Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

The trial of Slobodan Milosevic resumed on Monday, October 31. The proceedings began with the prosecution recalling Gen. Milos Djosan to answer questions about his unit's war diary. He was briefly questioned by Mr. Nice and re-examined by Slobodan Milosevic.

Mr. Nice mainly focused his questions on the diary's use of the Serbian term "ciscenje," which translates to "cleansing" in English.

Mr. Nice attempted to claim that "ciscenje" means ethnic cleansing. Gen. Djosan responded that the term for ethnic cleansing is "etnicko ciscenje", not "ciscenje". "Ciscenje" is only half of the term, and all it means is to clean-up.

The witness went on to explain that in the passages of the diary cited by Mr. Nice used the term "ciscenje" only in relation Albanian terrorist forces. In other words, the diary talked about cleansing an area of Albanian terrorists, not about cleansing the area of the Albanian ethnic group.

The war diary contained information showing that soldiers who committed crimes against the civilian population were arrested and prosecuted.

The diary also showed that the Yugoslav Air Force did not fly over Kosovo during the NATO bombing. Gen. Djosan explained that NATO had complete control over the air space, which made flights over Kosovo impossible. He said the only flights possible were medical helicopters, and only that outside of Kosovo.

The fact that the Yugoslav Air Force did not, and could not, fly over Kosovo refutes the testimony of several prosecution witnesses who claimed to have seen Yugoslav MiGs bombing a refugee convoy south of Djackovica and bombing the village of Nogovac. One of the prosecution witnesses even claimed to see a Serbian flag painted on the tail of one of the jets, which is absurd since the fighter jet would have been flying at a speed in excess of 500 km/h. On top of that, NATO has admitted responsibility for both of those bombing raids.

Following the final conclusion of Gen. Djosan's evidence, Col. Vukovic resumed his examination-in-chief.

Milosevic asked Col. Vukovic questions relating to several assertions made in the indictment. He specifically asked about the events in Meja. The indictment claims that several Albanian civilians were abducted from a mass of fleeing refugees and executed by Serbian forces during the war.

Col. Vukovic said that the claim made by the indictment was absurd. He denied that anybody had been executed. He said that there was fighting between the army and the KLA and that several terrorists had been killed. He pointed out that the fighting had been initiated by the KLA.

The witness went on to explain that "Schedule I" of the indictment only confirmed his point. Practically all of the people listed in the schedule as victims of the so-called "Meja massacre" are military able men. This is yet another example of the indictment trying to palm KLA war casualties off as civilian victims of war crimes.

Col. Vukovic presented the court with leaflets that NATO dropped in Kosovo. These leaflets promised "a horrible death" and instilled great fear in the civilian population.

On April 14, 1999, NATO made good on its promise of "horrible death" by bombing of a refugee convoy near Djackovica. According to Col. Vukovic, nearly 100 refugees were killed, many of them were burned alive.

Col. Vukovic presented the court with a transcript of a NATO radio communication that had been intercepted by the Yugoslav Army's 52nd Company of Electronic Surveillance. The communication was between the pilot who bombed the refugee convoy and NATO command.

NATO command directed the pilot to fly to "position 10" and strike a target just outside of Djackovica. Upon arriving at that location the pilot radioed back to NATO command objecting to the bombing raid, saying that all he could see was a large convoy of civilian cars and tractors. NATO command, now fully aware that this was a civilian target, radioed back ordering the pilot to bomb the target anyway. The pilot then carried out his orders and returned to base.

This intercepted radio communication shows that NATO deliberately killed civilians. The refugee convoy that NATO massacred was doing nothing more than attempting to return to their homes in the village of Korisa.

Col. Vukovic, who's area of responsibility was right on the border with Albania, spoke of close collaboration between the KLA, NATO, and Albania. He said that NATO bombing raids were coordinated with KLA and Albanian Army ground actions. Unfortunately, the Judges intervened and prevented him from giving as expansive of an explanation as he wanted.

Milosevic asked Col. Vukovic to read passages from his war diary and combat reports. These documents showed the Yugoslav Army's level discipline. They showed that the army only acted pursuant to orders, and maintained strict discipline.

Milosevic ended his examination by asking Vukovic if he was aware of any plan or order to expell Albanians from Kosovo. Col. Vukovic unequivocally answered that no such plan existed. He said that in villages where there was no KLA activity or NATO bombing there was no movement of refugees. He listed several villages in his unit's area of responsibility where the population remained completely intact until the end of the war.

The last few minutes of Monday's hearing were consumed by the beginning or Mr. Nice's cross-examination. The trial will resume on Tuesday.

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