28.06.2017.

DID MILOSEVIC CONTROL KNIN AND PALE?

In the cross-examination of General John Wilson, Stanisic's defense lawyer strove to challenge the witness's claim that Slobodan Milosevic 'pulled all the strings and was the political power behind the entire conflict', and that he controlled the Serb leaderships in Krajina and in BH. The defense is thus trying to refute the prosecution case, which is that Milosevic in fact exercised this control through his State Security Service

At the end of the examination-in-chief of the Australian general John Wilson, Stanisic's defense counsel Wayne Jordash made an objection, asking that all mention of the Red Berets, Mostar, Sarajevo, Bijeljina and Srebrenica be deleted from the witness's statement. Arguing that the Trial Chamber's position is that only evidence that follows closely 'the evidence presented at the first trial' could be called at the retrial, Jordash claimed Wilson's testimony constituted 'new evidence', not related to the witness statement tendered by the prosecution at the beginning of Wilson's testimony.

The motion was supported by Simatovic's defense lawyer Vladimir Petrovic who wanted the paragraph in which the Red Berets are mentioned to be deleted from the witness's statement too.

Prosecutor Adam Veber/Weber briefly opposed the defense's motion, seeking permission to respond in greater detail in a written submission. The Chamber decided he could do so. Stanusic's defense counsel Jordash embarked in his cross-examination then.

The first part of the cross-examination (due to resume tomorrow) focused on the defense lawyer's efforts to challenge the witness's statement that Slobodan Milosevic 'pulled all the strings and was the political power behind the entire conflict', and that he controlled the Serb leaderships in Krajina and BH. The defense lawyer tried to get the witness to agree that he had not in fact been familiar with the 'complex relations' within the top echelons in Knin and Pale, but General Wilson refused to budge, standing by his conclusions about Milosevic he had formed in the two years of his tour of duty in the former Yugoslavia, in 1992 and 1993.

Although it seemed at times that Jordash's client was Slobodan Milosevic rather than Jovica Stanisic, the line of questioning was in fact quite relevant. The prosecution alleges that the firmer president of Serbia and Yugoslavia controlled the Serb leaderships in Krajina and in BH through his State Security Service, headed by the two accused.