Yesterday, at the trial, ex-Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milocevic asked questions to the main witness of the Tribunal, today’s President of Kosovo and the leader of Democratic Union of Kosovo, Ibragim Rugova. The defendant proved that Serbs, but not Albanians had been victims of genocide; that Albanian militants, members of so-called Liberation Army, but not Yugoslav military and police, carried out that ethnic cleansing, while the Yugoslav representatives’ activities were aimed for keeping unity of the multinational country. Milosevic reminded, that he had saved Rugova from punishment of Albanian separatists of Kosovo, that the today’s Kosovar leader himself had asked about it, fearing for his life. When the defendant asked the witness to confirm this fact and to honestly answer, looking at his eyes, the Kosovar president, without looking at Milosevic called his statement “pure lie”. According to the main witness, May 1999, he was with his family in Italy, while the reason of his departure was his fear of the Serb police, but not menaces of the Liberation Army. A convincing proof of the ex-Yugoslav President could be a leaflet presented to the Tribunal, in which Ibragim Rugova personally calls Albanians to leave Kosovo and to emigrate to Albania and Macedonia. “In the circumstances of NATO’s bombardments, - the leaflet reads, - the Liberation Army cannot guarantee security of Albanian population.” The leaflet was really spread in 1999 in Kosovo, in the name of Ibragim Rugova. While he stated he had never signed that appeal and that it was really a “forgery,” that all arguments of Milosevic were far-fetched. In general, Rugova does not remember many facts and documents Slobodan Milosevic referred to. According to RIA ‘Novosti’, while answering the questions of the defendant, Rugova never looked to his side and never called his name, preferring to call the ex-President “defendant.” The Albanian politician openly ignored Milosevic. As for the events of 1999 in Kosovo, he said nothing new: Serbs carried out “planned annihilation” of Kosovar Albanians, Milosevic is the main initiator of all what happened in Kosovo, while NATO’s activities were “liberation.” (Rugova, however, finds difficult to answer Milosevic’ s question, who killed about 2,000 Albanians after Serbs left Kosovo in the late 1999, when the territory was controlled only by the Liberation Army). Much more interesting was the opinion of this politician, in every possible way backed by the West now, about further development of the situation in Kosovo and in the Balkans in general. Albanians who live in Macedonia, Montenegro, and South Serbia must have a “right on self-determination,” Rugova said. In other words, on independence. According to him, Kosovar Albanians do not exclude their future integration in Albania.
Sergei Yugov PRAVDA.Ru Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/07/40734.html