This weekend was marked by yet another bombastic claim by the discredited Savo Štrbac of Veritas, this time claiming that the American firm MPRI has "offered the [Krajina] Serbs a settlement" of their claims that Croatia's Operation Storm was a genocide. (See link here). I have previously written about how Mr. Štrbac continuously misrepresents the facts of that Krajina Serb lawsuit against MPRI in Chicago. (See my blogs here and here). His claims this weekend are also false: MPRI has not "offered the Serbs a settlement." I suspect that Mr. Štrbac puts out such wildly optimistic propaganda in the Serbian press in order to justify additional funding for his Veritas organization.
The facts are as follows:
1. The lawsuit filed by the "Krajina" Serbs against the former MPRI (now known as Engility Corporation) is currently pending before Judge John Lee in the United States District Court in Chicago. Judge Lee ordered the Krajina Serbs and MPRI to:
- Indicate whether any settlement discussions have occurred;
- Describe the status of any settlement discussions; and
- Whether the parties request a settlement conference.
(See Judge Lee's Standing Order, at Section IV, found here).
In other words, the Court in Chicago requires the parties in every case to consider the possibility of settlement.
2. On 2 December 2014, the "Krajina" Serbs and the former MPRI responded to Judge Lee's order by advising that it was the Krajina Serbs who were proposing a mediation:
"Settlement discussions have not occurred. Plaintiffs [the "Krajina" Serbs] have proposed an early mediation before the parties become fully engaged, and Defendant [Engility Corporation, the former "MPRI"] is considering its amenability to such an early mediation." [See the "Joint Status Report" filed in the Chicago court, here at numbered page 6).
From this document it is clear that it is the "Krajina" Serbs who are proposing a discussion about settlement, and not MPRI. Furthermore, it is clear that as of 2 December 2014, MPRI had not agreed to such settlement discussions. If MPRI later agreed to participate in a settlement discussion, this would not be unusual, because they may simply want to hear what the "Krajina" Serbs would like to propose. For example, if the "Krajina" Serbs propose to dismiss the case if MPRI pays them $100,000, this might be something that MPRI would consider because it will cost MPRI $100,000 in attorney's fees to have the case dismissed. But this is a much different situation than Savo Štrbac has described.
The truth is that it is the "Krajina" Serbs and Mr. Štrbac who are looking for a settlement, not MPRI. All MPRI has said is that it is willing to listen to their proposal.