Milosevic ‘knew of Kosovo atrocities’
The Hague: Slobodan Milosevic received daily intelligence reports on Serbia’s bloody campaign against Albanians in Kosovo and set security policy, his former secret police chief told the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
After months of uncertain progress in the prosecution case, the evidence from Rade Markovic, once feared as the head of Serbia’s secret service, the DB, may prove decisive.
Markovic said his orders did not come directly from Milosevic, but from the Serbian interior minister, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, who committed suicide in Belgrade last April. But his admission that Milosevic knew intimate details of operations could be a turning point. Milosevic grinned nervously when Markovic, the first government insider to testify, was taken into the courtroom to give evidence, after being flown in from prison in Belgrade.
“Slobodan Milosevic was receiving reports on a daily basis and when he was particularly interested I was invited to further explain,” said Markovic.
He added: “Operational instructions came directly from the interior minister and the guidelines for state policies were created by the head of the state and his associates.”
Prosecutors are attempting to prove Milosevic guilty on more than 60 counts of war crimes committed in Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia. But they have so far struggled to produce a direct link between Milosevic and the atrocities. Seeking to establish Milosevic’s command responsibility - that he knew what was taking place and either ordered it or failed to stop it - prosecutors presented a 1997 document that effectively put the security services under Milosevic.
Milosevic has heart
problems, needs rest: Doctors have found Slobodan Milosevic is at grave risk of heart trouble and needs to rest, UN war crimes judges said on Thursday, ordering fresh health tests for the former Yugoslav president.
“The medical report showed the accused as a man with a severe cardiovascular risk,” Judge Richard May told the Hague war crimes court, referring to a medical check recently conducted on the 60-year-old former Serbian strongman, who is on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity in the Balkans. —Reuters