Written by: Andy Wilcoxson


The trial of Slobodan Milosevic resumed after a 3-week recess at the Hague Tribunal on Tuesday. Milosevic called two French witnesses to testify in his defense case.


The first witness was Ms. Eve Crepin. Ms. Crepinís credentials are impressive she worked with French UNPROFOR forces in UN field hospitals, she worked with humanitarian organizations in Bosnia, Krajina, and Kosovo, and she has written a book entitled ďThe Assassination of a People,Ē about the plight of the Serbian people.


She said that there had been a lot of Muslim refugees from Bihac in Krajina before it fell. The Krajina Serbs welcomed these refugees. According to her testimony, she never saw a single incidence of discrimination or hatred towards non-Serbs in Krajina.


She testified of one event that occurred in Hospital she was working at in Glina. A pregnant Muslim woman came to the hospital in need of a blood transfusion, the mainly Serb staff of the hospital did not even think twice, they gave this Muslim woman the very last of the hospitalís blood supply.


She testified that the refugees in Krajina were Muslims from Bihac and Serbs from Croatia (outside of Krajina). She testified that the Muslim refugees were mainly the followers of Fikret Abdic who were fleeing from the repression of the fundamentalist regime of Alija Izetbegovic, which had sent the 5th Corps of the B-H Army against them.


She testified on the basis of her work with the Serbian refugees who had been sacked from their jobs and expelled from their homes by the Croatian regime. The Serbs, she said, fled from the persecution of the Croatian regime of Franjo Tudjman. She said that Tudjman had resurrected the symbols and names used by the fascist Ustasha regime of World War II.


While working in Banja Luka, she assisted the Serbian refugees who were expelled during operations Flash and Storm. She spoke of the trauma that the refugees suffered. She said that they were bombed by the Croatian regime while they were fleeing. She condemned the Croatian operations as classical ethnic cleansing.


In addition to her work in Croatia and Bosnia, she worked with humanitarian agencies in Kosovo. In 1998 she volunteered her services at the Pec hospital. She testified that the staff of the hospital was mixed Serbian and Albanian, and that the patients were treated equally regardless of their ethnicity.


While working at the Pec hospital she treated numerous Serbian and Albanian victims who had been assaulted by the KLA. She never saw anybody come into the hospital that had been assaulted by the Serbian authorities, nor did she see the Serbian authorities mistreating anybody during the months that she spent in Kosovo. According to her testimony it was mainly Albanian nationalists who were mistreating the Serbs and moderate Albanians.


Ms. Crepin, who speaks the Serbian language, was warned not to address anybody using the Serbian language in Kosovo unless she knew they were Serbian. Otherwise, Albanians might assault her.


In addition to her work with refugees and humanitarian agencies, Ms. Crepin worked with UNPROFOR troops in UN field hospitals. She testified that UN ballistics experts had told her that the Markale massacre had been carried out by Muslims. She also testified that Muslim snipers in Sarajevo had fired on French UNPROFOR troops and tried to blame the Serbs.


Ms. Crepin testified that the western media was biased against Serbs. She said that they ignored the suffering of the Serbs, exaggerated the suffering of others, and did everything to demonize the Serbs.


Under cross-examination from Ms. Del Ponte, Ms. Crepin spoke of a specific instance when she took a French camera crew from FR3 television to speak with some Krajina Serbs. The camera crew filmed the story, but it never appeared on television.


Ms. Crepin testified that she saw Western journalists, covering Operation Storm, who were actually happy about it in spite of the massive humanitarian catastrophe that offensive unleashed on the civilian population.


Ms. Crepin accused the international community of being blind to the suffering of the Serbs. She said that she did not see a single Western NGO offering any assistance to the Serbian civilian population.


Carla del Ponteís cross-examination revealed why Mr. Nice usually does the cross-examining. Ms. Del Ponte could not keep track of her documents. She read from a HRW report thinking that it was an OSCE report that had been mentioned in the examination-in-chief, then when she managed to find the OSCE report she could not find her way in it and was unable to challenge the witnessís evidence.


As a point in Ms. Del Ponteís favor she didnít waste a lot of time. Mr. Nice would have read out endless passages from the OSCE and the HRW documents and would have wasted all sorts of time. At least Ms. Del Ponte was smart enough to realize that the witness had her beat and gave up.


The next witness to take the stand was Patrick Barriot. Barriot had achieved the rank of Colonel in the French Army. He has a medical degree and also worked as a humanitarian aid worker. He is an expert on non-conventional weapons, and he is an expert on international terrorism. He has worked closely with French intelligence, and currently works for a commission established by the French government to monitor the terrorist threat against France. Col. Barriot has written numerous books, and has been highly decorated by the French government.


Col. Barriot was a Blue Helmet in Krajina, and established contacts with the Krajina Serb and Bosnian Serb leadership.


Barriot testified that Western governments worked against him and against reporters and diplomats who tried to establish any sort of relationship with the Serbs. He said that the Western governments used threats and intimidation to block people from having contact with the Serbs.


Barriot testified that Michael Rose, the British General who formerly led the UNPROFOR forces, was the target of surveillance and had his telephone tapped by French intelligence.


Col. Barriot spoke of a conversation that he had with a man named Jugoslav Petrovic, who was an agent of French Intelligence. Petrovic warned Barriot that there was talk in Western intelligence circles that he should be assassinated because he was in contact with the Serbs.


Barriot blew the whistle on the French Government during his testimony. He said that French politicians used the 1995 capture of two French pilots by the Bosnian Serbs in order to embezzle money.


According to Barriot, Gen. Mladic never asked for a ransom, all Mladic wanted was to speak with French military commanders and get a handshake agreement. Barriot said that Mladic never received a cent of ransom money. The ransom money that was allegedly paid went straight into the pockets of corrupt French politicians, according to the witness.


In spite of attempts by the prosecution and by the judges to block the evidence, Col. Barriot testified of the terrorist network that exists in Bosnia and Kosovo. According to his knowledge, as a member of the anti-terrorism taskforce of the French Government, the principle terrorist groups operating in the Balkans are Al-Qaeda and the Algerian GIA terrorist group. The main bases of Balkan terrorism are in central Bosnia, northern Albania, and in Kosovo. According to the witness, Osama bin Laden was present in northern Albania in October of 1998. 


Col. Barriot testified regarding the fundraising and infrastructure of these terrorist groups. He listed Islamic charities, and the SDA as the key logistical organizers of the terrorist infrastructure. He enumerated the countries actively sponsoring terrorism in the Balkans as being: Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Sudan. He added that organized crime and trafficking were also sources of terrorist funding.


The witness testified regarding American involvement in Operations Flash and Storm. He said that the United States equipped the Croats. He also said that Canadian soldiers who were in Knin during Operation Storm reported seeing U.S. military personnel taking part in the attack. 


In addition to this direct U.S. military involvement, Barriot pointed to the U.S. Company MPRI, which he said was training and advising Croatian troops.


Col. Barriot will conclude his testimony on Wednesday.

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