Video tapes shot on locations where Lord Ashdown watched what was happening in Kosovo in 1998 fail to shake the conviction of Milosevic’s defense witness Bozidar Delic that the “lord is lying” and that “he didn’t see what he claims he did”

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

"The Lord Ashdown case" remains unresolved after an additional cross examination of General Bozidar Delic, Slobodan Milosevic’s defense witness. There have been some additional twists and turns in the plot and Lord Ashdown will probably have to take the stand again, most likely in the rebuttal stage.

To recap the Ashdown case: in March 2002, during the prosecution case, he testified that in June and September 1998 he had witnessed the shelling and burning of the Albanian villages south of Junik and around Suva Reka.

General Bozidar Delic was the commander of the 549th Motorized Brigade of the VJ at that time and in that area. Testifying as Milosevic’s defense witness this summer, he claimed that the military had not shelled and burned the Albanian villages, and denied the possibility that Lord Ashdown could have seen what he claims to have seen from the position he was at. The general tried to prove that using a series of military maps and 3-D maps of the area that had been put together by the Military Cartographic Institute.

To challenge the claims made by Milosevic’s witness, the prosecutor dispatched an investigator to Kosovo during the summer to make a video recording of the field of vision from the position where Ashdown was in 1998. Those tapes were shown in the courtroom today and all or almost all the villages that according to Ashdown were shelled and burned in June and September 1998 can indeed be seen.

General Delic continued to challenge the tapes. As for the first one, made near the village of Gegaj on the Albanian border, Delic claims it was actually made “at least one hundred meters inside the SCG territory.” He adds that Ashdown could not have gotten so deep into the Yugoslav territory in June 1998, because the border units were combat-ready. As he commented on the other two tapes, Delic noted the mistakes in the names of villages and the fact that not all the locations Ashdown mentioned in his testimony could actually be seen there. The "Lord Ashdown case" thus remains unresolved.

Slobodan Milosevic had yet another dig at the High Representative in BH today. He noted that Ashdown, “by violating the Dayton Agreements and by doing the worst possible things to the Serb people… has proven himself to be just an ordinary criminal.” Judge Robinson again reprimanded the accused for making “inappropriate comments.”

In mid-march 2002, immediately after Paddy Ashdown’s testimony, Milosevic suffered a dramatic increase in blood pressure, rendering him unable to attend the trial for three weeks. The trial then had to be adjourned.