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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 17:15 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: Let me continue where I left off - commenting on the fabricated facts that we heard.

I don't know what this explanation in the indictment means that the Serbs had arms in Kosovo.

Everybody knows that everybody had arms in Kosovo. Everybody was armed and there were countless documented examples of the fact that the Albanian terrorists stormed the houses of their own compatriots, the Albanians, in order to seize weapons from them.

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Countless documented examples of this, and when I listen to everything uttered here anybody with any reason must ask themselves how can criminal responsibility, criminal accountability, let alone any other political, moral or any other kind of responsibility. And nobody could even put that kind of responsibility - you're talking about criminal responsibility for the forcible secession of Croatia and to ascribe that to me.

It is not contested that Croatia effected a secession neither was it contested that that secession was by force.

Yugoslav army

And how should that and could that have been stopped by me as president of Serbia to stop the conflicts which the Croatian paramilitary had with the Yugoslav people's army, which was spilling out of the cities and bases in which that army had been stationed for a full 50 years and they did not get to those bases, of course, from Serbia because it was the SFRY [Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia].


You will see later on just how many Albanians were killed before the war began

Slobodan Milosevic
The Yugoslav army was deployed throughout the territory of the SFRY and here we see, in fact, that you have absolutely no notion neither do you know anything about the Republican Ministries of Defence.

They did not have any competencies and authority. Their main job was to keep the lists of military recruits and conscripts - recruits for the army and to see to the civilian part and the administrative section, of course.

All with a view to the country's defence.

'Internal displacement'

You quote the political opinions of generals - General Semovic and none of his competencies and activities. Everybody has the right to express political opinions and speak about anything he deems necessary.

What do we mean by internal displacement of persons in Kosovo, and what could be a motive for internal displacement in Kosovo?

What is the explanation when conflicts occur in one area when terrorist bands and groups storm villages killing combatants? You will see later on just how many Albanians were killed before the war began - two-and-a-half times more than the Serbs that were killed.

But more about that later on. So, of course, the inhabitants of that village will flee to a neighbouring village to stay with their friends, or to the town if they have relatives there, or to a collection centre organised by the authorities.

So, internal displacement of the population? I don't understand it. What could be the purpose of internally displacing the population other than a malicious interpretation of the fact that people were running away.

They were fleeing from an area they did not feel safe in and where they thought their children would not be safe and they moved to other places.

[inaudible] claimed that somebody enforced the displaced persons internally or to expel people from the territory of their own country - that would be the greatest crime imaginable. Who would do such a thing?

Furthermore, I wonder what sense there is in proving the alleged ill intentions towards the Albanians by concentrating troops in the south of the country during the Nato aggression and particularly in Kosovo when it is clear to [a] child that that territory - the territory in question - was the forefront of our defence from an expected ground invasion...

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