Letter: Secret tribunal unfair to Serbs

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The Independent Online
Sir: The disturbing secrecy surrounding the UN war crimes tribunal was amply demonstrated when the consequence of a "sealed indictment" was the death of Simo Drljaca at the hands of the SAS.

Whilst the tribunal claims itself necessary because Bosnians, especially Serbs, cannot live together until they have accepted the reality of individuals' responsibility for war crimes, refusals by the tribunal to state that anyone has been cleared after investigation promote the idea that anyone and everyone, especially Serbs, can be presumed guilty.

On top of that, a secret list exists, in the hands of the SAS, who are "trained to respond with extreme aggression" according to your report ("Commando's swoop on Serbs", 11 July), which has already led to one death.

As well as secret investigations and secret indictments, the tribunal also has secret witnesses. If the real interest of the tribunal is justice, why all the cloak-and-dagger arrangements? With its ability to make its own rules and act in secret, the tribunal is unlikely to find widespread support in former Yugoslavia. So what is it for?

BILL WOODGER

London N7

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