Notify me of new HIR pieces!

HIR mailing list

The Freezer Truck Hoax
How NATO framed the Serbs

Historical and Investigative Research - 2 Dec 2005;
by Francisco Gil-White


1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9

  There was never an investigation


As we have seen, Captain Karleusa, the policeman in charge of 'investigating' the freezer truck allegations, says repeatedly that his investigation has determined nothing. That's when he knows enough to give an answer, because he often appears woefully ignorant, despite the fact that he was the man in charge.

But this makes perfect sense, because there never was an investigation.

In a real investigation, witnesses are deposed, which means they are made to put their written signature on what they claim happened. If a witness has not signed anything, then, under cross-examination, they can just claim that they never said X or Y. That is why the police takes depositions.

I should note that deposing witnesses is the barest minimum that one expects in a police investigation. One hopes other information will be obtained as well, of course, but this is the minimum.

Guess how many alleged witnesses Karleusa deposed? That's right: not one.

He was charged with investigating the most serious accusation imaginable: war crimes. And yet he did not depose a single witness.

What Karleusa actually did was write ‘summaries’ of what he claims the various ‘witnesses’ said, and he wrote these summaries up in a report. But he did not even sign these summaries himself. Nobody committed his or her individual signature to these ‘summaries’ which were authored jointly by the several people in the ‘working group’ supposedly charged with the ‘investigation.’[1] This means, of course, that nobody is making him or herself individually responsible for any of these supposed second-hand testimonies.

It all betrays a certain nervousness, doesn't it?

Here is Milosevic cross-examining Karleusa on his 'summaries':

[Quotation From Hague Tribunal Transcript]

MILOSEVIC: All right. When you took statements from various people, you did not really take anything in writing or, rather, did you not take signed statements. Why not?

KARLEUSA: Because it was our assessment that we should work this way.  Later, if necessary, statements could have been taken subsequently in the form stipulated by Article 151 on the Law on Criminal Procedure. We decided to do that by way of Official Notes because this was police working material.

MILOSEVIC: So it is your testimony that you are giving here only on the basis of police working materials.


[Quotation Ends Here]

In a Western court of law, it is not even admissible to submit a deposition as evidence without also presenting the witness. Why? Because it must be possible for the other side to challenge the testimony under cross-examination. If The Hague Tribunal had allowed depositions without witnesses this would already be a grave miscarriage of justice.

But the Hague Tribunal went much further, in fact.

The Hague Tribunal allowed Karleusa -- the policeman -- to testify in lieu of his alleged witnesses! And this, despite the fact that he lacked even signed depositions from them, and despite the fact that he himself did not take individual responsibility for his ‘summaries’ of ‘testimonies,’ which are not the same thing as written testimonies. In fact, Karleusa said he had not even been present at all of the interviews...

The Hague allowed hearsay -- which presented itself as hearsay -- to function as ‘evidence.’

Alas! What is inadmissible everywhere else is standard practice at The Hague. But that makes sense, after all, because The Hague Tribunal is owned and run by NATO, and its purpose is not to conduct a legal trial, much less a fair trial, but to ‘convict’ Milosevic.

And it likewise makes sense, after all, that Karleusa never conducted an investigation. He was appointed by Interior Minister Mihajlovic, the man who also sent Vitomirovic to plant the article in order to frame Milosevic. These people are all in the same club, plotting together. Therefore, it just would not do for Karleusa to actually investigate anything.

What is Slobodan Milosevic doing at the Hague? 

Let us recapitulate

1) A tiny magazine made an allegation about a freezer truck full of dead Albanians.

2) That magazine, it turns out, is owned by Dragan Vitomirovic, member of the State Security Service.

3) It also turns out that Vitomirovic was ordered to make the allegation by Mihajlovic, who heads the Security Service of the government that NATO installed in Serbia.

4) That government was under pressure from NATO to hand over Milosevic to the Hague Tribunal.

5) The allegation rests on what that magazine claims Zivadin Djordjevic, diver, said.

6) But Djordjevic denies he was properly quoted.

7) His denials were not investigated (in fact, were never even mentioned again).

8) The accusations, which alleged that 50 bodies had been dumped, truck-and-all, in the river Danube, were built on what this diver had supposedly said (but which he denied).

9) The truck was never found, and neither were the bodies, nor were any other trucks found.

10) But each truck that didn't surface became a new accusation, until we were talking about whole convoys of trucks, hauling thousands of bodies, and being thrown with their cargo into rivers and lakes, then recovered, the bodies buried, then unearthed and reburied... (?!)

11) Nobody ever found these supposed mass graves.

12) But since 'relatives' of the nonexistent bodies woke up from their two-year amnesia to vouch for the story for the first time, and miraculously just in time to coincide with NATO's demands that Milosevic be sent to The Hague, the media presented the story as valid and repeated it a million times.

13) Not once did the media pause to examine the fact that -- even in its own terms -- the story was hopelessly absurd. Rather, they embellished the story with one new absurdity after another.

14) As a result, Milosevic was illegally abducted, in defiance of a Serbian Supreme Court ruling, and handed over to the destroyers of civilian Serbia, who would now pretend to sit in judgment of the Serbs, their victims.

15) Much later we were told that some dead bodies had been unearthed from some mass graves. But one and a half years later the man in charge of the freezer-truck investigation, Dragan Karleusa, testified at Milosevic's trial that the graves were not dated, the manner of death was not determined, the origin of the bodies was not ascertained, and the bodies were not identified. He also stated the obvious: there was no reason to think these bodies came from that truck, nor was it clear where they did come from. Did these supposed bodies even exist?

16) Instead of presenting evidence, Captain Karleusa testified in lieu of his alleged 'witnesses,' from whom not even one signed deposition had been taken, as he confessed himself during cross-examination. He explained, by the way, that he did not know much about his own investigation.

17) The Hague Tribunal thus saw zero evidence to support the freezer-truck allegations. Since the allegations were meant to explain the embarrassing fact that NATO had found no bodies of Albanians massacred by the Serbs, NATO is left with nothing. Nothing at all.

The man on the stand is Slobodan Milosevic. His plight calls to mind that of one Joseph K.

[From Franz Kafka's 'The Trial']

"There can be no doubt - " said K... "there can be no doubt that behind all the actions of this court of justice, that is to say in my case, behind my arrest and today's interrogation, there is a great organization at work. An organization which not only employs corrupt warders, oafish Inspectors, and Examining Magistrates..., but also has at its disposal a judicial hierarchy of high, indeed of the highest rank, with an indispensable and numerous retinue of servants, clerks, police, and other assistants, perhaps even hangmen, I do not shrink from that word. And the significance of this great organization, gentlemen? It consists in this, that innocent persons are accused of guilt, and absurd proceedings are put in motion against them..."

[Quotation Ends Here]

But Milosevic is not Joseph K., for whereas Joseph K. was accused as an individual, Slobodan Milosevic stands trial for the entire Serbian people, who have been unjustly slandered and maligned.

Moreover, Joseph K. was caught in a world where literally everything was absurdly surreal, including K.'s stubborn fight for justice, which was a bit ridiculous since nobody around him could even understand the concept. But we don't have to surrender reason to absurdity. If we choose not to, then we have to tell the truth about the Serbs.

They are innocent.

Ultimately, it is really we who are on trial at The Hague. And what will be the verdict on Western civilization? Those who have put the Serbs on trial have belittled and scorned all of the principles of constitutionality, equality under the law, presumption of innocence, journalistic integrity, international jurisprudence, and common decency that Western civilization at its best can and should embody.

These principles will not survive by themselves; they will survive if we fight for them, and only then.


Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] Court Transcript for Tuesday, 22 July 2002

[2] Court Transcript for Tuesday, 23 July 2002; pp.8417





























































































































Notify me of new HIR pieces!

HIR mailing list