Historical Revelations from the Milošević Trial

In: Southeastern Europe
Judith Armatta Human Rights Attorney

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Controversy over Serbia's role in the decade of wars in the former Yugoslavia continues. The trial of Slobodan Milošević unearthed significant new material in documents and testimony, despite the trial's premature end with Milošević's death. While there was no legal resolution, evidence revealed at trial provides a rich resource for historians to further examine some of the major controversies arising from the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the decade of wars that ensued. This article will highlight evidence relevant to the following issues: Was Serbia opposed to disintegration and war or did Milošević seek it in his quest for power? Were the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina civil wars in which Serbia was not involved except to provide humanitarian aid and negotiate for peace or was Serbia a primary protagonist? What was Serbia's role, if any, in the Srebrenica genocide? Was Serbia, NATO or the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) responsible for war and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo? While the trial of Milošević did not attempt to establish Serbia's or the FRY's responsibility, actions taken by Milošević as Serbia's president and de facto leader of the FRY necessarily implicate them as political entities.

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