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Last update 18 October 2007      

Evil in our time

The moment when Slobodan Milosevic entered the courtroom in The Hague on 3 July 2001 was so undramatic that for a second it almost lost its serious meaning. Milosevic stepped into the courtroom as if he was out on a Sunday stroll, closely followed by three guards in blue UN uniforms. For a brief moment he halted in front of the gallery where the journalists were still struggling with the headphones for the simultaneous interpretation.

Slobodan Milosevic was the strongman and authoritarian leader of Serbia through more than a decade of war, conflict and struggle in Yugoslavia. In 2001 he was arrested in Serbia and transferred to the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the first international war crimes court established since World War II. He died of a heart attack in the tribunal's remand prison in March 2006.

Slobodan Milosevic is one of the main characters in Christian Palme's book Evil in Our Time - The Quest for Justice in the Balkans (Om ondskan i vår tid - Sökandet efter rättvisa på Balkan, in Swedish). The book received near unaninmous praise when it was published in March 2002. Some 40 newspapers and periodicals in Sweden have published reviews of the book.

Christian Palme is a media and communications expert and a former foreign correspondent with the Swedish national daily Dagens Nyheter. He is widely regarded as a leading Swedish expert on the Balkans.

Christian Palme was educated at Uppsala University and the Stockholm University School of Journalism between 1971 and 1976. He was active as a journalist  for 28 years, mostly with Dagens Nyheter. As a foreign news reporter with Dagens Nyheter he first specialised in development issues with a focus on Africa and Asia, writing numerous news reports and features on politics, business, development, agriculture and poverty. In 1993 he was appointed Central Europe and Balkan Correspondent. Most of his reporting from the Balkans concerned the Yugoslav wars of dissolution and the war in Bosnia. After 1994 he partly focused his reporting on the newly established United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. He has published four books and has received several awards and scholarships.

Between 2004 and 2007 Christian Palme was employed as Public Information Adviser in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, reporting directly to Deputy Prosecutor Serge Brammertz. He now works as a communications consultant in Stockholm, Sweden, specializing in public diplomacy, strategic communications and crisis communications.

Watch a clip of Christian Palme discussing the anniversary of the Balkan wars on Swedish Public Service TV:








Features by Christian Palme