Milosevic admonished for “misusing the procedure” for purposes that have nothing to do with trial, for his interpretation of Ashdown’s visit to Kosovo in 1998

Slobodan Milosevic in the courtroomSlobodan Milosevic in the courtroom

The presiding judge admonished Slobodan Milosevic today for his interpretation yesterday of the video showing Lord Ashdown’s visit to Kosovo. According to the judge, the accused misused the procedure for purposes that have nothing to do with the criminal proceedings before the Tribunal.

The judge thus sustained the objection made by prosecutor Geoffrey Nice who said that the tape had been edited in such a way as to suggest that Ashdown had been inspecting the weapons of the KLA members. Ashdown visited Kosovo in September 1998 as an envoy of the British Prime Minister. Speaking about the visit in his book and in his testimony before the Tribunal, he said he had first ran into a group of young armed KLA members, and then visited the Albanian inhabitants of the village of Studencani, who had shown him the weapons they had bought expecting their village to be attacked. Ashdown said he had realized those were old, useless weapons and concluded that those had been part of a black market con.

In the opinion of the prosecutor, Milosevic’s interpretation of the event was “inappropriate” and could have a serious negative impact on the ground.