WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL FINDS U.S. AND NATO GUILTY
Schedule and Presentations (full texts)
A panel of 16 judges from 11 countries at a peoples tribunal meeting in New York June 10 before 500 people found U.S. and NATO political and military leaders guilty of war crimes against Yugoslavia in the March 24-June 10, 1999 assault on that country.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the lead prosecutor at the International Tribunal on U.S./NATO War Crimes Against Yugoslavia, urged those present and those they represented from the 21 countries participating to carry out a sentence of organizing a campaign to abolish the NATO military pact.
Ben Dupuy, former ambassador from Haiti, Rev. Kiyul Chung of Korea, and auto worker Martha Grevatt, who heads the AFL-CIOs organization Pride at Work, read the three parts of the verdict (included with this release).
Participants taking the witness stand included eye-witnesses, researchers who visited Yugoslavia, renowned political and economics analysts, historians, physicists, biologists, military experts, journalists and lay researchers. (A list of all the judges, and the witnesses and their topics is included with this release.)
Many of these witnesses have in the past 15 months presented to audiences worldwide a complete picture of the war NATO waged against Yugoslavia. For the tribunal, however, all limited themselves to a single area of expertise that made up a single part of the evidence against the political and military leaders of the United States and the other NATO countries.
Taken together, the judges decided, each single part contributed to construct a proof that beyond a reasonable doubt proved the guilt of the accused, just as the proper placing of single tiles can build a mosaic.
The witnesses described how NATO forces used the media to spread lies to demonize the Serbs and their leadership in order to prepare public opinion to prepare for war. Then they showed the real economic and geopolitical interests of the imperialist powers--the U.S. and Western Europein seizing economic control of the area from the Balkans to the oil-rich Caspian Sea.
Finally they demonstrated how Washington rigged the Racak massacre and then used the so-called Rambouillet accordin reality an ultimatum demanding NATO's military control of all of Yugoslavia--to provoke the war. Taken together this all proved a crime against peace.
They also showed the use of illegal weapons, the purposeful choice of civilian targets and the destruction of the environment and the civilian infrastructure that add up to war crimes. And the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people from Kosovo and Metohija that prove crimes against humanity.
The witnesses presentations were accompanied in many cases by slides and videos displayed on a large screen on the stage of the auditorium at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Manhattan. This screen was easily visible both to the judges, who sat on the stage, and to the hundreds in the audience, many of whom stayed throughout the nine-hour day.
In addition, pictures and videos were on display in the hall outside the auditorium, and documentary evidence was offered in books or in research papers.
The International Action Center, founded by Clark in 1992, organized this final session of the tribunal. There were also participants by those who had organized similar tribunal hearings in Germany, Italy, Austria, Russia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia and Greece, where thousands declared U.S. President Clinton a war criminal last November in Athens.
In addition to the witnesses, there were also important guest presentations from representatives of the governments Yugoslavia and Cuba. In addition, Ismael Guadalupe from Vieques, Puerto Rico showed in a powerful speech how the practice runs against his small island laid the basis for U.S./NATO aggression around the world.
According to the IAC organizers, total registration, including justices, witnesses and staff was 511. Invited speakers, witnesses and judges came from Haiti, Spain, Turkey, Korea, Puerto Rico, India, Germany, United States, Canada, Italy, Yugoslavia, Russia, Britain, Belgium, Iraq, Greece, Austria, France, and Portugal. The U.S. government refused visas to four people from Ukraine, whose message was read from the stage.
There were also representatives of the Roma peopleoften referred to by the derisive term "gypsy." Shani Rifati, a Roma witness who was born in Pristina, capital of Kosovo, told how NATO occupation has led to the expulsion of 100,000 Romas. He pointed out that the verdict condemned the persecution of Roma people, the first time this has happened in any international tribunal.
Five different television crews taped the entire proceedings, including Serbian television and a three-camera crew from Australia, as well as alternate media sources in the U.S. like the Peoples Video Network.
FINAL JUDGEMENT OF THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO INVESTIGATE U.S./NATO WAR CRIMES AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF YUGOSLAVIA
The Members of the Independent Commission of Inquiry to Investigate U.S./NATO War Crimes Against the People of Yugoslavia, meeting in New York, having considered the Initial Charges and Complaint of the Commission dated July 31, 1999 against President William J. Clinton, Gen. Wesley Clark, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Massimo DAlema, Prime Minister Jose Maria Azmar, the Governments of the United States and the other NATO member states, former Secretary General Javier Solana and other NATO leaders, and Others with nineteen separate Crimes Against Peace, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in violation of the Charter of the United Nations, the 1949 Geneva Conventions, other international agreements and customary international law;
Having the right and obligation as citizens of the world to sit in judgement regarding violations of international humanitarian law;
Having heard the testimony from Commissions of Inquiry and Tribunals held within their own countries during the past year and having received reports from numerous other Commission hearings which recite the evidence there gathered;
Having been provided with documentary evidence, eyewitness statements, photos, videotapes, special reports, expert analyses and summaries of evidence available to the Commission;
Having access to all evidence, knowledge and expert opinion in the Commission files or available to the Commission staff;
Having been provided by the Commission, or otherwise obtained, various books, articles and other written materials on various aspects of events and conditions in Yugoslavia and other countries in the Balkans, and in the military and arms establishments;
Having considered newspaper coverage, magazine and periodical reports, special publications, TV, radio and other media coverage and public statements by the accused, other public officials and public materials;
Having heard the presentations of the Commission of Inquiry in public hearing on June 10, 2000, and the testimony, evidence and summaries there presented;
And having met, considered and deliberated with each other and with Commission staff and having considered all the evidence that is relevant to the nineteen charges of criminal conduct alleged in the Initial Complaint, make the following findings:
The Members of the International War Crimes Tribunal find the accused Guilty on the basis of the evidence against them and that each of the nineteen separate crimes alleged in the Initial Complaint has been established to have been committed beyond a reasonable doubt. These are:
1. Planning and Executing the Dismemberment, Segregation and Impoverishment of Yugoslavia.
2. Inflicting, Inciting and Enhancing Violence Between and Among Muslims and Slavs.
3. Disrupting Efforts to Maintain Unity, Peace and Stability in Yugoslavia.
4. Destroying the Peace-Making Role of the United Nations.
5. Using NATO for Military Aggression Against, and Occupation of, Non-Compliant Poor Countries.
6. Killing and Injuring a Defenseless Population throughout Yugoslavia.
7. Planning, Announcing and Executing Attacks Intended to Assassinate the Head of Government, Other Government Leaders and Selected Civilians in Yugoslavia.
8. Destroying and Damaging Economic, Social, Cultural, Medical, Diplomatic -- including the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China and other embassies -- and Religious Resources, Properties and Facilities throughout Yugoslavia. 9 Attacking Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Population of Yugoslavia.
10. Attacking Facilities Containing Dangerous Substances and Forces.
11. Using Depleted Uranium, Cluster Bombs and Other Prohibited Weapons.
12. Waging War on the Environment.
13. Imposing Sanctions through the United Nations that are a Genocidal Crime Against Humanity.
14. Creating an Illegal Ad-Hoc Criminal Tribunal to Destroy and Demonize the Serbian Leadership. The Illegitimacy of this Tribunal is Further Demonstrated by Its Failure to Bring Any Case Regarding the Oppression of the Romani People, Who Have Suffered the Highest Rate of Casualties of Any People in the Region.
15. Using Controlled International Media to Create and Maintain Support for the U.S. Assault and to Demonize Yugoslavia, Slavs, Serbs and Muslims as Genocidal Murderers.
16. Establishing the Long-Term Military Occupation of Strategic Parts of Yugoslavia by NATO Forces.
17. Attempting to Destroy the Sovereignty, Right to Self-Determination, Democracy and Culture of the Slavic, Muslim, Roma and Other Peoples of Yugoslavia.
18. Seeking to Establish U.S. Domination and Control of Yugoslavia and to Exploit Its People and Resources.
19. Using the Means of Military Force and Economic Coercion in Order to Achieve U.S. Domination.
The Members hold NATO, the NATO states and their leaders accountable for their criminal acts and condemn those found guilty in the strongest possible terms. The Members condemn the NATO bombardments, denounce the international crimes and violations of international humanitarian law committed by the armed attack and through other means such as economic sanctions. NATO has acted lawlessly and has attempted to abolish international law.
The Members urge the immediate revocation of all embargoes, sanctions and penalties against Yugoslavia because they constitute a continuing crime against humanity. The Members call for the immediate end to the NATO occupation of all Yugoslav territory, the removal of all NATO and U.S. bases and forces from the Balkans region, and the cessation of overt and covert operations, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, aimed at overthrowing the government of Yugoslavia.
The Members further call for full reparations to be paid to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for death, injury, economic and environmental damage resulting from the NATO bombing, economic sanctions and blockades. Further, other states in the region which have suffered economic and environmental damage due to the NATO bombing and economic sanctions on Yugoslavia must also be awarded reparations. The Members condemn the threat or use of military technology against life, both civilian and military, as was used by the NATO powers against the people of Yugoslavia.
The Members urge public action and mobilization to stop new and continued sanctions and aggressions by the U.S. and other NATO powers against Iraq, Cuba, North Korea, the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Puerto Rico, Asia, Sudan, Colombia and other countries. We ask for the immediate cessation of overt/covert activities by the U.S. and NATO in such countries.
The Members believe that the interests of peace, justice and human progress require the abolition of NATO, which has proved itself beyond any doubt to be an instrument of aggression for the dominant, colonizing powers, particularly the United States. The Pentagon, the central and key element of NATO and the greatest single threat to the people of the world, must be disbanded.
The Members urge the Commission to provide for the permanent preservation of the reports, evidence and materials gathered to make them available to others, and to seek ways to provide the widest possible distribution of the truth about the U.S./NATO war on Yugoslavia.
We urge all people of the world to act on recommendations developed by the Commission to hold power accountable and to secure social justice on which lasting peace must be based.
Done in New York this 10th day of June, 2000
LIST OF 16 JUDGES
1. Ben Dupuy--Haiti--Former Ambassador at Large for Haiti under the first government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and currently secretary general of the Popular National Party (PPN) of Haiti.
2. Angeles Maestro Martin--Spain--Elected member of Spanish parliament from Madrid and a leader in the movement to end sanctions against Iraq .
3. Cimile Cakir --Turkey; journalist for newspaper serving Kurdish community and member of Turkish Human Rights Association. Imprisoned four years in Turkey for human rights activity..
4. Rev. Kiyul Chung--Korea--Rev. Ki Yul Chung, chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Congress for Korean Unification in North America.
5. John Nickels--Roma--U.S. representative of the International Romani Union and also a judge in the Romani community in the U.S.
6. Jorge Farinacci--Puerto Rico--leader of the Socialist Front of Puerto Rico and a long-time leader of the independence movement in Puerto Rico.
7. Ray Laforest--Haitian-American--labor unionist in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and a leader of the Haitian Coalition for Justice, an organization that fights police brutality in New York.
8. Uma Kutwal -originally from India, Uma Kutwal is president of Local 375 of the Civil Service Technical Union District Council 37 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
9. Dr. Christa Anders--Germany--doctor of medicine and an organizer of the German/European Tribunal.
10. Raniero La Valle--Italy--Former senator who has served 14 years in the Italian parliament and an anti-war leader in Catholic circles and spokesperson for the Italian War Crimes Tribunal movement.
11. Dr. Wolfgang Richter--Germany--Chairperson of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity and a leader of the War Crimes Tribunal movement in Germany.
12. Martha Grevatt--United States--National Secretary of the AFL-CIO for Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans Labor Organization called Pride at Work, and active in the United Auto Workers.
13. Michael Ratner--United States--Civil Rights Attorney on the National Board of the Center for Constitutional Rights and he took the U.S. government to court for violating the War Powers Act in its undeclared war against Yugoslavia.
14. Yole Stanesic--Yugoslavia, Russia--Montenegrin poet and writer living in Russia, member of the tribunals in Yaroslav, Kiev and Belgrade.
15. John Black--United States--retired President of the Health and Hospital Workers Union in Pennsylvania, responsible for bringing many thousands of hospital workers into the union. As a teenager in Germany he was active in the anti-Nazi underground resistance.
16. Dr. Berta Joubert--Puerto Rico--psychiatrist working in public health and organizer of Puerto Rican and African American anti-racist activities in Philadelphia.
The Prosecutor team:
Ramsey Clark, former U.S. attorney general and founder of the International Action Center.
Pat Chin--originally from Jamaica, International Action Center spokesperson for solidarity with Haiti and Yugoslavia and other issues.
Sara Flounders, International Action Center national co-director, participant in numerous tribunal hearings.
Gloria La Riva, a leader of the Peace for Cuba Committee, producer of video NATO Targets.
All were in Yugoslavia either during the war or participating in seminars or meetings after the war.   Short opening remarks by Ramsey Clark, who will be lead prosecutor.  Opening greetings from Mikhail Kuznetsov of the International Peoples Tribunal organized from Russia and Ukraine and other former Soviet countries.
Back to: NO to NATO
Back to: Puerto Rico