Slobodan Milosevic’s defense witness was again unable to provide any evidence for his claims about the “staging” of the execution of the Srebrenica youths and mass graves of Kosovo Albanians in Batajnica

Vojislav Seselj testifying in defense of Slobodan MilosevicVojislav Seselj testifying in defense of Slobodan Milosevic

Vojislav Seselj’s answers “are not senseless, but spiteful, malevolent and insincere”, prosecutor Geoffrey Nice concluded at the end of his cross-examination of Slobodan Milosevic’s defense witness.

Nice said that after Seselj continued to deny the mass executions of Muslim men in Srebrenica. The witness claims that “only” between 1,000 and 2,000 prisoners were killed, adding that this was done by “mercenaries and set up by Western intelligence services, primarily the French service.” Seselj repeated that the video showing the Scorpions killing the Muslim youths was a “forgery” and that “all of it was an act put on for the purpose of filming a fake execution.” Several sentences after that, Seselj no longer speaks about a “fake” execution but about a “real” one. The execution was done for the “money paid by those who filmed the footage”. The purpose was to “get the propaganda material about horrendous crimes that will be blamed on Serbia”. When asked if he claimed that the Scorpions had set up the execution in 1995 for the purposes of the Tribunal, Seselj replied he was “convinced it was the case”.

Prosecutor Nice asked the witness to produce at least some evidence to corroborate his claims, but Seselj replied that the evidence was with his defense expert team. He said he would present the evidence at his trial, although he himself is not charged with Srebrenica crimes or with the crimes committed by the Scorpions.

The prosecutor used Seselj’s challenge to the authenticity of the Scorpions tape to specify why this film was important for the prosecution. According to Nice, it “reveals that the Muslims were taken from Srebrenica to remote locations, so-called ‘junctions’, from where they were taken to execution sites in smaller groups”. This, the prosecutor contends, “proves that organized executions of the men from Srebrenica were carried out over a longer period of time and in a wider area.”

Nice labeled Seselj’s answers about the Scorpions and Srebrenica as “spiteful, malevolent and insincere“. When the witness claimed that the Western services had colluded with the “police elements in Serbia” to organize the transfer of dead bodies of Kosovo Albanians to Serbia, to a mass grave in Batajnica, Nice described those claims as “not only false but ridiculous too.” He said that when Seselj was unable to name the Serbian “police elements” and the “Western services” that had organized this. He was unable to name at least the sources – people or documents – where he had learned that. All he could say was that he had “asked around about that”, that he was “a communicative man”, but that now he could not remember the names of the people he had spoken to.

After prosecutor Nice concluded the cross-examination, Slobodan Milosevic began his re-direct examination of the defense witness.