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Serbian Lawyer Expects Hearing on NATO Usage of Depleted Uranium in Yugoslavia by Year's End

© AP Photo / Dimitri MessinisBombing of Belgrade by NATO forces
Bombing of Belgrade by NATO forces - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.03.2023
BELGRADE (Sputnik) - The first hearing of a case against NATO over the 1999 depleted uranium bombing in Yugoslavia is expected to take place at the Higher Court in Belgrade by year's end, Srdjan Aleksic, a lawyer representing a Yugoslavian officer who died from cancer caused by depleted uranium munitions, told Sputnik.
The lawsuit against the alliance was filed on behalf of the officer at the Belgrade court in January 2021. NATO refused to participate in the legal process, saying that it had immunity under the agreement with Serbia, according to Aleksic.
The lawyer said that since then he had received official health check results of the officer, showing that the level of depleted uranium found in the officer's body was 500 times higher than normal.
"So, we have material evidence. The plaintiff has died, and the process continues on behalf of his widow," Aleksic said.
"I expect the first hearing [in court] by the year's end. NATO representatives do not want to appear, but the court could reach a verdict without their participation at first instance. We demand a compensation for the family of the victim."
The exact date of the hearing is yet to be set and expected to be announced in the near future, the lawyer added.
Last year, Aleksic filed two more lawsuits against NATO from two victims of the airstrikes with depleted uranium shells.
An unidentified Serb woman inspects debris of her home, destroyed in NATO air-strikes in the village of Vidrici, near Sokolac, some 50 kms northeast of Sarajevo Wednesday Aug 30 1995 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2022
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NATO airstrikes continued from March 24 to June 10, 1999, claiming thousands of lives. The Serbian authorities say that about 2,500 people, including 89 children, were killed and about 12,500 people were injured in the bombings. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the use of depleted uranium weapons caused an increase in the number of cancer patients in the country.
The debate on the impact of shells with uranium cores on human health has resurfaced after UK Minister of State for Defense Annabel Goldie announced earlier in the week that the country would provide Ukraine with depleted uranium tank ammunition, including armor-piercing shells for the 14 Challenger 2 battle tanks UK is planning for Ukraine.
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