Through a report by the Pec SUP, Slobodan Milosevic is trying to prove that all the prisoners in the Dubrava prison were killed by NATO bombs and contest the allegations that the police killed more than a hundred prisoners during NATO air strikes

The Secretariat of the Interior (SUP) in Pec concluded that in May 1999 "an undetermined number of prisoners" had been killed in the Dubrava penitentiary facility in Istok (Kosovo) during several days of NATO air strikes.

Slobodan Milosevic used this SUP report about the massacre during the examination of his defense witness, Radovan Paponjak, former chief of the Pec SUP in order to challenge the allegations that the police killed more than a hundred prisoners during NATO air strikes in the Dubrava prison, using hand grenades, hand-held rocket launchers and other weapons.

Ninety-three bodies of Albanian prisoners were taken from the rubble of the prison. The bodies were then examined by forensic technicians, as the report states. It goes on to describe the "horrifying consequences of bombardment that lasted several days."

The report by the Pec SUP was drafted "in Kragujevac, following the relocation of the SUP from Kosovo", but on the basis of crime-scene reports made on the site immediately after the bombardment, Paponjak said, adding that he himself saw the bodies of the prisoners and the rubble of the prison.

Prosecutor Geoffrey Nice considers that Paponjak and SUP report "speak about general and uncontroversial matters". "We accept that there were NATO air strikes on 19 and 21 May 1999," the prosecutor said. His witnesses, former prison inmates, estimate that some twenty prisoners died as a consequence of NATO bombardment, but that after that, on 22 and 23 May, more than a hundred of them were systematically killed.

When asked by the judge how he was able to obtain the information that NATO airplanes had dropped bombs and overflown the prison on 22 and 23 May – since the crime-scene reports do not mention that – Paponjak explained that he had relied on sources other than those reports, including SUP and VJ reports, documents and eyewitness statements.

Radovan Paponjak's testimony will continue on Monday, with his cross-examination.