The shrewdest analysts of the Balkan tragedy have always seen Slobodan Milosevic as a cynic, a pragmatist, a deft tactician, if a rather bad strategist.
So it makes sense that Milosevic should be taking this rejectionist stand toward the Hague tribunal. After all, it's not like there's anyone he can roll on; and not like anyway he's going to beat the rap. So why not go out with a flourish? And maybe inflict a little pain on his enemies along the way.
Milosevic now seems intent on putting the international community on trial with him, and attempting to make them appear complicit in his crimes. According to this BBC report, he plans particularly to target the British, especially two Tory Foreign Ministers from the early and middle nineties.
In any real sense, of course, this claim is utterly bogus. But it's not an entirely idle threat.
At various points over the last dozen years, the West saw Milosevic as useful, or at least someone they had to deal with. Most famously, at the Dayton peace talks, he was treated as something of a peace maker, and to a degree he actually delivered -- knocking the heads of Bosnian Serb chieftains and forcing them to get on board.
For the Europeans and the Brits there is even more awkwardness. After his retirement, for instance, Douglas Hurd, Tory Foreign Secretary in the early-mid 1990s, got involved with all manner of debt restructuring and telecom work for Milosevic's government. This of course was during one of Milosevic's 'good-guy' phases.
Again, the point is not that NATO governments share any real complicity in Milosevic's crimes; nor did various prime ministers and foreign ministers -- faced with few good options -- lack good reasons for dealing with Milosevic, and even in some sense propping him up.
But Milosevic can throw light on the West's back-and-forth positioning over the course of the 1990s -- sometimes denouncing him as an arch-war criminal, at other times giving him a good cleaning and dressing him up as a potential peace partner. He could embarrass Western leaders by highlighting their often erratic and cowardly stance toward the Balkan tragedy for much of the decade, their own crimes of omission, and their own connections to him.