MILOSEVIC WASTING TIME
Concluding that Milosevic has "shamelessly abused the process before the Tribunal", Judge Robinson cuts short his re-direct examination of General Stevanovic. Dragan Jasovic, former police inspector from Urosevac in Kosovo returned to the stand
Slobodan Miloševic during the cross examination
Concluding that the accused had already "wasted too much time", Judge Robinson today cut short the re-direct examination of police general Obrad Stevanovic, Slobodan Milosevic's defense witness.
Milosevic tried to protest, but the judge switched off his microphone, telling him he didn't want to listen to him anymore and that he was absolutely disgusted with his behavior for having "shamelessly abused the process before the Tribunal."
Half an hour before Judge Robinson intervened, Judge Bonomy publicly dissented from his two colleagues in the Chamber, stating he was "nor ready to listen any more" to the accused, characterizing his behavior as "totally inappropriate."
Before he was cut short, Milosevic discussed with General Stevanovic, a former assistant minister of the interior in Serbia, measures that law enforcement agencies in Serbia took to shed some light on the crime in Srebrenica. Milosevic mentioned first the arrest of Drazen Erdemovic and his surrender to the Tribunal "as a foreign national and at his own request". He noted that for the crime Erdemovic had confessed to – participation in the execution of some 1,200 Muslims at the Branjevo farm in Srebrenica – he could have received the death penalty in Serbia, while the ICTY sentenced him to only five years in prison.
Milosevic then asked the witness about the arrest of the Spider group in 1999; it included members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment of the VRS which had been involved in the Srebrenica executions in 1995. He quoted a statement by the then minister of information, Goran Matic, who described the persons under arrest as "hired assassins manipulated by a foreign power." Milosevic claims that the fall of Srebrenica was "orchestrated by politics" – according to him General Morillon confirmed this in an investigation launched by the French Parliament. When asked by Judge Bonomy why the claim that the fall of Srebrenica was "orchestrated by politics" was relevant, Milosevic replied that the 10th Sabotage Detachment was responsible for the massacre and that "foreign services were behind the detachment."
At the beginning of the hearing today, Milosevic commented on the video tape disclosed to him last week by the prosecutor. Milosevic said that the witnesses, former Scorpions whose statements he had also received, had "zero credibility". Quoting a sentence about the paramilitary units of the Serbian Radical Party made in one of those statements, Milosevic announced he would be calling Vojislav Seselj as a witness to confirm that the SRS did not have its units, but sent volunteers to join the JNA or the armies of the Serbs in Krajina and Bosnia.
After the departure of General Stevanovic, it was the turn of Dragan Jasovic to take the stand again. He is a former police inspector from Urosevac who was examined by the accused in late April and in now back in The Hague for the cross-examination. The prosecutor today confronted Jasovic with reports by human rights agencies, statements of his former colleagues from the police and of Kosovo Albanians interviewed by the OTP investigators in which they describe police brutality against ethnic Albanians who had been arrested and brought to the police station in Urosevac. Jasovic allegedly took part in the brutal beatings and torture using electro-shocks described in several statements. The witness denied all that claiming he "did not coerce people to make statements or use force, let alone torture".
Dragan Jasovic's cross-examination will continue tomorrow.
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