Milosevic Attacks Final Trial Witness

Article excerpt

UN prosecutors, wrapping up the first part of Slobodan Milosevic's war crimes trial, called their final witness yesterday to testify that the former Yugoslav president was responsible for Serb forces who committed atrocities in Kosovo. After handling administrative matters, the trial in The Hague was to break for two weeks to allow time to prepare for the next stage of hearings, which will deal with the earlier wars in Croatia and Bosnia.

In addition to five counts of war crimes in Kosovo, Milosevic, faces 61 charges of genocide and other allegations for the 1991-1995 Balkan conflicts during the break up of Yugoslavia.

Milosevic, who represents himself in court, will be allowed to present the defence case after prosecutors finish with all three conflicts, expected to be some time next year. On the 95th day of hearings, prosecutors called military expert Philip Coo, the 124th witness.

Coo testified about the 'well-organised' command structure of the Yugoslav military. He detailed a report compiled for the prosecution asserting that Milosevic undoubtedly had been responsible for Serb forces that murdered and plundered in Kosovo.

Milosevic's Kosovo indictment blames him for hundreds of murders of ethnic Albanians and the forced expulsion of 800,000 others. …