On the sixth day of his testimony at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, general Bozidar Delic denied claims made by two of his former soldiers. Testifying as prosecution witnesses, they said that he had personally commanded the "clean-up" of the village of Jeskovo and that he had ordered his forces, "don't leave anyone alive"

Slobodan Miloševic during the cross examinationSlobodan Miloševic during the cross examination

General Bozidar Delic rejected today as "utter nonsense" claims made by two of his former soldiers who testified at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in 2002 as prosecution witnesses. On the sixth day of his direct examination of the former commander of the VJ 549 Motorized Brigade, Slobodan Milosevic quoted parts of the testimony of protected witness K-32, who claimed that in mid-March 1999 his unit had been involved in the attack on the village of Jeskovo. According to him, at one point he was close to commander Delic and heard him order, "Don't leave anyone alive."

Last week, General Delic rejected as "complete untruth" the testimony of yet another former member of his brigade, protected witness K-41, who was also involved in the Jeskovo operation. He claimed he personally saw about a dozen civilians who had been killed and that he learned the next day that there had been about 30 casualties.

After Milosevic read to him the testimony of witness K-32, General Delic said that this was "nonsense from start to finish". The soldier, General Delic said, was a member of the logistics brigade. The task of the brigade was to block any terrorists who might try to pull out of the encirclement. The brigade was positioned about 3 km from Jeskovo.

When Judge Robinson asked him if he had any explanation as to why the witness would be lying, General Delic replied that both K-32 and K-41 were in the same logistics unit and that they "covered each other in their criminal activities". Delic says that witness K-32 committed a serious criminal offence and he was subsequently given shelter by K-41. According to him, K-32's testimony was supposed to corroborate what witness K-41 had previously stated in court. Delic does not rule out the possibility that witness K-32 "was promised that he would be relocated from the country if he testified, which would make it possible for him to evade justice."

Milosevic today continued to go through numerous statements made by VJ officers deployed in Kosovo in 1999, gathered by the VJ General Staff Commission for Cooperation with the ICTY during 2002. According to General Delic and the statements made by his subordinate officers, the incidents described in the indictment simply did not happen. The military did not surround and shell villages, burn houses and expel and kill civilians. General Delic claims that the military operations never targeted civilians, but exclusively firing positions used by the terrorists. For some of the incidents, such as the death of 105 people who had been detained in a house in Mala Krusa, Delic claims that "it was impossible that anything of the sort might have happened," because if it had, he would have learned about it. What the general doesn't know about never happened.

Milosevic will continue the examination of General Delic tomorrow. On 18 July – as announced – Vojislav Seselj should take the stand. Milosevic today objected to the fact that the Registry had not allowed him to meet his future witness to proof him. The Chamber ordered that a solution be found for the problem as soon as possible.