Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Kosovo Six Trial Resumes

(TU No 464, 18-Aug-06)
The six defendants in the current case include three generals from the Serbian police and the Yugoslav army, VJ, who were indicted in 2003 - Sreten Lukic, Nebojsa Pavkovic and Vladimir Lazarevic. They are standing trial alongside three others who were charged in 2001 - the former chief of staff Dragoljub Ojdanic, the former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic and the former deputy prime minister of Yugoslavia Nikola Sainovic.

They all face four counts of crimes against humanity and one count of violations of the laws and customs of war in connection with mass expulsions and massacres allegedly committed by forces under their control between January and June 1999.

According to the indictment, as many as 800,000 Albanians were expelled from their homes during that period.

The trial started in July, and the prosecutors are currently presenting their case. This week they brought to court a number of Kosovo Albanians, who spoke about crimes they had witnessed in the villages around the town of Djakovica.

They refuted the defense claims that the Albanians had fled Kosovo because of NATO air strikes, and that the Albanian men who were killed had mostly been members of the Kosovo Libration Army, KLA.

The witnesses insisted that “Albanians were expelled by Serbs, not NATO”, and that the villagers were further humiliated by being forced to cheer “Serbia, Serbia”, before being expelled from their homes.

The trial is scheduled to continue next week.

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