It is a foregone conclusion that following his arrest Ratko Mladic the leader of the Bosnian Serb army will be sent to the Hague for what will be called a “trial”.

It is important to emphasise that what will happen in the Hague will not be a trial in the normally understood meaning of the word.  Mladic has already been judged guilty as even a cursory reading of the way in which his arrest is being reported shows  The outcome of any “trial” whether at the Hague or elsewhere is therefore pre determined and a foregone conclusion.  The purpose of any “trial” of Mladic is not to determine his guilt or innocence.  It is to legitimise the western narrative of events in Yugoslavia in the 1990s by conferring on that narrative the appearance of independent judicial validation. 

That this is so was shown by the way in which the “trial” of the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic was conducted.  Faced with the difficulty of proving any of the charges against him the court process was repeatedly changed in such a way as to assist the prosecution case.  This included allowing hearsay evidence and evidence from anonymous witnesses and imposing on Milosevic a lawyer not of his choice.  Anyone wishing to learn about this should read the book Travesty by the writer John Laughland.  In the end when despite the manipulation of the trial process it still proved impossible to make a convincing case against Milosevic he was allowed to die in prison through the denial of medical treatment.


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