BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  World: Europe
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 16:03 GMT
Milosevic defence transcript
Day three at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - Milosevic is second from right
Proceedings are expected to last at least two years
The following is a continuation of excerpts from former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's defence at his war crimes trial in The Hague on 14 February, as translated from Serbian.

Mr Milosevic: I heard yesterday the prosecutor literally mocking the fact that Serbia was not at war with Croatia or with Bosnia. Gentlemen, Serbia was not at war with Croatia or with Bosnia.

Why do you want to make Serbia and the Serbs responsible for the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina?

In your indictment you've been moving from one event to another in Bosnia and Croatia and neither I nor anyone in Serbia know anything about this.

Click here to return to previous transcript

Many people, as a matter of fact, in Bosnia itself hardly know anything about this except people locally.

Of course, I am not talking about major events - the latest news said there was fighting going on there and that we were making an effort to put an end to the fighting as soon as possible.

All of Bosnia-Herzegovina was actually a small scale Yugoslavia

Slobodan Milosevic
The corridor near Brcko - why was it portrayed yesterday as some kind of criminal operation?

It's included in the indictment. This corridor near Brcko was the subject of at least 50 conversations between Owen and Stoltenberg and the representatives of the Muslims, Serbs and Croats in Bosnia [place name unclear].

I was present and so was Tudjman as well.

Ethnic groups

Fifty times this was discussed because this corridor by Brcko links the eastern and western parts of Republika Srpska.

This was a vital route always and I don't see what the meaning of this is in this regrettable opus of yours.

All of Bosnia-Herzegovina was actually a small scale Yugoslavia, just as the big Yugoslavia consisted of several people's ethnic groups who lived together in harmony and developed.

That's how Bosnia and Herzegovina consisted of Serbs, Croats and Muslims.

Your bosses broke up Yugoslavia, also the small-scale Yugoslavia and now they want all three peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina to foot the bill.


All these people that they had pushed into a civil war in order to keep the true responsibility as far away from themselves as possible and this was a war that they had caused.

After all, why were they forcing Bosnia to leave Yugoslavia if they didn't want a conflict...

how do you dare say that Kosovo borders Serbia - Kosovo is Serbia

Slobodan Milosevic
Yesterday, the prosecutor even suggested that ethnic cleansing in Bosnia was rewarded and that Republika Srpska was grabbed.

I wonder what your objective here is? And why are you saying, or how do you dare say that Kosovo borders Serbia - Kosovo does not border Serbia - Kosovo is Serbia.

The Hague does not border the Netherlands.

Chain of command

Many things would have to be understood if you don't understand them then [you] should ask people who know - have someone explain this to you.

That in any army - in any army that I know of - there is a principle of single command and that a single link is not missed in the chain of command when decisions are carried through.

There is no anarchy and if there is any deviation from this chain of command, this always results in a criminal act and that is subject to appropriate sanctions. These stories of yours - who contacted which unit whatever - all of that is nonsensical.

If there was this kind of organisation, this would be greatest possible chaos that anybody would be establishing and who would organise and establish chaos in his own country?

Judge: Mr Milosevic, it's time for the interpreters to have a break. We will adjourn for 20 minutes.

M: Okay.

Click here for next transcript

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories