www.slobodan-milosevic.org - April 13, 2005

Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

Professor Dobricanin concluded his testimony at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic on Wednesday. Dobricanin is the former director of the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Pristina. He was in charge of a forensic team that autopsied 40 people found dead in Racak in January 1999.

The session began with the tribunal sending Helena Ranta home. The prosecution had contacted her and asked her to be available in the public gallery in case the judges wanted her. It turns out that they didn’t want to hear from her, and she was sent back to Finland.

Prosecutor Daniel Saxon continued to cross-examine Professor Dobricanin. His cross-examination was quite weak, and in many cases did not even challenge the evidence that Professor Dobricanin gave during his examination-in-chief.

For example, professor Dobricanin testified during his examination-in-chief that MOST of the bodies found in Racak were wearing dark clothing. Mr. Saxon pointed out that three of the bodies (out of 40 total) were wearing light colored clothing. This fact does not refute Dobricanin’s testimony that MOST of the bodies were wearing dark clothing. The word “most” means a majority but not all. In spite of the fact that he hadn’t really accomplished anything, Mr. Saxon still acted as if he had captured the witness in some major inconsistency.

Mr. Saxon spent a lot of time showing the witness photos and drawings from a report compiled by Helena Ranta. The report was aimed at establishing the locations where the bodies found in Racak were killed. Ms. Ranta based her report on an investigation that she conducted practically one year after the events.

The report, which is prefaced in the first paragraph as being only Helena Ranta’s opinion, claimed that the bodies in Racak were killed on the spot where William Walker and his OSCE observers claimed to have found them.

Professor Dobricanin was very uncomfortable commenting Ms. Ranta’s report. He is a professional and clearly did not want to answer the hypothetical questions put to him by the prosecutor.

Mr. Saxon showed the witness Ms. Ranta’s drawing of the gully where William Walker famously told the world media that the Serbs had massacred innocent Albanian civilians.

Ranta’s drawing marked the location where the bodies were allegedly found, and the location where she allegedly found bullets and shell casings. Her report and Mr. Saxon’s contention was that the bodies were killed where they lay. The bodies were in the center of the gully, bullets were found on one side of the gully, and shell casings were found on the opposite side.

In spite of his reluctance to answer hypothetical questions, Prof. Dobricanin was forced by the judges to answer, and Mr. Saxon was undoubtedly disappointed with the answer he got.

Professor Dobricanin said that the drawing could not possibly be accurate in view of the known trajectory of the bullets. The autopsies proved that the bodies in the gully had been shot from all different angles. Some were shot from a high angle, others were shot from a low angle, and the bullets came from many different directions.

If Ms. Ranta’s drawing were accurate then everybody in the gully would have had to be shot from a similar angle, but the autopsies proved that they weren’t. This is an indication that the bodies were not killed at the spot where Walker and his entourage found them. It also indicates that Ms. Ranta is lying or that somebody planted those bullets and shell casings for her to find.

Prof. Dobricanin bemoaned the fact that the bodies could not be examined by forensic teams on the spot where they were allegedly found. He said it was extremely unfortunate that forensic teams were prevented from carrying out an investigation on the spot while the bodies were still there.

The witness was clearly angered by the fact that the KLA and the OSCE had obstructed the investigation. The KLA fired on the forensic teams and kept them away from Racak for three days, during which time villagers moved the bodies to the local mosque.

Dobricanin also made reference to General Drewienkiewicz’s threat to ship Judge Marinkovic off to The Hague if she tried to conduct an onsite investigation in Racak. General Drewienkiewicz is the British General who was in charge of planning for the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM).

It is worth noting that William Walker, the head of the OSCE-KVM, was given access to the village by the KLA while forensic investigators were kept out.

Walker, instead of taking steps to secure the alleged crime scene, brought journalists to that gully and let them trample all over the place. One of the journalists was Franz Josef Hutsch, a German newspaper reporter.

According Mr. Hutsch, who testified at the trial on October 12, 2004, Walker just stood there while journalists moved the bodies around to take their pictures. He said that the bodies “were put upright, for example, at the edge of the slope so that they would have a bit of shade so that the excessive head wounds wouldn't be seen in a photo to be published. And they were taken from their original positions.”

Based on all of this, it is obvious that the OSCE and the KLA did not want a proper onsite investigation to be carried out. Such behavior suggests that they had something they wanted to hide.

After Prof. Dobricanin concluded his testimony, administrative matters were debated. President Milosevic wants to call Dragan Jasovic as his next witness. Jasovic, who was a prosecution witness in the Limaj trial last week, has documents that show that 30 of the 40 bodies found in Racak were known members of the KLA.

Mr. Nice is objecting and does not want this witness to be called, even though he is the one who brought him to everybody’s attention in the first place.

The tribunal will rule whether Jasovic can be called when the trial resumes on Thursday.

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