Džefri Najs: New Targets of “ postcolonial “ justice

By Milos M. Milojevic

Article translated from Serbian into English

At the beginning of the 2000s, the figure of Džefri Najs, a British lawyer and prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, became a recognizable symbol of the neo-colonial implementation of the so-called international justice. Now the veteran, seventy-six-year-old Najs is seeking to expand his reach: announcing the prosecution of Russian and Chinese officials. It is not difficult to determine that behind this legal and media machinery are easily discernible geopolitical interests.

Najs has not been outside the sphere of the Serbian public in recent years either. Namely, in 2018, the Mechanism for International Criminal Courts, the successor of the Hague Tribunal, handed down a second-instance verdict against Vojislav Šešelj to ten years in prison. The president of the Serbian Radical Party was already at large at the time (since the end of 2014) and after the parliamentary elections in 2016, in which his party received over 8 percent of support, he became a deputy. Najs then made statements in an extensive media campaign advocating the removal of Seselj’s parliamentary mandate and his exclusion from the National Assembly. Najs complained that “it is a mystery in the name of what specific political and geopolitical goals the Western powers show such tolerance towards Serbia, which does not want to face its wartime past and, in this particular case, why it is acting illegally by allowing Seselj to continue to be Minister”.

The unsubstantiated insistence that Serbia enjoys special favor from the West is commonplace in Najs’s appearances: although he was the prosecutor in the Slobodan Milosevic case, which ended with Milošević’s death in 2006, Najs looked back on the subsequent trials of Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić, unhappy that the prosecution did not insist to a greater extent on the establishment of alleged connections between the leadership of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska (link). In 2011, Najs advocated that Bosnia and Herzegovina should again sue Serbia for genocide (link), after the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled in 2007 that the FRY was not responsible for the alleged genocide in Srebrenica, but that it was responsible for not doing everything what is in her power to prevent that crime. On the other hand, when the Prosecutor’s Office in BiH filed an indictment against ten high-ranking political, police and military officials for the massacre in Dobrovoljačka Street in Sarajevo on May 3, 1992, Najs assessed it as “surprising, to say the least.”

Later, Najs joined in challenging the legitimacy of the Special Court, established to try the accused leaders of the so-called The KLA and the defense of one of the leaders of the Kosovo Albanians, Hashim Thaci. You will find out the financial reasons why Najs was so motivated to defend Thaci in the rest of the text. In November 2019, the Džefri Najs Foundation and the Center for Human Rights held a press conference where Self-Determination Party leader Albin Kurti and Džefri Najs spoke. “The legitimacy of the Special Court must be questioned to the end,” Najs said on that occasion. According to him, in the report of the Swiss politician Dick Marty, who collected incriminating data on the trafficking of Kosovo Serb organs, “there are no facts about crimes committed by Albanians” (link).

Najs’s connections with the Kosovo Albanian leadership were established after his criticism of the Dick Marty report. Petrit Seljimi, who was then Minister of Foreign Affairs in the separatist Pristina government, offered Džefri Najs to work for the Kosovo government. According to Najs’s later reports, this arrangement involved the preparation of a documentary database that would be used in the defense of Kosovo Albanian leaders before the Special Court for War Crimes in Kosovo. Najs was also engaged as Kosovo’s representative at the negotiations in Brussels with the EU on the Law on Rules of Procedure and Collection of Evidence before the Special Court and on the Host Country Agreement. Najs’s cooperation with one of the leaders of the KLA, Hashim Thaci, was not idyllic: in a letter, Najs accused Thaci of owing him half a million euros for various services. You can see the letters at this link.

In order to get that huge payout from Hashim Thaci, Najs wrote a letter asking for money, only to write another letter with a threatening tone after not responding. At the beginning of the letter, Džefri Najs brags about how he led the case against Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague, and how he was aware of the need to “influence the work of the Hague Tribunal” whenever possible. He further admits that, as a prosecutor, he influenced the fact that Hashim Thaci was not tried at the Hague Tribunal, despite the pressure that existed. Najs claims that later based on this, he provided highly confidential information to Hashim Thaci’s defense (this in itself constitutes the crime of abuse of office). As part of his credits for Hashim Thaci, Džefri Najs cites the fight to discredit Dick Marty’s report on the organ trafficking of kidnapped Serbs in Kosovo. After the successful completion of the job, Hashim Thaci contacted him on behalf of the government of so-called “Kosovo” and offered him to work for so-called “Kosovo”, in accordance with the financial calculation that he himself points out in the letter. Further, the letter mentions a whole series of services provided by Džefri Najs, such as promoting Hashim Thaci in the media in the EU, organizing lectures, creating an archive of documents. At the end of the document, there is an invoice of almost half a million euros, with unpaid bills. What is specific, related to these revealed documents, is that D. Najs threatens Hashim Thaci in them, that he will go public if he is not paid the figure for the said action. Najs, writing to the subordinates of Hashim Thaci, he exposed him in a way directly, as a warning of what he can do in the worst case, and because of that he got the money mentioned in the end. Najs’s threats are based on the idea that his work is very important and could damage the already bad reputation of Hashim Thaci, who is his client. That act shows the unscrupulousness of the mercenary mind of Najs, who clearly lacks basic legal ethics.

Just cooperating with proven war criminals and participating in the campaign to wash the biography of the leader of the KLA, shows the transactional nature of Najs’s personality, who is ready to do anything for the sake of money. These letters show the real truth about the lobbying of representatives of the West for KLA leaders, which is heavily greased with suspicious money. Money plays a very important role in the behind-the-scenes actions in the Balkans, in which Džefri Najs has been one of the main actors for a long time. In the last case, human lives and justice are irrelevant, for that class of people, it’s just a profitable business. One of the interesting details from the letter is that Najs brags about his interview with “Jutarnji list”, where he accuses Serbia of genocide, implying that he should be paid for such accusations. It is a morally very dangerous precedent, which creates the foundations for a future industry of genocide accusations, where potentially every sovereign state that does not correspond to the West will be accused of genocide. People like Najs represent the architects of the future direction of the hybrid war in the campaign against the countries of the global South. In the letter, Najs boasts that the organ trafficking charges are, he says, “too complex” to defend against without his services, an implicit admission that he participated in the cover-up of evidence. Words have no meaning, nor does truth exist, when it is served by people who are ready to do anything for money. Regardless of these disputes, Džefri Najs soon became Hashim Thaci’s defender before the Special Court. He is also the representative of Sami Ljuštaku, the commander of the so-called KLA for the Drenica operational zone.

The pearls of Najs’s rich career continue to be found far beyond the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Namely, he is among the founders of two quasi-legal-political organizations focused on the alleged crimes of the Chinese government – the “Chinese Tribunal” and the “Uyghur Tribunal”. The “Chinese Tribunal” was initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China. The seat of the “tribunal” is in London and Najs was appointed as the chairman. This quasi-judicial instance held two public hearings, in December 2018 and April 2019, with the aim of “gathering evidence” on the alleged practice of the Chinese government to forcibly remove organs from people without their consent. The “Uyghur Tribunal”, on the other hand, is described as an “independent people’s court”. It is also based in the United Kingdom. It is also chaired by none other than Džefri Najs. The declared goal of the “tribunal” is to determine whether the actions of the Chinese authorities towards the Uyghur population can be defined as “genocide”.

These quasi-judicial instances have no foundation in international norms, nor is their jurisdiction accepted by any country. Rather, it could be said that it is a question of extensive media-lobbying operations, which in the future should have an impact on the public opinion of Western countries and the policy of Western governments towards China and Russia.

It should not be surprising that, after some time – similar to the experience with the judgments of the Hague Tribunal – the findings of such “courts” will become sanctified and judicially protected “truth”, at least for those political centers that established them and from the very beginning unequivocally determined the direction of their work. To the rest of the world, the fall of Najs’s career as a clerk of an imaginary private “court” will be even less impressive than its heyday achieved in previous decades in The Hague. And to make matters worse, his current “court” is an ordinary NGO, without the support of even a part of the international community, which is a parasite on the reputation of the Hague Tribunal, a discredited institution. People like Džefri Najs are only tools of the West, in achieving geopolitical goals, but that is precisely why their work should be carefully monitored and their malicious actions prevented.

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