Written by: Andy Wilcoxson
The trial of Slobodan Milosevic resumed on
Monday, with Milosevic present in the courtroom. Milosevic, citing Article 21
of the ICTY statute, raised an objection to the trial chamberís attempt to
continue the trial in his absence last week.
With Milosevic present in the court, Kosta Bulatovic answered Mr. Niceís cross-examination. Unfortunately, the contempt charges against him are still in force, and he will have to return to the tribunal on May 5th.
Mr. Niceís cross-examination was rather odd. In 1994 Bulatovic had allegedly signed a petition, and gave a newspaper interview that was critical of Milosevic.
Bulatovic had criticized Milosevic for not intervening in Bosnia and Croatia, and leaving the Serbian population to fend for itself against the Croats and the Muslims. Bulatovicís contention was that Milosevicís failure to support the Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia enabled Muslims and Croats to commit atrocities against the Serbs.
I really can not understand why Mr. Nice elicited this testimony from the witness. Mr. Niceís case is that Milosevicís backing caused or enabled Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia to commit atrocities against Croats and Muslims. Testimony that accuses Milosevic for not supporting the Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia only goes to undermine the prosecution's case.
Mr. Nice attempted to say that the trial of a group of Kosovo-Albanians, who had formed an illegal ďpolice forceĒ in 1994, was the result of Bulatovicís petition and newspaper interview. Unfortunately for the prosecution, the charges were filed against the illegal Albanian ďpolicemenĒ before the newspaper article or the petition.
Apparently, the state did not need a political motivation to file criminal charges against a group of armed vigilantes who decided to call themselves policemen.
After Bulatovic concluded his testimony the trial heard testimony from Dragan Jasovic. Jasovic, is a Serbian policeman who worked in the Racak area up until NATO forced the police to withdraw from Kosovo. Previously, Jasovic had been a prosecution witness at the Limaj trial.
According to Jasovic, the majority of policemen in the area around Racak were ethnic-Albanians in 1998 and 1999. Unfortunately, the Albanians who worked for the police were targeted by the KLA. One of Jasovicís Albanian colleagues was killed, and another was kidnapped by the KLA.
Jasovic testified that Racak was a KLA stronghold. According to information that the Albanian population had given to the police, the KLA had a staff of 80 to 120 men in Racak.
The witness said that the KLA carried out terrorist attacks, killings, and abductions against policemen and civilians. The KLA attacked Serbs and Roma as well as Albanians who had friendly relations with non-Albanians. They especially targeted people who worked for the state, or in state-owned companies, Jasovic said.
Jasovic brought 90 witness statements to court with him; the population in and around Racak gave these statements. The statements identify KLA members, and speak of KLA activities in the area of Racak.
The witness asked that the identities of the people who gave the statements be kept secret. He said that the ANA (Albanian National Army) and the KPC (Kosovo Protection Corps), were an outgrowth of the KLA and that these organizations would attack any individuals that they learned had cooperated with the Serbian authorities.
Jasovic testified that the statements these people gave had been given of their own free will, and that nobody had forced them to give any statements. The statements are contemporaneous, and were not generated for use in this trial. They were made for the use of the police.
During the testimony of Danica Marinkovic, Mr. Nice alleged that Albanians had been forced, under threat of violence, to give statements to Jasovic. The prosecution had collected statements from Albanians alleging this. However the trial chamber ruled that the statements Mr. Nice collected were inadmissible. Mr. Niceís statements were not contemporaneous, and they were generated specifically for use in the trial.
During Mr. Jasovicís career as a policeman in Kosovo, he was never the subject of a complaint either from Serbs or from Albanians. He will continue his testimony when the trial resumes on Tuesday.
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