Skip to comments.Milosevic trial resumes with testimony about Racak massacre
Posted on 10/12/2004 8:36:57 AM PDT by Jane_N
THE HAGUE : The mammoth trial of Slobodan Milosevic resumed at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, with testimony about the 1999 massacre of some 45 people in the Kosovo town of Racak.
The alleged massacre of civilians by Serb troops in Racak is a key element in the UN court's indictment against the former Yugoslav president over the 1998-99 conflicts in the Serb province of Kosovo.
German investigative journalist Franz-Josef Hutsch on Tuesday took the stand as the fourth defence witness after the case had been adjourned for a month to give Milosevic's court-appointed defence lawyer time to prepare his case.
Hutsch, a journalist for Stern magazine and several German newspapers, went to Racak in January 1999 together with William Walker, the head of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) set up by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor a ceasefire in Kosovo.
He described how he and Walker had discovered a group of bodies in a gully near Racak.
Walker later told journalists that approximately 45 civilians had been massacred there.
In regard to the Kosovo indictment Milosevic has always maintained that the 1998-99 crack down on ethnic Albanians by Serb troops was a legitimate war against terrorist KLA Islamic extremists.
He has argued that Racak was a stronghold of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and insisted the people killed there were KLA fighters and not civilians.
Hutsch testified that around a hundred KLA fighters had been in and around the town to secure the area when Walker arrived.
However, despite Serb assertions that the dead were KLA fighters, Hutsch said it was clear they were not potential KLA recruits as two-thirds of the victims were men over 50 years of age.
During the prosecution case Milosevic argued that the bodies in Racak had been tampered with and the massacre staged.
Hutsch testified that on January 16, a day after the killings, journalists could move freely among the bodies and disturbed the scene.
"Some colleagues rearranged the bodies in order to photograph them better ... From a forensic point of view we were actually destroying evidence," he said.
In all Milosevic stands accused of over 60 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the war in Croatia 1991-95, the 1992-95 Bosnian war and the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict.
For the bloody war in Bosnia, which left over 200,000 people dead, he faces separate charges of genocide, the most serious of war crimes.
If convicted, Milosevic could be sentenced to life in prison.
Hutsch, who was in the German army for 14 years before becoming a journalist, told the court that he felt the war in Kosovo seemed staged to a large extent by the KLA.
"The KLA seemed to have a very good public relations manager. We had situations were refugees were kept in the woods until Western journalists visited them, civilians prevented from leaving villages that were being attacked by Serb forces," he said.
Also note that Racak was a anti-KLA village
It is pretty obvious what the KLA did with it's reluctant volunteers that day isn't it ?
No, they were arranging the scene of fake massacre.
But who cares. Serbian and Belarus forensic reports were rejected by the "international community" and sleazebag Dr.Ranta NEVER visitied the scene of the alleged crime PRIOR to inking her forensic report.
Soon afterwards, Dr. Ranta, forensic DENTIST, got a bribe- position of the president of Finland's Helsinki Watch (State-Department affiliated quasi NGO).
The same scumbags who pulled the Racak hoax off intended to repeat it in JENIN. But failed miserably. Because Dr. Ranta was exposed in Racak, she was denied entry visa to Israel.
Dr. Ranta appeared as persecution "witness" in The Hague, keeping straight face.
I wonder how that monster sleeps at night. She is part of criminal enterprise, responsible for attack on Yugoslavia in March 1999 when thousands of people died.
It is interesting that for almost half of the dead the date of birth is not known. As if they had no school friends, relatives, nada.
It is very likely they were KLA thugs killed in fighting no one in the village knew before.