Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Prosecuting The Murderers of Hariri--In The Footsteps Of The Srebrenica Massacre

Now Lebanon has a piece that suggests that Lebanon appears to be following in the footsteps of the former Yugoslavia--if not in terms of the actual murders themselves, then in terms of the failure in prosecuting the murderers:
Around 8,000 Bosnian boys and men were killed in July 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina by units of the Bosnian-Serb army in an atrocity now known to the world as the Srebrenica massacre, the largest mass murder in Europe after World War II. It happened during the Bosnian war between the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Croats, the two main ethnic groups in the region backed by Serbia, and respectively, Croatia.

The man accused of orchestrating the massacre, the ethnic cleansing that followed it and also the siege of Sarajevo in 1992-1995 was general Ratko Mladic, the head of the Bosnian Serb army at the time. He is still at large, although he was charged with crimes against humanity, genocide and mass murder by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.

For the ICTY’s prosecutor’s office it is still a challenge to cooperate with the Serb government and its intelligence apparatus, which until recently was led by the Serb nationalists. They were not willing to turn a fellow Serb (and possibly friend) in to a court of international justice. The indictments were easy for the ICTY, but it was catching the defendants, and later on the witness intimidation and false depositions allegations, that gave the Prosecutor’s office in Hague the biggest headaches.

While the STL is still expected to formulate indictments, despite an investigation that has lasted three years because of scant evidence, the institution has all the mistakes and misfortunes of its predecessor, the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, to learn from in order to expect the difficulties that it might face later on.
To this day, Mladic has not been caught, despite a 10 million euro reward put up by the Serb government. He is rumored to be hiding in either Serbia or Republika Srbska. Similarly, those accused in the Hariri assassination are expected to have no trouble hiding out in either Syria or Iran.

I imagine the difference is that while individuals may be forced to resort to hiding out, Hezbollah itself is unlikely to face consequences to it's terrorist organization as a whole--not even Nasrallah, who would have given the OK.

Still, the prosecution of the Srebrenica Massacre should give Nasrallah pause--if not to inspire fear of the prosecutors, then perhaps fear of the people:
Radovan Karadzic, the political leader of the Bosnian Serbs accused of being the political will behind the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo, was caught under very mysterious circumstances only in 2008. He was hiding in Belgrade under a false identity and he had changed his appearance, under the alleged protection of his friends in the Serbian secret service. His capture was thought to raise public rage in Serbia, where he enjoyed strong popular support, but the people never took the streets.
Many in Lebanon are neither enamored of Nasrallah, nor of Ahmadinejad's visit.

Maybe Israel is not the only one that Nasrallah is hiding out from.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) trials--similar to the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) trials would be expected not only to cause civil unrest in Lebanon itself, but also affect relations between Lebanon and Syria.

In any case, despite the history of difficulties and mistakes in the STL investigation, you ain't seen nothin' yet:
The road ahead for the STL is still a long one, given that the ICTY itself, even after 15 years, is still far from having completed its mission and is still dealing with the same obstacles the STL is expected to face.
Read the whole thing.

Which is why Hezbollah, Syria and Iran are wary, but not exactly quaking in their boots

Technorati Tag: and and and .

No comments: