Yesterday, ex-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic “knocked out and tore to pieces” (according to Belgrade lawyer Toma Fila) the first prosecution witness, Mahmut Bakli. The member of Kosovar Skupschina and former leader of Kosovar communists (Bakli was at the head of the Communist Party during 1970-1981 and took part in the negotiations on Kosovo in 1998) answered the questions Slobodan Milosevic asked him, and he did not showed himself in a favorable light. Therefore, Bakli accused Milosevic of annihilating the Albanian population in the province and of carrying out a policy of apartheid. While answering the question of what he means by “apartheid," the witness could not answer concretely, RIA ‘Novosti’ reports.
After Bakli characterized Milosevic’s statement about the Kosovar Liberation Army’s terror towards Serb civilians as propaganda, the following question was asked: “So, the people killed, that was propaganda?” Milosevic asked whether the Albanian militants’ punishment of their opponents could be called “terror." Bakli answered: “Yes, though they did committed it.” Therefore, you can take it as you like it. The first witness could not present convincing proof that “the Serb police had killed unarmed Albanians” and that they themselves had not shot at policemen.
According to some observers, the ex-leader of the Communist Party was nervous and irritated, while the same could not be said about Milosevic. The trial’s judge, Richard May, obviously wanted to help Bakli, so he often interrupted Milosevic and changed the subject. On Monday, the ex-Serbian leader declared that the truth was on his side. “That is why I am here with the suuperiority of conscious," he said.
Yugoslav President Voislav Kostunica criticized the Hague Tribunal’s officials. This statement was spread by the world's information agencies. According to Kostunica, "in the Hague judges’ work, there is little law and much policy,” the accusations were prepared hastily and skin-deep. Kostunica, who earlier isolated himself from Milosevic’s extradition, now does not dare to openly speak in support of Milosevic. He only said that the prosecutors and the accused himself perfectly rule the history’s course, while imposing their own interpretation of history. Carla del Ponte, however, was accused of making the trial of one person the trial of the whole Serb nation. According to Kostunica, Yugoslavia should defend not Milosevic, but its own interests. To defend these interests, the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry intends to send its official representative to the Hague if this is permitted.
Another witness is expected in the Hague – ex-Russian Prime-Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who is ready to appear at the trial. This was reported by Primakov himself in Paris, while presenting his book “Years in the Labyrinths of Power.”
According to Primakov, US policy in the Balkans furthers the “aggravation of Islamic extremism there,” Therefore, the shaping of a “Greater Albania” is real. As for the ex-Yugolsav President, Primakov noticed in particular that “if there had not been Milosevic, there would not have been the Dayton Peace Agreement.”
Sergei Yugov PRAVDA.Ru Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/19/37315.html