Archive for Trial

Ratko Mladic on Trial For Genocide that Islamophobes Love to Deny

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by loonwatch

Suffice to say many Islamophobes deny the Genocide against Bosnian Muslims, chief amongst them are Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.

Ratko Mladic goes on trial for genocide

(AlJazeera English)

The trial of General Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army chief accused of orchestrating war crimes and a campaign of genocide, has begun at a special UN court at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia made their opening statements against Mladic on Wednesday almost a year after his arrest in Serbia and subsequent deportation after years on the run.

Mladic is accused of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including orchestrating the week-long massacre of over 7,000 Muslim boys and men at Srebrenica in 1995 during the Bosnian war.

Prosecutor Dermot Groome said the prosecution would present evidence showing “beyond a reasonable doubt the hand of Mr. Mladic in each of these crimes”.

“The world watched in disbelief that in neighborhoods and villages within Europe a genocide appeared to be in progress,” said Groome, describing the beginning of the war in 1992.

“By the time Mladic and his troops murdered thousands in Srebrenica … they were well-rehearsed in the craft of murder,” Groome told the court.

Older but defiant

Dressed in a dark grey suit and dark tie, Mladic, now 70, flashed a thumbs-up and clapped his hands as he entered the courtroom in The Hague.

In the packed public seating area, a mother of one of the Srebrenica victims whispered “vulture” several times as prosecutors opened their case.

Later, Mladic made eye contact with one of the Muslim women in the audience, running a hand across his throat, in a gesture that led Presiding judge Alphons Orie to hold a brief recess and order an end to “inappropriate interactions.”

“Ratko Mladic is clearly not the stocky, physically imposing, bullish man that we remember from images of the early ’90s,” Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips reported from The Hague.

Phillips added, however, that even with his age, the general remained as defiant as ever.

“You could really sense his contempt for this court, which he calls the ‘NATO’ court,” he said.

Axel Hagedorn, a lawyer for many of the mothers of those killed in Srebrenica, said that many of his clients had travelled to The Hague, where they were relieved to finally see Mladic stand trial.

“I think he looks much more healthy than last year, when he appeared, that is good for us, because we hope that he can survive this trial and face imprisonment,” he said.

The Mladic trial would also help build a separate case by the Srebrenica families against the United Nations, he said.

In April, the Dutch Supreme Courht ruled that the UN could not be prosecuted in the Netherlands for failing to prevent genocide in Srebrenica, but the families’ lawyers plan to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

“This case is very linked to our case, on the failure of the United Nations to protect the people of Srebrenica,” Hagedorn said.

There are concerns that Mladic’s trial could be disrupted by the defendant’s poor health. He is believed to have suffered at least one stroke while in hiding and was admitted to hospital for pneumonia last October.

Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, died of a heart attack in detention in 2006 before a verdict in his trial could be reached.

‘Biggest butcher’

Outside, protesters held up placards including one that said “we want justice for the victims of Srebrenica”.

Mladic, who was arrested in a village in northern Serbia last May, is also charged over the 44-month siege of Sarajevo during which more than 10,000 people died.

Mladic has refused to enter a plea and rejected the charges against him as “monstrous” and “obnoxious” in a preliminary hearing last June. He says he was defending his country and his people as leader of the Bosnian Serb army. The court entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf.

He is the last of the main protagonists involved in the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia to go on trial in front of the special court established by the United Nations to prosecute crimes committed during the conflicts.

“This is the biggest butcher of the Balkans and the world,” Munira Subasic, 65, told the AFP news agency. She lost 22 relatives to Bosnian Serb military forces when Srebrenica was overrun in July 1995.

“I’ll look into his eyes and ask him if he repents,” said Subasic, who said she would watch the trial’s opening from the public gallery at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The case has stirred up deep emotions in the Balkans and Wednesday’s proceedings were broadcast live on big screens in Sarajevo, where thousands died between 1992 and 1995.

“I hope that many of those who are disillusioned and believe that Mladic is a Serb hero will change their minds, and that the trial will demonstrate that he was just a criminal and a coward,” Fikret Grabovica, president of the association of parents and children killed in the siege of Sarajevo, said.

“Even if Mladic lives until the verdict, it will bring only mild satisfaction for the victims of Srebrenica and hundreds of other places in the Serb Republic,” Grabovica added, referring to the entity that rules Serb majority areas of Bosnia.

‘Not satisfied’

Since the end of the war, Bosnia-Herzegovina has been divided into a federation of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, and the Serb Republic.

Mladic’s lawyers last week attempted to have the trial pushed back as the court pondered their request to have presiding judge Alphons Orie removed from the bench. They had argued that Orie would be biased against Mladic because he had already condemned several of his former subordinates.

But Theodor Meron, the president of the court, denied the request.

“I am not satisfied that Mladic has demonstrated that a reasonable observer … would reasonably apprehend bias. I accordingly find Mladic’s request for Judge Orie’s disqualification to be unmeritorious,” he said in a statement.

Mladic is being held in the same prison as his former political leader Radovan Karadzic, who was arrested in 2008 and is now about halfway through his trial on similar charges to Mladic.

Mladic’s lawyers  Monday night filed another request to have the trial adjourned for six months, saying they had not had enough time to prepare, due to “errors” by the prosecution in disclosing documents.

Groome said on Wednesday he would not oppose a “reasonable adjournment”.

In Norway’s Tragedy and a Nation’s Response Lies a Lesson For Us All

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2012 by loonwatch

Anders Behring Breivik’s destructive actions will not define a nation’s response and the lesson’s learned: (h/t: Roger via. Islamophobia Today)

In Norway’s Tragedy and a Nation’s Response Lies a Lesson For Us All

International media has been gripped by the trial of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. A self-declared ‘Knights Templar Crusader’ who believed he was acting in ‘defense’ of Norway by killing a future generation of aspiring Leftist leaders he accused of abetting the ‘Islamization’ of Europe.

During the initial reporting of the rampage the speculation of who or what could be behind the attack was rife, most media outlets zeroed in on Muslims with many (mis)attributing the attacks to ‘Islam.’

“AlQaeda”… “the Muslims, who else,” many thought and were told. The rush to judgement was swift.

When the culprit was captured, Breivik’s Scandanavian features and anti-Islam manifesto belied the narratives swirling in the media, shell shocking a media-world expecting the arrest of a “disgruntled, unintegrated, bearded ‘brown’ emigre” from a Muslim majority nation.

Breivik’s ideology was formed in the far recesses of the internet, within the chambers of the blogosphere, where anti-Islam rhetoric coupled with conspiracies about the pending decline of the West created a toxic lethal cocktail of xenophobia and violent bigotry.

Ironically, Breivik claimed to be acting in the name of “Christianity,” claiming to be a scion and reviver of the medieval “Knights Templar” order of Crusaders, defending Europe from Islam while preserving its “Christian” culture and identity.

In the swift “rush to judgement” and the resultant revelation that the actual perpetrator of the atrocities in Oslo and Utoya was a man claiming to act in the interests of “Christianity” lies a lesson for us all.

It is well known that Christianity is a religion that promotes peace. The overwhelming majority of Christians in the world are averse to violence against innocents and view murder in the name of “Christ” as both illegitimate and unchristian. Just as we must recognize that the great religion of Christianity cannot be besmirched by the actions of a lone man, we must also ask the opinion-makers to be consistent and declare that Islam should not be essentialized as a “religion of violence” because of the actions of a lunatic fringe.

There is also another lesson that we can take away from the violence in Norway, and it relates to the response of the Norwegian people to the attacks.

Anger, a natural fiery fuel with the potential to engulf was present early on, but its tide ebbed because of the response of a nation. They were resolved, resolute that their disposition was not going to suffer a paradigm shift because of the actions of one man.

Quickly, the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg who suffered his own personal loss in the attacks said, “we will respond to hate with our values.” A nation mourned, Christians and Muslims held joint services, healing songs were sung, and flowers left by citizens covered the destroyed, mangled concrete at the scene of the attacks.

A need to cover up the ugly…a need to respond to it with beauty. This characterized the essence of the collective Norwegian spirit, not a turn to fear and hate, but a response that said, ‘we will uphold our values.’ A reminder, it seemed to me, of the oft-repeated Quranic maxim, “return evil with good.”

Beauty will face ugliness and transform it, as the famous tradition relates, “God is beautiful and loves beauty.” In the response of the Norwegians to the nightmare of Oslo and Utoya lies a lesson for all of us, do not succumb to fear and hate, instead respond to it with justice, goodness and love of the most beautiful kind.

Tariq Ali: Bernard-Henri Lévy Indicted!

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2011 by loonwatch

An entertaining article by Tariq Ali. Bernard-Henri Levy certainly should be indicted in the mind of public opinion. I agree with most of the indictment though I would contend that Bernard-Henri Levy is not guilty of merely promoting “Zionism” which on its own may not be an indictable offense but of promoting “extremist Zionism” in which he apologizes for land grabs and racist state apparatuses within Israel. I wonder how the trial went?

Bernard-Henri Lévy Indicted!

(CounterPunch)

On January 28, activists belonging to the PIR (Parti des Indigènes de la République) are organizing a trial of Bernard-Henri Lévy in the old PCF/CGT stronghold of Saint Denis. Norman Finkelstein and myself are the only non-French who are giving evidence against BHL.  The trial will commence at 6.30pm at the Bourse du Travail de St-Denis. 9-11 rue Génin, Saint Denis. Metro  13 – Porte de Paris.

More of my views on Bernard-Henri Lévy may be found below, but first, the Indictment:

“Order for the  indictment of Bernard-Henri Lévy before the Assize Court, and for  his arrest:

We have determined that whereas investigation has established the following facts concerning the accused:

– His unrelenting promotion of imperialism and Zionism,

– His intellectual fakery, symptom of philosophical nullity amid the accumulation of capital and power,

– His leveling of false accusations and calumnies against Iran,

– His warmongering and advocacy of “humanitarian imperialism,”

– His aiding in the creation and promotion of SOS Racisme to smother autonomous immigration movements,

– His dissemination of false news likely to sow social and eligious discord between Christians and Muslims.

For these reasons, we rule that  there is sufficient evidence against Bernard-Henri Lévy that he  committed such acts, punishable under the Criminal Code, in regard to Articles 175, 176, 181, 183 and 184. We order the indictment of Bernard-Henri Lévy, to be lodged at the Court of Assizes of the department of Seine- Saint-Denis to be tried according to law.”

Executed in Chambers, December 18, 2010.”

I’ve always regarded BHL as a comic figure. On the two occasions — in Berlin and New York– that I’ve shared a platform to debate him he reminded me of a puffed up peacock in heat (hence, I thought, the permanently unbuttonedbhlshirt). In France, however, more than a few citizens find him more sinister than comic. He is the Republic’s most visible and most vain mediatic intellectual. A veritable Tintin no less. Ready for adventures whenever he’s needed to strike a pose. Kabul falls to NATO. Off goes Tintin and returns to inform us that in order to help the Afghans he has launched a new magazine in Kabul.  Its name?Nouvelle Kabul. Of course. How could it be anything else. This was in 2002, but every Afghan I’ve asked swears on the Koran that no such magazine exists, not even in Kabul’s fortified green zone. Was it pure fantasy? Possible. The dividing line between reality and non-reality is never clear when Tintin is involved. I got a strong whiff of this when I reviewed his appalling book on the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl that was largely fantastical. I wrote at the time:

“He has written a strange hybrid of a book about his adventures in Pakistan, a country whose language he doesn’t speak and whose people he seems to hate, despite the last-page invocation of a ‘gentle Islam’, firmly placed in the medieval period and counterposed to the ‘madmen of Peshawar’… Half fiction, a quarter speculation, one-eighth film script (with BHL as himself?) and one-eighth regurgitated newspaper articles, this book gives narcissism a bad name. Is there anything of value in it? I searched in vain, hoping that his ‘diplomatic connections’ might have helped out with some previously unknown facts. Nothing. Given the absence of real content, style becomes all; and it is pure pastiche. At times, ‘my dear Sartre’ is invoked for no apparent reason, except to make it clear that Lévy is the only true heir. At another point, he is reminded of his old tutor at the Ecole Normale:

‘Latent homosexuality. Or, if not, perhaps no sexuality at all, pleasure is a sin, the purpose of relations with a woman is to procreate. Omar [Pearl’s assassin] . . . has probably never slept with a woman . . . he is a 29-year-old virgin. Is this the key to the psychology of Omar? . . . Asexuality, and the will to purity that goes with it, as possible sources of the moral standards of the religion of fundamentalist crime? . . . But I remember, I cannot help but remember, a great French philosopher, Louis Althusser, still a virgin at 30 and who . . . No. Out of bounds, precisely. Because truly blasphemous. And too flattering to Omar.’”

There is nobody quite like him in the States or elsewhere in Europe. Hitchens, in healthier times, could have come close to this status had he been provided a regular column in the NYT and a book show on one of the networks. CH would have had many an advantage, since unlike BHL he can both write and read, though ill-health, sadly, has meant a confused imagination such as detecting a ‘moral core’ in Tony Blair and flattering Ben Ali, the toppled despot of Tunis.

His dominant media position makes BHL a powerful enemy of the Left, of the kids in the banlieues, of anyone who dares question Israel’s moral superiority to everyone else, but especially its victims. He supports most of US policies abroad. Unsurprisingly he arouses a great deal of anger, hatred and contempt.

On  January 28, activists belonging to the PIR (Parti des Indigènes de la République) are organizing a mock trial in the old PCF/CGT stronghold of Saint Denis. Norman Finkelstein and myself are the only non-French who are giving evidence against BHL. It should be good fun. Nobody is quite sure whether Tintin will be in Paris or entertaining the King in his huge villa in Morocco … he should beware the Maghreb now. The times they are a-changing.

Tariq Ali’s latest book “The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad’ was published by Verso last fall.

 

Update: Islamophobic Murderer Goes on Trial

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by loonwatch

Update: Islamophobic Murderer goes on Trial

 

"For What Sin Was she Killed"
“For What Sin Was she Killed”

An update from AlJazeera English on the horrific murder of Marwa Sherbini.

German on Trial for Murder

A man accused of killing a pregnant Egyptian woman in court in a frenzied anti-Islamic attack has gone on trial in Germany in a case that inflamed tempers throughout the Muslim world.

Prosecutors say the defendant, identified as Alex W, stabbed Marwa el-Sherbini, who was wearing a hijab, at least 16 times on July 1, in the same courthouse in the eastern city of Dresden where the trial has opened.

A verdict is expected on November 11.

“In this trial we will try to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding the death of a young woman who was deeply integrated in her family and society,” Wiegand said.

The unemployed defendant, who arrived in Germany from Perm in the Urals in 2003, reportedly struggled with bouts of depression.

El-Sherbini worked as a pharmacist while her husband is a geneticist working on his doctorate in Dresden.

El-Sherbini bled to death at the scene watched by her three-and-a-half-year-old son, Mustafa.

Prosecutors say the attack was motivated by “a pronounced hatred of non-Europeans and Muslims”.

Elwy Ali Okaz, who was stabbed as he tried to protect el-Sherbini, his wife, was then shot in the leg by police who apparently took him for the attacker.

Egyptian anger

Testifying on Monday, Okaz said: “The perpetrator suddenly attacked my wife, he hit her several times and when I tried to help he hit me too.

In video

The case sparked deep anger across the Muslim world

“It was only then that I noticed he had a knife and that he had stabbed her. Then he began stabbing me too.”Okaz said the alleged attacker continued stabbing his wife even after she was on the ground.

Egyptian media quickly dubbed el-Sherbini a martyr and there were huge protests against the murder in countries including Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

Amr El-Kahky, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Cairo, said: “Since the killing of Marwa el-Sherbini in Dresden, every Egpytian has been angry and they are all asking for justice.

“The picture of Marwa el-Sherbini has been published in most of the papers … everyone is waiting to see what this man will plead in the case.”

‘Hated Muslims’

El-Sherbini and the defendant met in August 2008, when she asked him to clear a playground swing where he sat smoking a cigarette so Mustafa could use it.

He refused, calling el-Sherbini an “Islamist”, a “terrorist” and a “whore”. She pressed charges for defamation and he was fined $1,170.

An appeal against the conviction brought them together again in July.

The defendant allegedly plunged an 18cm kitchen knife into the chest, back and arm of el-Sherbini, 31, three months pregnant at the time with her second child.

El-Sherbini was three months pregnant
at the time of her murder [EPA]

“He stabbed them out of pure hatred against non-Europeans and Muslims. He wanted to annihilate them,” Frank Heinrich, a prosecution lawyer, told the court on Monday, where many people were wearing badges with el-Sherbini’s face.

About 200 police officers were on hand as the defendant entered the court in a hooded top and sunglasses, which Birgit Wiegand, the judge, asked him to remove.

He lowered the hood but kept the glasses on, prompting Wiegand to give him a $75 fine.

She threatened him with another fine when he refused to confirm his name or place of birth.

Court psychiatric experts who examined the defendant, who is also charged with attempting to kill Okaz, say they found no evidence of diminished responsibility.

Germany criticised

The attack, and a slow reaction by the German media and political class, sparked accusations of neglectful handling of hate crimes against Muslims.

Thousands also rallied in Dresden in el-Sherbini’s memory.

The Egyptian government on Sunday demanded the maximum sentence under German law, life in prison, for the attack.

Asked what ordinary Egyptians hoped would emerge from the trial, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, Egypt’s ambassador to Germany, said: “This was a heinous crime and they are expecting justice to be administered in a swift way.”

El-Sherbini’s family appeared in Dresden as co-plaintiffs, represented by lawyers hired by the Egyptian government, the Egyptian foreign ministry said, adding that it was “confident in the German justice system’s impartiality”.

Representatives from the prosecutor’s office in her hometown of Alexandria were also in the courtroom, as were Egyptian reporters.