Victim/Witness Counselling and Legal Representation: a Model of Support – Project implementation report
In the period following the toppling of Slobodan Milošević, the transitional government supported domestic war crimes trials, but it soon became clear that serious impediments existed. Police was not willing to share its data on war crimes perpetrators with prosecutors, primarily because most of them belonged to the police. On the other hand, prosecutors and judges were not able to secure victims’ participation in war crimes trials because of their mistrust in Serbian institutions.
The new trial of Saša Cvjetan before the Belgrade District Court is the first for war crimes in Kosovo in which ethnic Albanians have testified in a Serbian court. But, as in the case of a military trial of a Yugoslav Army captain and two privates for the murder of two Kosovo Albanians, the victims remained mostly unidentified. Prosecutors here obviously do not see themselves as representing the victims and do not go to the trouble of establishing their names. This, sadly, indicates that the names of Albanian victims do not matter to us in Serbia.