International Legal Team sue NATO Member-States for 1999 Attack on Serbia
A legal team is being put together in order to file lawsuits against NATO countries that took part in the 1999 bombing of Serbia.
These countries will be sued for material and non-material damage inflicted on individual citizens.
The forming of the team has been proposed by the Serbian Royal Academy and is planned to bring together the best lawyers from Serbia, but also from EU states, Russia, China, and India. The team of experts will be led by Srdjan Aleksic, a well known Nis-based lawyer.
“We will sue NATO member-states, participants in the 1999 aggression on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The 20 countries that directly or indirectly took part in the aggression. The lawsuits will be filed against individual member-states of the alliance,” Aleksic explained.
The legal process will not take place before the International Court of Justice – but in each of the sued countries, individually.
“We consider their courts to have jurisdiction, because these countries have violated, above all, Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, that prohibits aggression against any country. NATO has violated Articles 5 and 6 of its own statute, because it is a defensive, not an offensive alliance. International law has been breached, above all those conventions prohibiting aggression and use of force against a sovereign country,” he continued.
The legal team will put together nearly 20 cases backed by firm material evidence, collected from medical documents that indicate a causal relationship between NATO’s use of (depleted) uranium ammunition, and the increased number of cancer cases in Serbia.
“Between 10 and 15 tons of uranium have been dropped on the territory of then Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). The number of those ill with cancer is alarming. 2.5 percent of Serbia’s population is diagnosed with malignant diseases each year, i.e., 33,000 people. One child is diagnosed every day. Since 1999, the number of cancer patients has grown five times. The population is falling ill on a mass scale, especially in southern Serbia and in Kosovo and Metohija,” Aleksic said.
He stressed that during the aggression, so-called hazard facilities – chemical and petrochemical industry sites – have also been targeted, although this is prohibited by international law of war.
“Our prominent scientists, doctors, oncologists – above all Dr. Danica Grujicic and toxicologist Radomir Kovacevic, who have been researching this for years – will take part in preparing the lawsuits. The fact that a court in Italy found the state guilty for sending their Carabinieri to Kosovo and Metohija, to locations attacked with depleted uranium, speaks in favor of the veracity of our claim. 45 soldiers got cancer, and Italy has been paying big damages for this. Between EUR 200,000 and 1.2 million per soldier. Our claim is based precisely on this – that even the soldiers who took part in the aggression have gotten sick, and that their countries have been paying damages because of this. There is a soldier in Great Britain who was in contact with uranium in Serbia, and there is a ruling ordering Britain to pay damages to him,” says Aleksic.
The lawsuits will also cover the consequences of NATO’s use of cluster bombs, that resulted in the deaths of a great number of people, and the bombing of chemical and petrochemical facilities, that resulted in large oil and gasoline spills.
According to Aleksic, “it is very important to study and prepare the lawsuits well” – because some others filed against NATO members have been thrown out in the meantime.