Greece: Suit Against Journalist For Srebrenica Claims to Go Forward

Skopje | 21 June 2010 | 



The Greek judiciary has decided to go ahead with a libel suit against Greek journalist Takis Michas on charges that he falsely claimed that paramilitaries from the country took part in the massacre in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica during the war there.

The trial against the journalist, who is best known as the author of the book “Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic’s Serbia”, has been set for September 29. In the book he points to what he calls the strong support of the Greek state for the former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

Michas claims that some state actors are unhappy with the journalist’s remarks, which differ from the official Greek depiction of events.

“Although nominally the judges act independently from the government one can be sure that the decision to bring the case to trial was taken with the full approval of the Greek”deep-state”,” Michas says.

The libel suit was filed in July last year by Stavros Vitalis, a spokesman for the ultra nationalist party Panhellenic Macedonian Front. Vitalis is one of the leading Greek volunteers who have admitted taking part in the Bosnian war on the side of the Serbian forces.

Vitalis claims that he has been libeled because the journalist described the Greek volunteers as “paramilitaries who took part in the slaughter in Srebrenica” when according to him their cause in Bosnia was “to help a people [i.e. Serbs]”.

Vitalis says that the Greek volunteers were in good standing with the Serb army, fighting under the command of the then Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, and they just happened to be in Srebrenica around the time when the notorious massacre happened.

Mladic is one of the two remaining fugitives wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, ICTY, on war crimes charges, including genocide in Srebrenica.

The notorious massacre, described as one of the most horrible atrocities since the Second World War, took place in July 1995 when the Bosnian Serb Army under Mladic’s command entered the town and killed some 8,000 Bosniak men and boys. An additional 30,000 Bosnian Muslims were expelled from the area.

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