JUDGE BONOMY: “WORTHLESS ANSWERS TO WORTHLESS QUESTIONS”
After Judge Bonomy noted that “by answering ‘yes’ to very, very leading questions asked by the accused, the witness is in fact giving worthless answers to worthless questions”, the presiding judge put a stop to the re-examination of Vladislav Jovanovic by the accused Slobodan Milosevic
The accused Slobodan Milosevic conducted his re-examination of Vladislav Jovanovic in the same manner as his examination-in-chief last week: virtually every question contained the answer, which the witness duly repeated. After about forty minutes of such dialogue between the accused and his witness, Judge Bonomy interrupted them, noting that “by answering ‘yes’ to very, very leading questions asked by the accused,” the witness was in fact “giving worthless answers to worthless questions”.
Soon after that, Presiding Judge Robinson put a stop to the re-examination of the witness in which Milosevic was trying to prove that neither he nor the authorities in Belgrade “could have known” in mid-July 1995 about the events in Srebrenica. He also tendered into evidence an order issued by Radovan Karadzic in August 1992 which, according to Miloevic, proves that the “Republika Srpska leadership took measures to prevent any violence against civilian population and to ensure that the Geneva Conventions were strictly complied with.”
After Vladislav Jovanovic, former foreign minister of Serbia and the FRY, completed his testimony, Judge Robinson expressed the concern of the Chamber about the speed, or rather lack thereof, of the trial. He noted that until now Milosevic spent 30 of the total of 150 days allotted for his case, managing to have examined only 19 witnesses. The latest list submitted by the accused contains 27 new witnesses whose examination-in-chief and cross-examination should take 45 working days. According to Judge Robinson’s calculations, this means that in the first 75 days – the first half of his case – Milosevic will be able to examine only 46 witnesses and will be presenting evidence only on Kosovo. Robinson warned Milosevic that he had the “ultimate responsibility for the fact that in the half of the time allotted to him he would be able to present only one third of his case.”
Then, the judge pointed out to the prosecutor that in the first 30 days of the defense case the cross-examination of witnesses by the prosecution took longer than the Chamber ordered in its decision, whereby the cross-examination should take two thirds of the examination-in-chief. Until now, according to the judges’ statistics, the prosecutor Nice took about 80 percent of the time allotted to the accused Milosevic.
After these warnings, Milosevic called his next witness, Dr. Vukasin Andric. During the time covered by the Kosovo indictment, he was the province’s secretary of health. Through his testimony, Milosevic is trying to challenge the allegations made by the prosecution about the discrimination and persecution of Kosovo Albanians. According to Dr. Andric, the main reasons for the mass departure of people from Kosovo in the spring of 1999 were “the start of the NATO aggression and fear of NATO bombs,” and “tremendous pressure the separatists and terrorists exerted on the Albanian population to leave Kosovo, with the promise that they would soon return there.”
Dr. Andric’s testimony will continue tomorrow.
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