The immunity that the NATO is invoking in the case of the two lawsuits filed in the High Court in Belgrade against the Alliance due to the aggression in 1999 on the behalf of cancer patients is a completely failed justification. I am under the impression that they misunderstood what it was about, or that they have a bad legal team, believes attorney Goran Petronijević.

As a guest on the Morning Show at RTRS, Petronijević pointed out that the NATO as a legal entity believes that it has an immunity against criminal prosecution and is invoking the provisions of the agreement they made with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 2005, and signed by the then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Drašković.

“This agreement granted immunity to NATO soldiers who cannot be held responsible before our courts for felonies committed on the territory of Serbia. This is now a civil suit for the damage caused as a result of the use of prohibited combat means. I am under the impression that they misunderstood what it was about, or that they have a bad legal team,” said Petronijević.

Petronijević said that this is in a way encouraging, seeing as it is the first time that the NATO has gotten into a court case.

Until now, the NATO never paid any attention to this kind of thing. This time, they spoke out and said that they have immunity and that they have the passive legitimacy to be the defendant in a dispute, said the attorney.

For the time being, he pointed out, there are two lawsuits that are being processed, and they serve as “trial balloons” of sorts, to see how the Serbian judiciary will react.

Petronijević also added that the citizens from the Republic of Srpska whose towns were shelled are also entitled to file suit against the NATO, but, according to him, the verdicts before the judiciary in Serbia should come first.

“That is the right way forward, keeping in mind the experiences of the Italians. In that case, that would pose serious encouragement. Still, we also ought to keep in mind the status of the Bosnia and Herzegovina judiciary, that is, the judiciary in Srpska, which is currently faced with significant pressure from the outside,” pointed out Petronijević.

Petronijević reminded that the Italian soldiers were stationed in Kosovo, where the majority of the missiles with depleted uranium were dropped. And thanks to the Italian veterans associations, scientific research and medical findings, it was determined that there was a direct connection between the Italian soldiers’ stay on soil that had been contaminated with depleted uranium and the diseases that they presented with.

The soldiers sued Italy and the NATO, and won in the proceedings against both the country and the Alliance.