THE HAGUE | 26.04.2005.

PROSECUTOR ACCEPTS MILOSEVIC’S LIST OF VICTIMS FROM RACAK

Geoffrey Nice accepts that 30 of the total 40 victims from Racak have police records as KLA members or collaborators. It remains to be seen if and how the prosecutor will try to impeach police inspector Dragan Jasovic and his documents in the cross-examination

Prosecutor Geoffrey Nice today accepted that the names of 30 out of 40 Racak victims have police records in the Urosevac SUP as KLA members or collaborators. Slobodan Milosevic tendered those documents into evidence during the testimony of Dragan Jasovic, CID inspector in the Urosevac SUP, in Kosovo. In the summer of 1999, he was, as he said, “forcibly relocated to Leskovac.”

The documents are statements by “persons from the Siptar minority” – in other words – of Albanian ethnic origin – interrogated by Jasovic in 1998 and 1999 about KLA activities in Racak. As Jasovic said, those persons came to the SUP “on their own initiative” to give statements or were brought in for “preliminary interviews”. In addition to their statements, Jasovic brought to The Hague “official records” made on the basis of the information gathered in 1998 and 1999 in the course of “operational, registered or friendly contacts” or by informers.

By cross-referencing the names of the persons mentioned as KLA members or collaborators in these statements and “official records” with the names of the Racak victims in the Kosovo indictment, Milosevic and his assistants were able to find 30 names in the police records. Some of the names are mentioned in five, six or even eight different statements and “official records.”

The prosecutor will not contest the fact that the names of 30 of the 40 victims from Racak are mentioned in the police documents shown today. The judges will rule on their admissibility at the end of Inspector Jasovic's testimony. The judges have not yet ruled on the prosecutor’s motion to postpone the cross-examination of this witness, which will show what is really behind his acceptance of the documents.

A month ago, during the testimony of investigative judge Danica Marinkovic, the prosecutor challenged some of the police documents from Urosevac, which bore the signature of Inspector Jasovic. The prosecutor was able to find and interview some of the Kosovo Albanians Jasovic had “interviewed” in the spring of 1999. Now they claim that they were coerced into making the statements by beatings and threats.

Anticipating that the prosecutor would try to challenge the credibility of Dragan Jasovic and his documents in a similar way, Milosevic gave the witness an opportunity to answer the charges of coercion right at the beginning of his testimony. The inspector showed a magnanimous understanding of the Kosovo Albanians who accuse him. He said that today “no person of Albanian ethnicity would confirm publicly that he or she had given such statements, because they would risk not only their lives, but the lives of their families.”

Inspector Jasovic's testimony will continue tomorrow.