Convicted war criminal tells memorial service NATO targeted civilians

REUTERS/Ivan Milutinović

A former Yugoslav Army general convicted on war crimes charges during the Kosovo war told a gathering on Friday that NATO used banned munitions against civilians in the southern city of Nis in 1999.

Retired General Vladimir Lazarevic told a commemoration on the 22nd anniversary of the deaths of 16 civilians in an air strike in Nis that “the NATO criminals attacked non-existent military units at an open air market and the city university”. The NATO air strikes on May 7, 1999 in the center of Nis near the University and open air market killed 16 civlians, including children and a pregnant woman, and injured 19 civilians. Lazarevic was convicted by the Hague Tribunal for command responsibility as a senior commander of Yugoslav Army forces in Kosovo.

“They went after innocent civilians, women, children, the elderly, an unborn baby, using banned munitions, the deadliest weapon,” the former Pristina Corps commander said. “We wonder when this horrendous crime will be punished when the names of the pilots who killed our fellow citizens are known as are the names of their commanders and mentors – Clinton, Blair, Chirac, Kohl… All those names are in the judgments handed down in FR Yugoslavia for those crimes,” Lazarevic said.