Milosevic's defense witness General Bozidar Delic levies serious accusations against prosecutor Nice and his witnesses who were "prepped", as he claims. Delic continues his investigation into what Lord Ashdown could have seen

Bozidar Delic, defense witness for MilosevicBozidar Delic, defense witness for Milosevic

General Bozidar Delic, Slobodan Milosevic's defense witness, accused prosecutor Geoffrey Nice today of "prepping" his witnesses to give false testimony before the Tribunal. This is how General Delic labeled the testimony of protected witness K-32, his former soldier. K-32 claimed he had heard his commanding officer order, "Leave no one alive", at the beginning of the attack on the village of Jeskovo in mid-March 1999.

“This is pure fabrication by this soldier who was prepped to say this," Delic said. When the prosecutor asked him "who prepped the witness," Delic replied, "You are prepping your witnesses." The judges asked the witness to state the basis for his claim, and when he failed to do so, they cautioned him for "presenting unsubstantiated claims." The witness then apologized to the prosecutor and said that witness K-32 was "prepped by some Albanians in Pec."

The prosecutor said this was an "inconsistency", noting that Delic first accused him, and then withdrew his accusation and levied it at the Albanians. General Delic then accused prosecutor Nice of "asking questions in a perfidious way", prompting another caution by the judges to watch his language.

The prosecutor qualified such responses by the witness as confirmation that he was "caught in the act" and that he really had issued the order to "leave no one alive." General Delic maintained, however, that this was not true.

Be that as it may, the prosecutor claims the outcome of the attack on Jeskovo "was consistent with the order to leave no one alive", as all nine KLA members were killed and there were no prisoners. General Delic rejects this "insinuation", claiming this was a "special KLA unit" composed of "hardened terrorists of the kind that does not surrender."

The prosecutor then went on to discuss some other operations conducted by Delic's units in which a substantial number of KLA members had been killed and no prisoners had been taken. A military document signed by Delic states that in the course of the operation near the village of Kabas, "the Siptar terrorist forces did not throw down their weapons until the last moment, when they changed into civilian clothes and tried to break out of the encirclement." They ran into the siege line where 11 were killed and none were captured. On the basis of what was written there, the judges concluded that those had been "unarmed terrorists in disguise who tried to escape but ran into an ambush," but Delic claimed they had all been "killed in combat, with their weapons in their hands or on their backs."

Between the two hearings yesterday and today, General Delic continued his investigation into what Lord Ashdown could see during his visits to Kosovo in 1998. Today he presented a new map on which he marked the distances from the position from which Ashdown had been looking at burned Albanian villages in the Suva Reka valley and listening to tank and artillery fire in September 1998. Although the testimony is corroborated by a photograph of Ashdown with binoculars and the valley shrouded in smoke, General Delic maintained today that Lord Ashdown could not have seen the villages he mentioned in his testimony.

The cross-examination of General Bozidar Delic will continue on Monday, 18 July.