Zum Ende des Internationalen Strafgerichtshof für das ehemalige Jugoslawien

Viel wurde (auch an dieser Stelle schon dazu geschrieben. Ein Faktor, der ebenfalls betont werden sollte: Viele Kriegsverbrecher konnten auch nach dem Krieg unbehelligt frei herumlaufen, oft unter den Augen von NATO-Soldaten. Die Schwierigkeit, sie festzunehmen und nach Den Haag zu überstellen hat dem ICTY viel Schaden zugefügt (eine Passage aus Samantha Powers Buch A Problem from Hell).

A change in NATO policy was catalyzed by this negative publicity, by the internal advocacy of U.S. officials like Madeleine Albright, by the election of the liberal internationalist Tony Blair as British prime minister, and by the recognition that NATO troops would never be able to leave the Balkans if war criminals continued to run the local show. In July 1997, on Blair’s initiative, NATO made its first arrest. British troops snatched a pair of Serb concentration camp guards near their former stomping ground in Prijedor, northern Bosnia, fatally shooting one. The Serbs staged a few scattered protests, but they blew mainly hot air.With the myth of Serb solidarity again exposed, the major powers began sending a steady trickle of culprits to The Hague. The roll call in the detention unit swelled. In addition, Bosnia’s local authorities began themselves detaining the suspects, hoping to earn foreign aid or to score political points at home in the process. Because NATO’s threat of arrests had at last been made credible by actual round-ups, some suspects turned themselves in, preferring life in a European prison to life on the run. Each time the UN court at The Hague seemed on the verge of sagging into extinction, it received an injection of cash, criminals, or credibility. In 1996, when it needed to gain custody of a war crimes suspect in order to stage a trial, Dusan Tadic, a Bosnian Serb camp guard, strolled into a German bar, where he was recognized by one of his victims. In the summer of 1997, when the tribunal was inundated by shrill complaints about Serb killers waltzing through NATO checkpoints, British troops staged their Prijedor raid. In the fall of 1997, when the court was criticized as biased against Serbs, Western diplomats squeezed Croatia to turn over Bosnian Croat commander Tihomir Blaskic and ten more Croat suspects. In 1999, after six years of escaping indictment, Serbian president Milosevic presided over the commission of atrocities in Kosovo, a province in his own republic. This enabled the Hague prosecutor to establish a much clearer chain of command and to indict him publicly with crimes against humanity and war crimes, the first step in the two-year process that eventually landed him in UN custody. The Hague court has grown beyond anybody’s expectation. The very same institution that had a budget of $11 million in 1994, spent more than $96 million in 2000. The detention center initially housed only the relatively low-ranking Tadic; by November 2001 it held forty-eight inmates. And the one-person staff that originally consisted of only deputy prosecutor Graham Blewitt topped 1,000 in 2001, including some 300 on the prosecutor’s staff. A court that once occupied a few rooms of the Dorint Insurance building was bursting at the seams of the sprawling complex and on the verge of annexing additional neighborhood property. With three functional courtrooms, a visitor to the Krstic trial could also hear the concentration camp guards from Omarska testifying in their own defense or listen to the wrenching reminiscences of an elderly Muslim woman testifying about the massacre of her family. After a slow start, the Clinton administration played a key role in helping the institution grow. During Clinton’s second term, the United States provided the tribunal with more financial support than any other country, as well as senior personnel. Most significant, the United States turned over technical and photographic intelligence that greatly facilitated trials like that of General Krstic. Of course, Clinton also left office while the Bosnian war’s three leading men, Mladic, Karadzic, and Milosevic, remained at large.


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