Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

Gen. Bozidar Delic, former commander of the 549th Motorized Brigade of the Yugoslav Army (VJ), completed his examination-in-chief at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic on Thursday.

Gen. Delic testified that the Yugoslav Army punished soldiers who committed crimes against the civilian population. He showed the court documents that outlined crimes committed by individual soldiers in his unit, and the punishments they received. Several men were convicted of war crimes and given lengthy prison sentences.

Mr. Bonamy expressed concern because the documents were not all the way up to date, and some of the soldier’s trials had not been completed when the documents were generated. The trial chamber’s view appears to be that the actions of the Yugoslav judiciary were Milosevic’s responsibility.

Milosevic argued that the executive branch’s responsibility ends when the suspect is arrested. After the initial arrest, the judiciary takes over and determines whether the suspect is guilty of the crime and what punishment should be handed down.

In free countries the judiciary is not controlled by another branch of the government. Trials would be a pointless exercise if the courts were under external control. The concept of an independent judiciary seems to be a difficult concept for Bonamy, Kwon, and Robinson to grasp, but who can blame them – they’re pawns conducting a political show trial for NATO and such high-minded legal concepts are probably beyond their understanding.

Gen. Delic provided evidence related to the cooperation that existed between the KLA and NATO. He showed the court documents detailing intercepted KLA radio communications.

The intercepted radio communications showed that the KLA was scoping-out targets for NATO to bomb. The KLA was sending radio communications to NATO pinpointing the targets that should be bombed.

The radio communications also revealed that the KLA had the ability to call off NATO bombing raids if it was in the area.

Gen. Delic testified that KLA attacks were often synchronized with NATO bombing raids. This, together with the intercepted radio communications, shows that NATO had a close working relationship with the KLA.

It was Gen. Delic’s position that a large portion of the population left Kosovo because of the fear engendered by NATO’s bombing raids. He detailed the sorts of weapons that NATO used it its attacks, including cluster bombs and weapons with depleted uranium.

Gen. Delic showed a NATO map of Kosovo that indicated where depleted uranium (DU) weapons had been used. He said that NATO dropped more than 30 tons of DU on Kosovo, and that Yugoslav Army soldiers who had been exposed to the contaminated areas have contracted diseases such as leukemia and cancer at very high rates. The DU used by NATO will maintain its radioactivity for almost 4 billion years.

Gen. Delic detailed the structure of the Yugoslav military. He explained what all of the different units did, and what their chain of command was.

He testified that the ethnic composition of the Yugoslav Army was roughly 70% Serb and 30% others. He played videotapes filmed by Radio-Television Serbia where soldiers of different ethnicities were interviewed during the Kosovo war, these soldiers included: Albanians, Turks, Roma, Gorani, Muslims, and others. Gen. Delic explained that the ethnic composition of the Army matched the ethnic composition of Yugoslavia – there was no discrimination against non-Serbs in the Army.

Gen. Delic testified that the Army never received orders to deport civilians or to ethnically cleanse Kosovo. He categorically stated that there was no policy of violence towards civilians, and no policy to expel ethnic Albanians from Kosovo.

Delic also spoke about relations between the Army and the police. He said that relations were professional and appropriate.

The prosecution claims that a secret chain of command existed whereby Milosevic was able to bypass the regular chain of command and directly control the army and police through the so-called “Joint Command.”

Gen. Delic explained that Joint Command was a coordination body that existed between the army and police. He said that the Joint Command did not have any authority to issue orders. He explained that the army and police each followed their own chains of command. The army only took orders from the corps command, and the police only took orders from the Interior Ministry. Nobody took, or would take, orders directly from the Joint Command.

On every day of his testimony Gen. Delic has exposed at least one prosecution witness as a liar, and today was no exception. Today it was Paddy Ashdown’s turn to be exposed as a perjurer.

On March 14, 2002 Ashdown testified as a witness for the prosecution. He said that he was on the Kosovo-Albania border near Junik. From his perch at Junik, through his binoculars, Ashdown claimed to see Serbian forces torching, looting and shelling several villages.

As a military man, Gen. Delic is good with maps. Using a topographical map of Kosovo, Delic showed the areas that Ashdown could have seen from Junik and the areas that he could not have seen (unless he had x-ray vision that allowed him to see through mountains). As it turns out, Ashdown could not have possibly seen the places and the villages that he claimed to have seen, with that Gen. Delic’s examination-in-chief came to an end.

Mr. Nice asked Gen. Delic a couple of brief questions in cross-examination before the hearing adjourned. It will be interesting to see how the prosecution attacks Delic when the trial resumes next Monday, especially since he has been contacted as an expert witness by Carla del Ponte.

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