Belgrade: 11th April, 2006
The city is flooded. The Danube is rolling at high speed through Northern Serbia. If it were not a drama it could be romantic fun. If we didn’t know that the changing climate is no longer natural, we would paddle in rowboat and sing with mandolins. Instead we know it's sure to get worse with global warming, electricity cuts, bad Internet connections...
Today from Hague tribunal, on video link, a protected witness is speaking at the Scorpions Trial. The connection is bad but his message comes through with full impact. He looks flat and distorted on the screen, like a cartoon character, his egg shaped head is protruding towards the indicted Scorpions while his body shrinks behind his words, delayed and out of sync with the image.
He is so far and yet so near: he is the guy who owned the video cassette with the execution of the six Muslim civilians. After repeated death threats he leaked it to the Hague tribunal judges though Natasa Kandic, our heroine on this grim war stage.
This small woman is fearless today in the court as well as in 2004 when she first got the video. We heard that the cassette existed, and was distributed among video clubs in the region. And today's witness confirmed this: we all knew of the crime... I made copies and played them in the soldiers' dorms. This film distributor in the war-criminal economy did many other useful things for the cause: he owned transportation vehicles for fruit, food, whatever... and of course, now it pops out without any doubts, he transported PEOPLE; the Human Packages.
During all these court sessions, it was obvious that Scorpions were not much for soldiers. On lost his leg on the front-line and is the pet of all the others; but since the weren't in fact soldiers, what were they actually doing?
This protected witness with no address, escaped to Hague with his family after he sold the cassette to the Justice. The big Boss, the famous commander kicked him out of the gang because they fought over the spoils, the original cassette, the money-making deals, confiscated goodies.
He said loudly: the Scorpions were transporting the civilians in buses from Srebrenica, close to the border line with Muslims. They executed them there and the bodies were left to the other side be collected and buried. To Fake it: pretend they were killed in a battle.
Our buses were mingled with humanitarian buses, inside the protected enclave which should have saved the civilians.
Today is the anniversary of the professional killing of the journalist Curuvija following the orders of the secret police. No one is indicted yet. A film exists in that case too... but that film has not yet been sold out.
The killer of our premier Zoran Djindjic left his gun to be found by the police: because it belongs to history in a museum, he said proudly. This is a time of New Normality, when law and justice find their ways through the fearful leaks of those who are selling history in bits and pieces.
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Previous posts on BoingBoing:
- Serbia: An Underworld Journey
- Scorpions Trial, Day Three: March 15, 2006
- Scorpions Trial, Day Two: March 14, 2006
- Scorpions Trial, Day One: March 13, 2006
- The Long Goodbye
- Milosevic Arrives in Belgrade
- Slobodan Milosevic Died
- Milosevic Funeral
- Link to previous posts about Jasmina's work.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.