Unless the Trial Chamber grants him more time, the accused has less than 30 working days left – 120 hours – to refute the charges in the indictments for Croatia and BH. Judge Robinson conducts an investigation into the Lord Ashdown case. Were any of the victims in Racak innocent people?

Bogoljub Janicevic, defense witness for MilosevicBogoljub Janicevic, defense witness for Milosevic

Slobodan Milosevic completed two thirds of his defense case, or so it appears from the Trial Chamber's analysis of the time he spent. As of 30 September, Milosevic spent 60.5 of the total of 90 days allotted to him: 67.23 percent of the 360 hours he got. According to the judges' analysis, the prosecutor used for the cross-examination 39.2 of the 60 days he was given for this purpose.

Because the evidence presented by Milosevic so far pertained mostly to the allegations in the Kosovo indictment, this means he would have less than 30 working days – 120 hours – to refute the charges in the indictments for Croatia and BH. Provided, of course, that the Trial Chamber abides by the original arrangement limiting the duration of the defense case. The judges have warned Milosevic repeatedly that they would not give him more time for his evidence, but the accused has persistently ignored those warnings. He is apparently counting that once the time allotted to him runs out, the judges will have to give him more time to respond to the most serious charges, including genocide in BH, which the accused has hardly touched upon.

At the beginning of the hearing today, Presiding Judge Robinson advised the parties and the public about the findings of an investigation he had ordered last week. This was after Milosevic accused him of "partiality" because he had accepted the prosecutor's claim that the accused had misused the judicial proceedings and manipulated the video tape of Ashdown's visit to Kosovo. Robinson's investigation, which involved the ICTY translation service, showed that in his conversation with the Kosovo Albanians in September 1998, Ashdown did not say that "the fact that the KLA is so poorly armed is a scandal for the international community". This was Milosevic's claim. Robinson determined that Ashdown had actually said that "the fact that the international community has not done enough is a scandal." Having determined that, Robinson joined judges Bonomy and Kwon who had thanked Nice on Friday for pointing out this attempt of the accused to misuse and manipulate the tape.

Milosevic tried to argue with the presiding judge, but Robinson switched off his microphone and ordered the prosecutor to continue with the cross-examination of defense witness Bogoljub Janicevic. The questions again focused on the Racak incident on 15 January 1999. The prosecutor challenged the version offered by the former police chief in Urosevac, who claimed that all the persons who were killed in Racak were "members of a Siptar terrorist gang." Janicevic maintained that this was the case. He did concede that it was possible one victim, a twelve-year-old boy, "might have been an innocent victim", but noted that "it could not be ruled out that he had been killed by bullet fired by the terrorists."

As there will be no Milosevic trial next week, the accused will have a chance to re-examine his witness on 18 October.