Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

President Milosevic concluded his examination of forensic expert, Professor Slavisa Dobricanin, former director of the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Pristina on Tuesday.

Milosevic briefly asked Professor Dobricanin questions about a NATO attack against a bus in Luzane that killed 40 civilians on May 1, 1999. Professor Dobricanin investigated the incident, and for the purposes of the trial, this evidence was used to demonstrate the procedure followed by Yugoslav authorities.

However, one could not escape the fact that the same numbers of people were killed in the NATO attack as were killed in Racak (40 in each case). The only difference is that NATO killed 40 civilians, and was not charged with a war crime.

Following the conclusion of his examination-in-chief. Professor Dobricanin was cross-examined by Prosecutor Daniel Saxon.

Mr. Saxon was weak and ineffective. It was obvious that he was grasping at straws. He focused his attention on the clothing that the corpses found in Racak were wearing. Saxon said that it was normal for people to wear multiple layers of clothing in the wintertime.

Saxon pointed out that Professor Dobricanin could be seen wearing a winter coat on Judge Marinkovic’s videotape of the investigation in Racak.

Saxon snidely actually asked Professor Dobricanin if he was “naked” under his coat or if he was wearing some clothing underneath it.

When Dobricanin replied that he was wearing a shirt under his coat, Saxon said, there you go; you were wearing multiple layers of clothing too!

Professor Dobricanin actually had to explain the difference to the prosecutor. It is normal for somebody to wear a shirt under their coat. Everybody does that. This is not what the corpses found in Racak were wearing. The bodies found in Racak were wearing 2 coats, and as many as 4 shirts and 3 pairs of pants each.

The way the bodies were dressed shows that they were prepared to spend prolonged periods of time out in the cold.

In an attempt to be dramatic Saxon showed the witness pictures of fourteen-year-old Halim Beqiri, a boy who was among the dead found in Racak. It was Saxon’s claim that the age of the boy proved he was an “innocent civilian.”

Professor Dobricanin did not accept Saxon’s assertion regarding the boy’s age. Dobricanin said "Albanian boys grew up sooner" and that there had been "fourteen-year-old boys who carried guns."

Dobricanin’s claims are easy to prove. On April 17, 1999, CNN did a report about a group of Albanians from New York who went to Albanian training camps to fight for the KLA.

The group included men as old as 73, and girls as young as 16. Elinda Muriqi, a 16-year-old girl from the Bronx told CNN that she volunteered for the KLA because she wanted “to shoot some Serbs.”


This is a disturbing fact about the KLA. The organization included women, children, and old people. The mere fact that women, children, and old people were killed in the conflict does not, as Mr. Saxon claims, prove that any crime was committed. Given the KLA's nature, it is entirely possible that they were armed combatants.

Saxon also asked Dobricanin questions about an investigation that Helena Ranta launched one year and three months after the incident. In March of 2000 Ranta went to Racak, she claimed to have found shell casings and bullets in the areas where the bodies were allegedly killed.

Mr. Saxon showed the witness a number of pictures that Ms. Ranta took. The only thing that could be seen in the pictures were little blue and white flags that Ms. Ranta had put on the ground.

The flags were supposed to symbolize the spots where she found bullets and shell casings, but no bullets or shell casings could be seen in the pictures.

Professor Dobricanin said that he was not part of Ranta’s 2nd investigation and could not comment on what she allegedly found. He also wondered why the forensic teams who carried out the autopsies were not invited to be part of Ranta’s 2nd investigation.

Dobricanin suggested that the whole thing could be rigged without a lot of trouble. There was no ballistic analysis, so anybody who knew where the bodies were supposed to be could come along, shoot the ground, and then invite Ms. Ranta to come and find the bullets.

Professor Dobricanin pointed out that none of this would have been an issue if the KLA had allowed the authorities to do their job and carryout a proper investigation of the bodies where they were found. He theorized that there could have been a reason for keeping investigators out of the village for three days, and moving all of the bodies to the mosque before any investigations could be conducted.

The sequence of events shows that William Walker and the KLA wanted to prevent a proper forensic investigation.

January 15, 1999

The police carried out an operation in Racak to arrest some members of the KLA. There is combat and 40 terrorists are killed.

Forensic teams enter the village but the KLA shoots at them and they are forced to leave

January 16, 1999

William Walker invites the international media to a ravine near the village to see the corpses. At this point he proclaims that a massacre has taken place, and allows journalists to trample all over the alleged crime scene.

Forensic teams attempt to enter the village but the KLA shoots at them and they leave.

January 17, 1999

The villagers move all of the bodies to the local mosque.

Forensic teams attempt to enter the village but the KLA shoots at them and they leave.

January 18, 1999

Forensic investigators are finally allowed access to the village, and they find all of the bodies in the mosque.

The sequence of events demonstrates that somebody did not want an investigation to be carried out. Walker’s behavior, in allowing journalists to trample allover the crime scene, demonstrates that he did not care about conducting a proper investigation, and the KLA demonstrates that it does not want a proper investigation. It shot at the investigators, until the villagers moved all of the bodies to the mosque, then it allowed access.

Things are getting even worse for the prosecution. It turns out that a Kosovo police official named Dragan Jasovic was testifying as a prosecution witness at the Limaj trial.

Jasovic worked in the area around Racak, and was responsible for taking a number of statements from witnesses. The statements are contemporaneous documents from 1998 and early 1999. The statements apparently show that 30 of the 40 people killed in Racak were known to be members of the KLA before January 15, 1999.

Milosevic wants Jasovic to be the next witness. Judge Robinson has already promised that Jasovic could testify at the earliest possible convenience, and Mr. Nice is the one who first brought the witness up.

However, now that Mr. Nice knows what sort of evidence the witness has, he is trying to block this witness being called. Mr. Nice wants to re-call Helena Ranta instead. As it turns out, Mr. Nice has already invited Ms. Ranta to The Hague and she was sitting in the public gallery today.

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