“VICTIMS” HAD GUNPOWDER ON THEIR HANDS AND WERE KNOWN KLA MEMBERS
www.slobodan-milosevic.org - March 24, 2005
Written by: Andy Wilcoxson
Judge Danica Marenkovic continued her testimony at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic on Thursday. She was the Investigating Judge from the Pristina District Court, and in January 1999 she investigated the alleged massacre in the village of Racak.
Racak is an important event because it is the only war crime that Serbia is accused of committing in Kosovo prior to the NATO bombing. The accusation that the Serbs perpetrated a massacre in Racak helped give political justification to the NATO aggression that was launched against Yugoslavia exactly six years ago today.
On Wednesday Judge Marenkovic testified that a team of international forensic investigators from Serbia, Belarus, and Finland determined that the 40 corpses found in the village were shot from a distance. They were not executed at close-range as certain Western politicians and media had claimed.
Today Judge Marenkovic testified that the forensic team identified all 40 of the bodies. The names of 36 of them can be found on the indictment against Milosevic. 9 of the names listed on the indictment were not among the 40, and 4 people that were found by Marenkovic are not on the indictment.
The forensic analysis revealed that 37 of the 40 bodies had gunpowder residue on their hands, which indicates that they had been firing weapons shortly before they died. Judge Marenkovic said that many of the bodies were wearing combat boots, multiple layers of clothing, some even wore heavy woolen military pants. She also noted that most of the corpses were wearing identical leather belts.
Obviously, these were not simple unarmed village folks who had been massacred in cold blood. These people were dressed to be outside, and they had gunpowder traces on their hands. They were clearly armed combatants, not innocent civilians.
To take the point even further, these people were very likely members of the KLA. Judge Marenkovic brought a series of police reports and official witness statements to court with her. These documents revealed that 7 of the 40 had been conclusively identified as members of the KLA before the 15th of January 1999, the day of the infamous Racak incident.
The police reports and the sworn witness statements were consistent with one another and clearly demonstrated that Racak was a KLA stronghold prior to January 15th.
The documents complemented Judge Marenkovic’s testimony perfectly. As was noted yesterday, she found trenches and bunkers littered with shell casings. She also found machine gun nests, and a large quantity of weapons in the village. All of that was videotaped and the tape was played yesterday. The tape even showed the KLA headquarters in Racak complete with uniforms, weapons, and a duty roster.
It was clear from the videotapes played yesterday that there was an exchange of fire in the village. The police, who were being videotaped by the media and watched by the OSCE, were under fire from the moment they entered the village. They could not have rounded-up people and massacred them – it simply was not possible. The police could only return fire when they were shot at.
Furthermore, according to Judge Marinkovic's testimony, all of the civilians had left Racak ahead of the operation. The only ones in the village when the police arrived were the KLA.
The people who were killed were obviously members of the KLA. They were dressed to spend prolonged periods of time outside, they were wearing army boots, and they had gunpowder traces on their hands. Things could not be anymore clear.
William Walker, Bill Clinton, and scores of other Western politicians clearly lied when they accused the Serbian police of massacring civilians at Racak. The only thing the police could do was shoot back at the people who were shooting at them.
Judge Marenkovic went to the spot where Walker said the massacre had taken place and found no evidence to corroborate his claims. There were no blood splatters or fragments to indicate a massacre had happened at that spot.
In addition to Racak, Judge Marenkovic testified about a real massacre that the KLA perpetrated in 1998 at Kletchka where scores of Serb and Albanian civilians, some of whom were children as young as 9 and 12 years old, were raped, killed, and dismembered. There was videotape of this massacre, but the tribunal would not allow it to be played.
The indictment against Milosevic also accuses Serbian police of executing Albanian prisoners at the Dubrava prison in Istok. It just so happens that Mrs. Marenkovic investigated the death of these prisoners as part of her duties as an investigating judge.
She came to the tribunal with all of the proper forensic reports and witness statements, and it emerged that the NATO bombing killed the prisoners, not the police. Eyewitnesses saw the prison being bombed by NATO warplanes, and the forensic analysis of the victims’ corpses proved that they had been killed by blast injuries, not executed with firearms as the indictment claims.
With that her examination-in-chief came to an end. She will be cross-examined by Mr. Nice when the trial resumes on Wednesday, April 6th.
# # #