Based on the 2,000 hours of tape from the court proceedings and an additional 250 hours of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, the film provides an overview of the four year long trial of former president Slobodan Milosevic before the international tribunal in the Hague. The case was controversial from the beginning, Milosevic being the first sitting head of state to be indicted by an international court. The trial itself proved dramatic when Milosevic refused to be represented by counsel and later died in prison shortly before the conclusion of the trial. Through the juxtaposition of the trial proceedings with location footage from the former Yugoslavia and interviews with the people involved with the case, most notably prosecutor Geoffrey Nice and Milosevic-loyal lawyer Dragoslav Ognjanovic, the film offers a rare background view of the case. Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
The climax of this is without a doubt the Obrad Stevanovic segment which is the "gotcha" moment when Milosevic has been effectively checkmated by the prosecution. What a pity that this effect was achieved by doctoring the footage.
Stevanovic was a general in the Serbian Ministry of the Interior Police and the issue was his diary that described a meeting having to do with the war in Kosovo. Specifically, the diary contained the line "no bodies, no crimes". According to the trial transcript, he says...
"At that meeting...one of the representatives of the security forces, whether it was the military or the civilian security, I don't know, warned against perfidious action by terrorists, namely that they are removing the corpses of their victims and the casualties of anti-terrorist actions only to gather them again later and place them in mass graves in order to blame these mass graves later on Serbian forces."
Unfortunately, he is made to say "the military or the civilian security, I don't know in effect that they are removing the corpses of their victims and the casualties of anti-terrorist actions only to gather them again later and place them in mass graves in order to blame these mass graves later on Serbian forces."
Then they claim that Stevanovic commanded an armed group called the Skorpions and they show them shooting people supposedly as part of the Srebrenica massacre.
They don't show that Milosevic proved in reexamination that Skorpions were under RS Krajina command, and that the shootings in the video happened nowhere near Srebrenica.
This trial footage ends with Judge Robinson chewing Milosevic out during the Stevanovic reexamination and ending it. It does not explain the reason for that, which was that Milosevic was using the issue of Srebrenica in order to push his government's contention that the massacre was the work of the 10th Sabotage Detachment under foreign control. The judges wanted to cut off this line of questioning, Milosevic then asked the witness a question about it, and then the judge snapped.
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