Belgrade has been in sort of a denial phase for some time and “incident” with Ratko Mladic shows Belgrade's stance on war and war criminals, said Sonja Biserko of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, commenting the public address of the convicted war criminal on a Belgrade media outlet.
“Belgrade has been in a sort of a denial of any responsibility for some time,” Biserko told N1, reminding also of a recent statement of Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic denying the Srebrenica genocide, which triggered reactions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to her, a part of the responsibility for Mladic's address is on The Hague Tribunal which does not control the communications of this war criminal sentenced in a first-instance verdict to life imprisonment for 10 out of 11 charges. However, she added, the largest part of the responsibility is on Belgrade.
Mladic, the military leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, joined on Friday a live morning programme of the Belgrade Happy TV in a phone call. His son Darko was there in the TV studio along with other guests, including the ultra-nationalist leader of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) Vojislav Seselj, also a convicted war criminal, and Pavel Dorohin, a member of Russia’s Duma.
Following the live address, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), the successor of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) which sentenced Mladic, launched an investigation into this event.
Biserko said Serbia was systematically dismissing everything that the ICTY achieved and was disqualifying that court in a way.
The incident involving Mladic was not surprising, according to her, but “it is a scandalous fact that The Hague allows or doesn't control what the prisoners are doing there.”
Asked if such situation can lead to the continuation of the reconciliation process in the region, she said for the past six years of the “progressive coalition's rule” Serbia has been working on the dismissal of everything that was achieved.