Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Feb 26 11:00:38 MST 2002

NY Times, February 26, 2002

Killings in Kosovo Are Described at War Trial



On the ninth day of Mr. Milosevic's war crimes trial, he accused the court
of bringing "false witnesses" against him. His accusation came after he
made a prolonged attempt to get another witness, Halil Morina, a retired
farmer, to admit that soldiers from the Kosovo Liberation Army, the
Albanian rebel group, had killed four Serb soldiers before Serb forces
burned about three quarters of his village, Landovica, in March 1999.

Mr. Morina, who lived in the village all his life, steadfastly denied any
knowledge at all about the K.L.A. or its presence there. But Mr. Milosevic
got him to admit that a monument to fallen K.L.A. soldiers had been erected
there after the war.

"How could a monument be built for dead soldiers of the K.L.A. if there
weren't any there in first place?" Mr. Milosevic asked.

Mr. Morina replied, "I don't know. The K.L.A. must have done that."

Later, Mr. Milosevic exploded in frustration, saying that Mr. Morina, like
earlier witnesses, did not know enough to testify against him.

"I must say, gentlemen, that you are bringing in witnesses of this kind to
ill-treat me," he told the judges.

Accusing the court of forcing him to prove his innocence, he added: "These
are false witnesses, Mr. May. They are being used to pull out the pieces
from the mosaic of war in Yugoslavia."

In an interview published this week, Zoran Djindjic, the Serbian prime
minister who engineered Mr. Milosevic's transfer to The Hague last June,
also criticized the quality of the witnesses against Mr. Milosevic, calling
the trial "a circus."

"I am speechless when I see how much money has gone up in smoke to allow
the court to take five years to unearth such insignificant witnesses," Mr.
Djindjic said in an interview in the German magazine Der Spiegel. "This
circus has left both myself and my government facing an awkward dilemma."

Now, he said, many Serbs have accepted Mr. Milosevic's version that NATO is
the guilty party.

Mr. Djindjic said he would not extradite Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb
general widely reported to be living in Belgrade. He said that Mr. Mladic
was too well protected and that he would not risk his soldiers' lives to
make the arrest.



Business Week, February 25, 2002


The much publicized war-crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic, which opened on Feb. 12 in The Hague, could undermine Serbian
Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic's already shaky political situation at home.
Most Serbs have little sympathy for Milosevic, but view The Hague tribunal
as an anti-Serb show trial. Since Djindjic engineered Milosevic's
extradition under pressure from the U.S. last year, Serbs partly blame the
Prime Minister for the bad publicity.

Although Djindjic's popularity rating is just 14%, he is pressing ahead
with an unpopular economic restructuring that could hike unemployment above
30%. That could hurt Djindjic just before new elections expected this fall.

Louis Proyect
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