Former chief of the Pec SUP tries to prove with a document originating from his agency that in March 1999 police did not forcibly deport Albanians, but that they went voluntarily "in the directions they chose themselves"

Slobodan Miloševic during the cross examinationSlobodan Miloševic during the cross examination

The Chamber trying Slobodan Milosevic was shown today a document entitled "Report about the forcible deportation of Albanians, their persecution on racial grounds and confiscation of personal identification documents". The document, whose title corresponds to the allegations made in the Kosovo indictment, was not presented by prosecutor Nice but by the accused Milosevic, through his defense witness Radovan Paponjak. The witness is the former chief of the SUP in Pec and he signed the Report, made at the request of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior.

The first sentence in the document reads, "The data are not correct." It does not specify which data or whose data are not correct, but the parts read by Milosevic in courtroom indicate that the first thing that is not correct is the title of the Report. The document claims that there were no forcible deportations, persecution and confiscation of identification documents in March 1999.

The Albanian population did leave Pec on 27 and 28 March 1999, but in fear of NATO air strikes and under the pressure of "individuals who urged the citizens to leave town" and who brought "buses, trucks and passenger vehicles" to the town centre, which Albanians then boarded and left "in the directions they chose themselves". The police, Paponjak's report claims, "did not prevent them and treated the citizens properly". Moreover, Paponjak claims, the police and the Serbian residents of Pec wanted Albanians to stay because they "felt safer with them around; they knew that if the Albanians left they would be there as the "sole target" of the KLA and NATO airplanes. Paponjak added, "we did not have the right to restrict their freedom of movement."

Paponjak could not respond to the judges' questions as to which "individuals" had urged the citizens to leave Pec. He said he did not know since he did "not speak Albanian." As he explained, the document was made by the section chiefs of the Pec SUP on the basis of information obtained in "conversation with various people and operational contacts, and from other police sources."

The judges also wanted to know where the "raw materials" for the conclusions of his documents were. When the witness replied they "remained there, at the Secretariat", Judge Kwon noted that "raw materials of this kind would be much more important than raw materials about the events from 1995 and 1996" that Milosevic and his witness had been presenting to the Chamber.

As his testimony continues tomorrow, Paponjak will speak about the events in the Dubrava prison, where, according to the indictment, several dozens of Albanian detainees were killed in May 1999. Milosevic claims that they were all victims of NATO air strikes.