MILOSEVIC: BOSNIAK BOYS' EXECUTION TAPE “SUSPICIOUS"
Milosevic claims that the video tape of the execution of six Bosniak boys shown last week in the courtroom by the prosecution is "suspicious", that it was "some kind of a compilation", that neither the time nor the place of the crime are visible on the tape, nor is the identity of the victims and their link with Srebrenica. In his opinion, there is nothing in that tape to indicate that the perpetrators were part of the Serbian MUP
Obrad Stevanovic, witness in the Milosevic trial
Slobodan Milosevic shifted the blame for the crimes committed by the Skorpioni on Milan Martic and Goran Hadzic, former presidents of the former Republic of Serbian Krajina and partly also on Radovan Karadzic, former president of Republika Srpska. All of them have been indicted for various crimes in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, committed as part of the same "joint criminal enterprise" headed by Slobodan Milosevic himself, as the prosecutor contends.
On the second day of his re-direct examination of police general Obrad Stevanovic, Milosevic tried to prove that between 1992 and 1995 the Skorpioni had been subordinated to the Army of Serbian Krajina; when they went to Bosnia to fight there, they would be placed under the command of the Republika Srpska MUP. This unit, Milosevic claims, "had nothing to do with Serbia" and it had "no people from Serbia" in its ranks. In fact, Milosevic says, they did not speak the language spoken in Serbia.
As for the video tape of the execution of six Bosniak boys shown last week in the courtroom by the prosecution, Milosevic says it is "suspicious", that it was "some kind of a compilation", that "something was added to it." Milosevic noted that neither the time nor the place of the crime are visible on the tape, nor is the identity of the victims and their link with Srebrenica. In his opinion, there is nothing in that tape to indicate that the perpetrators were part of the Serbian MUP.
Witness Stevanovic explained that the ceremony seen at the beginning of the tape is "no blessing of the criminals, but an Orthodox religious custom related to the group of men in uniform". Milosevic added that the prosecutor was "causing offence to the Serbian Orthodox Church." The accused also demanded that the prosecutor reveal the origin of the video, the source that provided it and the basis for the claim that the victims had been brought in from Srebrenica which is, according to his calculation, 154 kilometers away from Trnovo.
When invited by Judge Robinson, prosecutor Geoffrey Nice said he would respond to the questions when tendering the tape into evidence. He indicated that the authenticity of the tape would be confirmed by a protected witness who had in fact filmed most of the material and then handed the camera to another person who filmed the rest. The location of the crime will be determined by the exhumation of the bodies of the boys who had been shot, while the identification of their remains will make it possible to establish links with Srebrenica. The prosecution, Nice said, would seek leave to reopen its case, but before doing so, they must put in place protective measures for "vulnerable witnesses."
Slobodan Milosevic's trial will continue on Wednesday, 15 June. General Stevanovic will take the stand once again.
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