 02 February 2013 12:21

[The Srebrenica Lobby persistently portrays what happened in Srebrenica as an indisputable illustration of genocide. The recently retired religious head of the Bosnian Muslim community, Mustafa Cerić, has gone even a step further by demanding that a world day of mourning for Srebrenica be established, on a par with the annual observance of the Holocaust. The Srebrenica PR campaign consists of the relentless repetition of the Lobby’s two main mantras, “8,000 executed men and boys” and “genocide”. There is little doubt that of the two pillars of the Srebrenica narrative, “genocide” is the Lobby’s political red line. The numbers game has not been going well for them lately (the recent drastic reduction in the number of Srebrenica execution victims in the Tolimir trial verdict has been met by silence rather than the expected howls of protest) but the insistence on “genocide”, regardless of how many victims, remains unyielding.

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