CAN LORD ASHDOWN “SEE THROUGH A MOUNTAIN”
In his re-examination of General Bozidar Delic, Milosevic revisited the “case of Lord Ashdown”, presenting new evidence which, according to him, proves that the High Representative in BH “lied in court”
Bozidar Delic, defense witness for Milosevic
Slobodan Milosevic used his re-examination of General Bozidar Delic to present new evidence – the judges and the prosecutor noted on several occasions. He tried to challenge the credibility of some prosecution witnesses, primarily of Lord Paddy Ashdown, who is currently the High Representative of the international community in BH.
Ashdown had been targeted in the first part of Delic’s testimony, in June and July this year. Milosevic and his witness claim that Ashdown, who visited Albania and Kosovo in June and September 1998, could not have seen what he testified he had seen. Ashdown claimed that in June 1998 from an Albanian village on the border with Kosovo he “had a view of the area south of Juniku,” and that he had seen VJ units open fire from tanks and mortars on the houses “form which there was no outgoing fire”.
During the summer recess, Milosevic obtained a series of 3-D images of the area that Ashdown testified about from the Military Cartographic Institute in Belgrade. Delic studied the images overnight. He claims that because of the relief and the dense woods in the area, Ashdown could not have seen the places he mentioned in his testimony, except if he “had climbed the highest beech tree”, as Milosevic noted cynically, or “is able to see through a mountain”.
The "Lord Ashdown affair” is by no means over, though, and neither is General Delic’s testimony. The prosecutor said that during the summer recess a video tape had been made of the locations where Lord Ashdown was in June and September 1998. The prosecutor will show the tape and an additional statement made by Lord Ashdown to General Delic.
General Delic’s testimony was cut short again, to be continued next Wednesday. Milosevic then called his next witness, Bogoljub Janicevic, former police chief in Urosevac. At the beginning of his testimony he spoke about the dramatic deterioration in the inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo after the adoption of the new SFRY Constitution in 1974. From that time on, as the retired police colonel said, Serbs and other non-Albanians were discriminated against. The discrimination mainly took the form of verbal abuse, ethnic-based favoritism in employment, forcible evictions, even rapes and murders. The witness quotes as one of the most drastic examples of discrimination the alterations in the register of births. Albanians working in those offices allegedly deleted the ending “-ic” from family names, “thus turning non-Albanians into Albanians.”
Bogoljub Janicevic will continue his testimony tomorrow.
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