A legal team is being put together in order to file lawsuits against NATO countries that took part in the 1999 bombing of Serbia. The team of experts is led by Mr Srdjan Aleksic, a well known Nis-based lawyer. The legal team will put together cases backed by firm material evidence, collected from medical documents that indicate a causal relationship between NATO's use of (depleted) uranium ammunition, and the increased number of cancer cases in Serbia. Mr Aleksic is visiting Melbourne for few days and he has joind us to talk about his initiative in more details.
"Between 10 and 15 tons of uranium have been dropped on the territory of then Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). The number of those ill with cancer is alarming. 2.5 percent of Serbia's population is diagnosed with malignant diseases each year, i.e., 33,000 people. One child is diagnosed every day. Since 1999, the number of cancer patients has grown five times. The population is falling ill on a mass scale, especially in southern Serbia and in Kosovo and Metohija," Aleksic said.
He stressed that during the aggression, so-called hazard facilities - chemical and petrochemical industry sites - have also been targeted, although this is prohibited by international law of war.
"Our prominent scientists, doctors, oncologists - who have been researching this for years - will take part in preparing the lawsuits. The fact that a court in Italy found the state guilty for sending their Carabinieri to Kosovo and Metohija, to locations attacked with depleted uranium, speaks in favor of the veracity of our claim. 45 soldiers got cancer, and Italy has been paying big damages for this.Our claim is based precisely on this - that even the soldiers who took part in the aggression have gotten sick, and that their countries have been paying damages because of this," says Aleksic.
According to Aleksic, "it is very important to study and prepare the lawsuits well" - because some others filed against NATO members have been thrown out in the meantime.
There is also a documentary filmed with the support of Serbian lawyer Srdjan Aleksic, whose native village in southern Serbia was bombed during the NATO bombing campaign. As a result, the region’s environment was contaminated with depleted uranium. Aleksic’s mother, just like dozens of his fellow villages, friends and relatives, died of cancer several years after the bombing, his father was also diagnosed with a malicious tumor.
"The "Uranium-238. My story" documentary tells about NATO bombings and the radioactive pollution of Serbia’s southern regions and the territory of Kosovo and Metohija which were considered environmentally pristine prior to the attack," Aleksaic said.