WHAT PADDY ASHDOWN SAW
General Bozidar Delic, Slobodan Milosevic's defense witness, claims that Paddy Ashdown could not have seen any of the things he testified he had seen in June 1998 in the Junik area in Kosovo, because of his position
Slobodan Miloševic during the cross examination
Despite the warnings of the presiding judge that any testimony about "proper conduct of the Yugoslav Army in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999 is only marginally relevant for the case at hand," after three days of examining General Bozidar Delic, Slobodan Milosevic failed to mention any specific incidents listed in the indictment that occurred in the area of responsibility of the Delic’s 549 Motorized Brigade of the VJ. At that time, the brigade was under the command of the defense witness.
Milosevic tried to confirm the "proper conduct of the VJ" through orders, reports ad analyses brought to the court by General Delic. They state that the troops merely responded to the attacks by terrorists and that it treated the captured KLA members "in accordance with the rules", always taking strict measures to protect the civilians and their property.
Milosevic today challenged portions of the testimony by prosecution witnesses Paddy Ashdown and General Drewienkiewicz, former deputy head of the Kosovo Verification Mission. As he testified during the prosecution case, Ashdown said that in June 1998 he "had a view of the area south of Junik" from his position in an Albanian village on the border with Kosovo and that he saw the VJ units open mortar and tank fire on the houses while "no fire was returned from those houses." General Delic labeled those as "claims made by an amateur" and categorically stated that Junik and the surrounding villages could not be seen from that Albanian village; neither could the sheltered VJ mortar positions.
Milosevic seems to have misunderstood or misinterpreted the testimony by General Drewienkiewicz. Among other things, he spoke about an incident in the border area with Albania where 34 KLA members were killed and 9 captured, including one woman. Drewienkiewicz described this operation as a "legitimate ambush" in his testimony. Milosevic, however, turned his testimony around, mixing up the figures. He claims Drewienkiewicz spoke about 9 dead KLA members and about captives he had not seen. However, in an attempt to prove that Drewienkiewicz actually did see the captured KLA members, Milosevic showed a video tape depicting first the dead KLA members and modern weapons they carried, then a group of prisoners warming themselves near a fire and KVM monitors visiting the incident site. General Delic said that KVM monitors had spoken to the prisoners. The judges wanted to be shown the footage where that could be seen, the tape was rewound and replayed… but the take showing the contact between the monitors and the prisoners was not found.
At the end of the hearing today, Milosevic announced he would need "at least two more days" to finish the direct examination of General Bozidar Delic.
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