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To: A. Pole; mark502inf

The latest version about Racak from January 17th, 2004.

Racak was a Lie

The following article shows that the so-called massacre at Racak in Kosovo five years ago was an invention of the U.S. "ambassador" William Walker and the imperialist media to attempt to justify the planned military attack on Yugoslavia.

No interest on Serb victims

Markus Bickel
Berliner Zeitung
January 17, 2004

Finnish pathologist Helena Ranta said the work of the Hague tribunal regarding the so-called Racak massacre was incomprehensible. The former head of the forensic team the European Union sent to the Kosovo-Albanian village of Racak in January 1999 to investigate the events there, in a conversation with Berliner Zeitung, criticized the UN tribunal for not following up the evidence that there was heavy fighting between Serb soldiers and the Kosovo-Albanian fighters during the night of January 15-16, 1999 in the Racak-region.

Western politicians used the tragedy in the village of Racak, where 40 Albanians died exactely 5 years ago, to prove to the public that the upcoming NATO attack on Yugoslavia was necessary.

US diplomat William Walker played the leading role. The chief of the OSCE mission in Kosovo immediately accused the Serbs of having killed 45 unarmed Albanian civilians at close range in Racak. The Serbian side rejected this interpretation und spoke instead about KLA soldiers killed in battle.

Pictures not published

She knew, that at that time "KLA-fighters were buried around Racak," said Ranta. "At that time I received information that proved that several Serb soldiers had been killed as well. Unfortunately, we will never know the exact number of Serb soldiers that died that night." It would be appropriate "to ask the tribunal why they are not interested in that number."

Ranta criticized the indictment against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in the case of Racak for mostly following the Walker version. "When Ambassador Walker said that there was a massacre at Racak, this statement had no legal value. I declared at that time that the OSCE-observers forgot to take all steps necessary to secure a crime scene: isolating the area, refusing admission to all unauthorized persons and collecting all material evidence.

Ranta demanded that in addition to the OSCE pictures the tribunal also use the pictures taken by two additional photographers, shot several hours prior to the arrival of OCSE-observers.

The pictures show "that at least one of the bodies was moved afterwards â?" that body is not seen on OSCE-pictures."

Left in the lurch

In the days prior to the NATO-attack on Yugoslavia it was clear "that a bunch of governments were interested in a version of Racak that blamed only the Serb side," said Ranta. "But I could not provide this version."

Her instructions came from the German diplomat Pauls. The representative of the then-German EU-presidency asked for a written statement. "Afterwards, I had to show these personal statements to William Walker, who was obviously not amused when he read it." Still, she agreed to take part in the important press conference on March 17, 1999. "At that (conference), I was sitting with the German ambassador to Belgrade, Gruber, and a Finnish diplomat on the podium. I hoped that those gentlemen would support me." But that was not the case. "I rather had the feeling that I was left in the lurch," said Ranta.

As a result of the Walker dominated press-conference most of the media accepted the version of a Serb massacre of Albanian civilians as proven. A few days later the NATO-air attacks on Yugoslavia began.

(Translated from German by C.Schuetz & J.Catalinotto)

100 posted on 06/01/2004 7:09:39 AM PDT by Jane_N (Truth, like in the eyes of the beholder!)
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To: Jane_N

The International Action Committee is not a source of information you would want to associate yourself with.

imperialist media

At least not if you're serious about being taken seriously.

Are you serious? And why did you, not a week ago, confirm that you were of the opinion that a massacre had taken place at Racak only to post this trash this week?

Which is it?

101 posted on 06/01/2004 12:02:02 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Jane_N
You really ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Human Rights Watch investigation finds: Yugoslav Forces Guilty of War Crimes in Racak, Kosovo  -- Human Rights Watch, January 29, 1999
The Ghost Village -- Gordana Igric, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, February 1, 1999
The Racak Case in the Belgrade Media -- Helsinki Watch, February 1999
Report of the EU Forensic Expert Team on the Racak Incident Statement of Dr. Ranta, March 17, 1999
Racak killings 'crime against humanity' -- BBC, March 17, 1999
Dr. Helena Ranta: "They were unarmed civilians." -- BBC Interview with Dr. Ranta, March 17, 1999 (Audio)
Orla Guerin reports: "Hundreds were needed to carry the coffins." -- BBC, March 17, 1999 (Audio)
Report: Kosovo killings "crime against humanity" -- CNN, March 17, 1999
Racak Report Finds Serbs Guilty -- The Guardian, March 18, 1999
Kosovo: The Crime of Racak  -- Society for Threatened Peoples (Germany), March 18, 1999
War Crimes Indictment of Milosevic and others, Section 66 (a) -- May 22, 1999 (Amended October 16, 2001)
KOSOVO / KOSOVA: As Seen, As Told (Part V) OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission, July 1999
Raçak - Mutation of a Massacre -- Peter Wuttke, November 18, 1999 (Translated March 2002)
The Work of the Forensic Expert Team (Executive Summary)
  -- July 2000
Independent forensic autopsies in an armed conflict: investigation of the victims from Racak, Kosovo
-- Forensic Science International, February 2001
The Bloodbath in Racak was a Massacre -- NRC Handelsblad, March 10, 2001
FAIR Misrepresents the Racak Massacre
-- Roger Lippman, April 30, 2001
NEW The Kosovo Verification Mission at Racak -- Alex J. Bellamy, 2002
Milosevic Challenged by Racak Survivors -- Gordana Igric, IWPR, February 18, 2002
Tribunal Judges Restrict Racak Evidence --
Mirko Klarin, IWPR, May 27, 2002
Somebody has to do this job -- Bernhard Odehnal, Weltwoche, June 20, 2002

Finnish investigator Helena Ranta to testify at Milosevic trial -- Helsingin Sanomat, November 26, 2002
Helena Ranta's Testimony at The Hague - Transcript March 12, 2003
Expert Testifies Racak Not Staged Coalition for International Justice, March 12, 2003
Helena Ranta testifies at Milosevic trial in The Hague -- Helsingin Sanomat, March 13, 2003

102 posted on 06/01/2004 12:50:59 PM PDT by GeraldP ("Non-violence never solved anything." - Homer)
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To: Jane_N; A. Pole
A. Pole, I included you as Jane addressed her post to both of us.

Jane, I understand it is an article of faith among many that “Racak was a lie,” but the issue should be decided on facts, not faith. Perhaps your article lost something in the translation, but there are no new facts in it. And, more importantly, there is nothing in the article that refutes the central charge at Racak, that Serb forces murdered Albanian non-combatants. The article breathlessly reports that there was fighting in Racak, that there were Serb casualties, an Albanian body was moved, and that KLA fighters are buried near-by. None of that is new—it has all been reported before and can be read in the ICTY transcripts as well as in Gerald’s post above and my previous post.

Even Dr. Ranta’s reluctance to use the word massacre was reported years ago—she says it is a legal term and it was not her role to make such judgments: "The Racak events have been described as a 'massacre,'" the [Dr. Ranta’s] report said. "However, such a conclusion does not fall within the competence of the European Union forensic team or any other person having participated solely in the investigation of the bodies. The term 'massacre' ... is a legal description of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of persons as judged from comprehensive analysis of all available information."

Some other Dr. Ranta quotes quotes:

...the killing of dozens of unarmed ethnic Albanian civilians in Kosovo in January was a "crime against humanity."

the bodies in the gully “were most likely shot where found.”

"There were no indications of the people being other than unarmed civilians," (same link as above)

And also from the link above, a conclusion of the forensic team was: From the pattern of bullet wounds, clothing and possessions on the victims, the pathologists found no reason to conclude they were killed accidentally or were members of the KLA.

Perhaps it was just slow news day in Berlin, but there is nothing new in the Zeitunger article and there is certainly nothing in there to prove that “Racak was a lie.”

103 posted on 06/01/2004 2:12:23 PM PDT by mark502inf
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