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(E) Candidate Clark testifies at Milosevic's war-crimes trial
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  12/18/2003 | Politics | Unrated
(E) Candidate Clark testifies at Milosevic's war-crimes trial

 

Candidate Clark testifies at Milosevic's war-crimes trial

12/16/03

Anthony Deutsch
Associated Press


The Hague, Netherlands - U.S. presidential hopeful Wesley Clark faced his wartime foe Slobodan Milosevic yesterday for the first time since the former Yugoslav leader's fall, testifying at his war crimes trial.

Afterward, Clark accused Milosevic of responsibility for years of death and destruction in the Balkans.

Clark, a retired four-star general and former NATO supreme commander, was taking a hiatus from his cam paign for the Democratic presidential nomination for two days of testi mony behind closed doors at the Yugoslav war crimes tri bunal in The Hague.

The hearings will continue today, with Milosevic able to cross- examine Clark.

Most of Milosevic's trial, which began in February 2002, has been public, but the United States won an agreement from the tribunal to keep Clark's appearance closed for security reasons.

Prosecutors hope Clark will back up their contention that Milosevic was aware of Serbian wartime atrocities, such as the massacre of thousands of Muslim civilians in Srebrenica, Bosnia, and failed to prevent them or punish those responsible.

Clark, who as NATO's supreme commander led the 1999 bombing campaign in Kosovo, has unique insight into the tactics of the former Yugoslav leader, who was ousted in 2000 and later extradited to the U.N. war crimes tribunal.

Milosevic, who is running for office in his homeland despite his detention, faces 66 charges of war crimes committed in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Milosevic, who studied law but never practiced it, has proved to be a skilled cross-examiner and probably will be looking to undermine Clark's credibility as a prosecution witness.

His trial is televised in Serbia, and experts say he uses the platform of the courtroom to score political points at home rather than to score legal points with his judges.

From his detention cell, Milosevic is running in the Dec. 28 parliamentary elections in Serbia, which could see a resurgence of support for his Socialist Party.

Clark's appearance comes at a critical time as the prosecution tries to wrap up its case by the end of the year, clearing the way for Milosevic to present the case for the defense beginning in April.

Clark's book, "Waging Modern Warfare," gives a day-by-day account from the command center of the 78-day bombing campaign, which drove Milosevic's Serb troops out of Kosovo to end a campaign of repression and expulsion of the ethnic Albanian majority in Serbia's southern province.

Clark also served as director of strategy, plans and policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the mid- 1990s, when the United States was trying to negotiate an end to the war in Bosnia.

© 2003 The Plain Dealer

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1071574346311610.xml


Wesley Clark describes Milosevic as stubborn

Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — U.S. presidential hopeful Wesley Clark said on Tuesday that former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was the same argumentative and stubborn man he faced as a foe during the Balkan wars.

Clark issued that assessment at the end of two days of closed testimony at Milosevic's war crimes trial. The testimony, which dealt with Milosevic's command responsibility during the Balkan wards, was to be released later this week after screening by State Department lawyers, Clark told reporters outside the U.N. court in The Hague.

His evidence also covered Milosevic's alleged role in the 1995 massacre of about 7,000 Muslims in Bosnia's Srebrenica enclave, Clark said.

"Srebrenica did come up and his foreknowledge did come up," Clark said. He declined to say whether Milosevic bears criminal responsibility. Passing a verdict on Milosevic's actions will be "up to the judges," he said.

Milosevic faces 66 counts of war crimes, including genocide, allegedly committed in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s. Clark, NATO's top commander during the alliance's 1999 bombing campaign in Yugoslavia that drove Milosevic's forces from Kosovo, said it was satisfying to testify after seeing "the shattered cities of the former Yugoslavia."

"I saw no change in his demeanor, his stubbornness, his petulance, from the man who I believe was responsible for so much slaughter and victims in the Balkans," Clark said after nearly 10 hours in court.

Milosevic spent several hours cross-examining Clark, who said his high position in the military alliance gave him knowledge about Milosevic's ideas and policies from 1995-1999, when the two men met for some 100 hours in all.

Clark said his testimony provided insight into Milosevic's "state of mind and, in addition, my impression of his overall leadership style." He called it "a typical Milosevic performance" with the defendant argumentative and at times "overly personal."

The two days of testimony are the first time that Clark, a retired four-star general, faced Milosevic since NATO warplanes bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days to end a Serb crackdown on the majority ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo. The Serb attacks reportedly killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

For Clark, the exposure on an international stage offers a chance to boost his profile as he seeks the Democratic nomination ahead of U.S. presidential elections in 2004.

Milosevic, who is running for a seat in Serbia's parliament despite his detention, studied law but never practiced it. He is defending himself in court with the assistance of a team of shadow lawyers from Belgrade.

His trial is televised in Serbia, and he often appears more concerned with scoring political points at home than with winning in the courtroom.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1071594922914_10/?hub=World

Wesley Clark describes Milosevic as 'petulant' in war crimes trial testimony

ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer Tuesday, December 16, 2003

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(12-16) 09:07 PST THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) --

U.S. presidential hopeful Wesley Clark said on Tuesday that former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was the same argumentative and stubborn man he faced as a foe during the Balkan wars.

Clark issued that assessment at the end of two days of closed testimony at Milosevic's war crimes trial. The testimony, which dealt with Milosevic's command responsibility during the Balkan wards, was to be released later this week after screening by State Department lawyers, Clark told reporters outside the U.N. court in The Hague.

His evidence also covered Milosevic's alleged role in the 1995 massacre of about 7,000 Muslims in Bosnia's Srebrenica enclave, Clark said.

"Srebrenica did come up and his foreknowledge did come up," Clark said. He declined to say whether Milosevic bears criminal responsibility. Passing a verdict on Milosevic's actions will be "up to the judges," he said.

Milosevic faces 66 counts of war crimes, including genocide, allegedly committed in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s. Clark, NATO's top commander during the alliance's 1999 bombing campaign in Yugoslavia that drove Milosevic's forces from Kosovo, said it was satisfying to testify after seeing "the shattered cities of the former Yugoslavia."

"I saw no change in his demeanor, his stubbornness, his petulance, from the man who I believe was responsible for so much slaughter and victims in the Balkans," Clark said after nearly 10 hours in court.

Milosevic spent several hours cross-examining Clark, who said his high position in the military alliance gave him knowledge about Milosevic's ideas and policies from 1995-1999, when the two men met for some 100 hours in all.

Clark said his testimony provided insight into Milosevic's "state of mind and, in addition, my impression of his overall leadership style." He called it "a typical Milosevic performance" with the defendant argumentative and at times "overly personal."

The two days of testimony are the first time that Clark, a retired four-star general, faced Milosevic since NATO warplanes bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days to end a Serb crackdown on the majority ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo. The Serb attacks reportedly killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

For Clark, the exposure on an international stage offers a chance to boost his profile as he seeks the Democratic nomination ahead of U.S. presidential elections in 2004.

Milosevic, who is running for a seat in Serbia's parliament despite his detention, studied law but never practiced it. He is defending himself in court with the assistance of a team of shadow lawyers from Belgrade.

His trial is televised in Serbia, and he often appears more concerned with scoring political points at home than with winning in the courtroom.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/12/16/international1207EST0526.DTL

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