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Friday, 15 February, 2002, 11:45 GMT
Milosevic defence transcript
The following is a continuation of excerpts from former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's defence at his war crimes trial in The Hague on 15 February, as translated from Serbian.
Mr Milosevic: You have proof in Yugoslavia in 1992 - we tried all war crimes our own citizens for whom it was established that they had killed some Muslims in Bosnia.
That was in 1992 nobody [knew] that this tribunal would be set up at the time, nor is that important at all.
Every civilised country in its criminal code has war crimes as the most grievous crimes and we tried people for war crimes back in 1992.
And I said at the time - go ahead let's see the proof - let's see your documents and don't worry if somebody really did something dirty, some dirty work - killing women and children, abusing prisoners - something else of that nature, shot at people, shot at a Red Cross vehicle. And I will show pictures showing Nato bombing Red Cross vehicles on a bridge and it has the Romanian Red Cross emblem on the roof, that people doing that will be arrested and brought to trial.
So, I don't understand what you mean when you say I didn't hand over - I would never hand anybody over.
And even the handing over that is going on now is a violation of the constitution and a crime in itself. But they are doing this because it is a puppet regime that is in place today.
A puppet regime which has to listen to orders but not supported by the people.
I am wondering what you are trying to prove with the existence of volunteers - you mentioned the existence of volunteers - Serb volunteers that went across the Drena River as volunteers.
Of course they contact the authorities on whose territory - they have got [inaudible] volunteers responsible for them. But what do you intend to do with the existence of Serb volunteers who went to help their own brethren - their Serb brethren.
And you have no regard at all - you're not interested at all on how many mujahadeen came to Bosnia or to Kosovo - who had sabres with them - that were used to cut off heads. And later on, at a well known request, they were released...
What are you trying to prove by quoting a sentence from a speech of mine held at Guzemestan [phonetic], which was, let me let tell you, a very good speech.
I have received the speech by fax so I shall try and find your quotation to demonstrate how you pulled it out of context.
In the speech, I say equitable relations about Yugoslav peoples are a necessary new requisite for the preservation of Yugoslavia [inaudible] and particularly necessary for its economic and social prosperity. In that way Yugoslavia is not extracted from the social ambiance of the modern and developed world.
The world is prone to national [inaudible], national equality, modern technology, and the political and cultural development indicates that people should co-operate and depend on each other and that they must be more and more equal among themselves.
Judge: Mr Milosevic, if you're reading can you slow down for the interpreters.
M: I understand that interpreter cannot follow fast reading.
In the kind of civilisation to which mankind is [inaudible] it is only equitable united people that can step forward.
If we cannot lead the road into civilisation of this kind, then we must certainly not be at its back end. So nowhere on the soil of our homeland do the words speaking about solidarity and harmony and co-operation among people have so much meaning as they do have here at Kosovo [inaudible] in the field of Kosovo, which is the symbol of treachery and discord.
In the collective memory of the Serb people, that discord was decisive for losing the battle and for the ill fate that the Serbs have had to contend for a full five centuries.
If that were not so from the historical viewpoint would we know that the people experienced this as the greatest [inaudible] and it is the responsibility of the people to do away with this in order to protect itself from defeat, from stagnation and from failure.
Discord in Kosovo
The people of Serbia this year have become fully conscious of the need for harmony among themselves. As a necessary pre-requisite for their life today and future development. I am convinced that this consciousness about unity and harmony will enable Serbia not only to function as a state but also to function as a successful state.
That is why I think that this must be said here at Kosovo where discord jeopardised the Serbs long ago and where revived harmony can promote it and give it back its dignity.
This kind of consciousness - the consciousness of mutual relations and how they are governed represents an elementary necessity for Yugoslavia because its fate is to be found in the allied hands of all its people.
[inaudible] today once again we are fighting battles and we are facing battles - and this is where I come to your quotation - they are not armed battles although even ones of that kind have not been excluded.
So that is one sentence [inaudible] you can't quote that regardless of the type of battles they are, they cannot be won without courage, self sacrifice
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