In response to lawsuits filed by victims of the bombing of Serbia in 1999 and use of depleted uranium, the NATO responded that it has legal immunity according to the agreement with the Serbian government in 2005, said Serbian attorney Srđan Aleksić for RIA Novosti.

The Serbian attorney had earlier said to RIA Novosti that two new lawsuits against the NATO had been filed by the victims of the bombing with depleted uranium in 1999. The first of those individual lawsuits against the NATO was filed on January 20, 2021. The Serbian attorney is being assisted by Italian attorney Tartaglia, who successfully represented the interests of Italian soldiers and has won over 260 court decisions that have already taken effect.

“In response to the court, the NATO Liaison Office in Serbia pointed out that it has full immunity under the jurisdiction of Serbia per their agreement with the country of Serbia and Montenegro about ‘participation in transit and support for peacekeeping operations’ from 2005 and the contract from 2006 establishing the Liaison Office in Belgrade,” said Aleksić.

“But neither of these agreements grants immunity to the NATO as an organization, and the immunity may not be applied retroactively. Therefore, the NATO cannot receive immunity for war crimes against the civilian population and unlawful aggression per the 2005 agreement. In our case of bombing with depleted uranium which resulted in civilian, military and police casualties, the NATO is responsible for the infringement of the right to life and the damage inflicted,” stressed the Serbian attorney.

Aleksić is now awaiting a court date for the first hearing on the lawsuits of the High Court in Belgrade, probably in the fall.

On September 21, 2000, the District Court in Belgrade found United States General Wesley Clark and former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana guilty of war crimes during the aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. However, after the President of FR Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević was removed in October 2000, the new pro-Western government in the country reconsidered the verdict, and in the fall of 2001 the Supreme Court of Serbia overturned the war crimes verdict against the NATO leadership.

Per Serbian media, Serbia now holds the top spot in the number of cancer patients in Europe — 40,000 new cases are diagnosed per year, and about 30,000 residents of the seven-million-strong country die every year of oncological diseases.