Slobodan Milosevic's defense witness challenges the testimony of two prosecution witnesses and the contents of a document shown to him during the cross-examination by the prosecutor

Slobodan Miloševic during the cross examinationSlobodan Miloševic during the cross examination

Lord Ashdown is not telling the truth because "he could not have seen what he claims to have seen", witness K-32 is lying because "he is of Muslim religion and is half-Albanian", and General Momcilo Perisic "lectured the politicians because of his vanity" and "betrayed his country."

That is how General Bozidar Delic challenges the testimony of two prosecution witnesses and the contents of a document he was confronted with today during his cross-examination by the prosecutor.

A small investigation into what Lord Ashdown could have seen in June 1998 was carried out over the past two weeks. This was after General Delic stated categorically, during his direct examination by Slobodan Milosevic, that the British politician could not have seen the things he claims to have seen. Testifying as a prosecution witness, Lord Ashdown stated, among other things, that he "had a view of the area south of Junik" from an Albanian village on the border with Kosovo, and that he had seen VJ units open fire from mortars and tanks on houses "from which no fire was returned." After General Delic contested his claims, the prosecutor provided him with a map on which the Military Cartographic Institute in Belgrade marked areas visible from the place Lord Ashdown claims he was in. In the meantime, Ashdown sent in his own sketch of the area, dismissed today by Delic as a "drawing by an amateur". He maintains that because of the relief of that part of Kosovo, Lord Ashdown could not have seen the places he claims to have seen. An investigation into what Lord Ashdown could or could not see continues, and this topic will be debated tomorrow.

From the testimony of protected witness K-32 prosecutor Nice quoted the part in which the former soldier of the 549 Motorized Brigade of the VJ claims he heard Delic, his commanding officer, order a tank crew to fire a shell on a house at the entrance to an Albanian village in August 1998. Delic first denied the possibility of K-32 being close enough, but later he confirmed that he had issued an order to "target a house from which terrorist were opening fire", as "there was a bunker" behind it, he says. He dismisses the claims made by the witness that civilians ran out of the house that was hit as "pure nonsense." When asked by the prosecutor why the witness would invent that, General Delic said he was a "soldier of Muslim religion and half-Albanian". The prosecutor then sought the private session to prevent the identity of the protected witness to be revealed.

The prosecutor quoted today parts of a letter sent on 23 July 1998 by the then VJ Chief of Staff, General Momcilo Perisic, to the FRY president Slobodan Milosevic. In his letter, admitted into evidence during the prosecution case, General Perisic protests against "the use of VJ units outside of the institutions of the system", "units being detached," "circumvention of the parts of chain of command" and "command functions being performed by unauthorized person." According to the prosecutor, this indicates the existence of a parallel, illegal chain of command, leading from General Pavkovic, the then commander of the Pristina Corps, through Sainovic, directly to Milosevic.

General Delic, however, says that Perisic's claims "do not correspond with reality", that "the military was not used illegally", and that the then Chief of General Staff "because of his vanity… went beyond his authority and tried to lecture the politicians". After all, the witness concluded, "Mr. Perisic betrayed his country and I don't want to talk about him".

General Deli's cross-examination will continue tomorrow.