BRITISH DEFENCE COUNSEL FOR MILOSEVIC
The Registry should appoint Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins as assigned defense counsel for Slobodan Milosevic. The trial is set to continue on 7 September - Bill Clinton on Serbs and the Holocaust
The current amici curiae, British lawyers Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins are the first choice of the Trial Chamber for the defense counsel to be appointed for Slobodan Milosevic. The Registry has been ordered to endeavor to secure the appointment of the British lawyers and to provide funding for the setting up of the defense team. The Registry has been given very little time – until 1 p.m. tomorrow – to notify the judges whether Kay and Higgins have accepted the appointment. It is the intent of the Trial Chamber to continue the trial as early as on Tuesday, 7 September, with the former amici curiae as Milosevic's defense counsel.
The judges did not accept the proposals put forward by the prosecution and the amici curiae in the course of the debate about the modalities for the appointment of defense counsel, to allow Milosevic the "right to choose", i.e., the possibility of appointing defense counsel, one or several, of his own choice. On the basis of the conduct of the accused today, they obviously concluded that this would be a waste of time. Milosevic was given the option of changing his mind and filing a motion at a later stage, showing cause for the appointment of counsel of his choice.
In the debate that preceded the decision of the Chamber, Milosevic protested because, as he said, he was "denied the right to tell the truth". He refused to state his preferences regarding the appointment of counsel.
At the end of the hearing, the prosecution turned the attention of the Chamber and the public to one of Milosevic's "truths", uttered in the course of his two-day opening statement. Calling the former American president "a new fuehrer", Milosevic quoted a sentence that Clinton allegedly said in a televised address to the nation on 24 March 1999, on the day when the NATO air strikes began. According to Milosevic, Clinton said on that occasion:
"Not only did the Serbs start World War I, but there would have been no Holocaust without them."
According to the prosecutor, the sentence read:
"Sarajevo, the capital of the neighboring state, is the place where World War I started. The World War II and the Holocaust swept the region."
When asked by the judges whether he accepted the correction, Milosevic said he would "check it." He allowed that it was possible that "a mistake was made as to the date when the documentation was gathered," but he did not think that there was a "mistake about the quote."
The prosecution expressed the hope that all the media that published Milosevic's version of Clinton's statement would also publish the correction.
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