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 Friday, 15 February, 2002, 16:01 GMT
Milosevic wants Clinton to testify
Slobodan Milosevic at his trial, watched by journalists
Milosevic sees the proceedings as a political show trial
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic says he will call ex-US leader Bill Clinton and other Western politicians to testify at his trial for war crimes at The Hague.

The bombed Chinese embassy in Belgrade
Milosevic said Clinton targeted Belgrade's Chinese embassy

Ending the second day of his defence case, Mr Milosevic repeated his allegation that Nato is itself guilty of crimes against humanity.

Mr Milosevic, who is conducting his own defence, said he also wanted to question UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Germany's former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright among others.

The ex-Yugoslav leader is accused of orchestrating a systematic campaign of mass murders, deportations and rapes as part of a plan to create an ethnically pure, "greater Serbia" out of the ruins of former Yugoslavia.

Mr Milosevic said he would be submitting a full list of foreign witnesses he wanted called once the list was complete.

He is allowed to call whoever he likes and the court has the power to subpoena them.

But the judges have to be persuaded that any testimony will be relevant.

Clinton 'ordered' bombing

During his arguments on Friday, the ex-Yugoslav leader alleged the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Nato campaign was deliberate, ordered by Mr Clinton so he could go down in history as the first Western leader to bomb Chinese territory.

Milosevic's provisional witness list
Former US President Bill Clinton
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
French President Jacques Chirac
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
Former US Secretary of state Madeleine Albright
Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
Former German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel
US officials who helped produce the 1995 Dayton accord that ended the war in Bosnia and Croatia

Washington insists the bombing was a mistake by Central Intelligence Agency target planners using an outdated map.

Mr Milosevic also said his forces had intercepted radio communication between the Nato command centre and the pilots in Kosovo in May 1999.

He said that when pilots reported one of his targets was a convoy of civilian tractors he was told: "Carry out your orders."

Mr Milosevic also accused Germany of supporting Croatian independence, and backing ethnic Albanian guerrillas in Kosovo.

Judge Richard May has allowed Mr Milosevic to continue on Monday morning, though he is only being given an extra hour-and-a-half to wrap up his defence statement.

The thrust of his argument, as on Thursday, was that Nato itself was to blame for the deportation and killing of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo in 1999.

He also warned the prosecution not to ignore the number of Serb refugees who left Kosovo, which he estimates at around 100,000.

Click here for extracts of Milosevic defence

Dressed in a smart navy suit and a tie in the red, blue and white Serbian colours, Mr Milosevic showed gruesome photographs of corpses of those he said had been killed in Nato bombing raids.

Milosevic charges
  • Genocide
  • Crimes against humanity
  • Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions
  • Violations of the laws or customs of war

    Click here for a full list of charges

  • The BBC's Jon Silverman says Mr Milosevic only appeared interested in waging a political attack on Nato and was ignoring the charges on which he is being tried.

    The first months of the case will focus on Kosovo; then it will move on to the wars in Bosnia and Croatia.

    The entire proceedings could last two years.

    Once he has concluded his arguments, the UN tribunal prosecutors will start calling up to 350 witnesses to present the full case against him.

    "The whole world knows this is a political trial," Mr Milosevic said.

    He is the first former head of state to be indicted before an international tribunal.

      The BBC's Justin Webb
    "The court has to decide whether these are genuine witnesses who can shed light on the case"
      Jim Landale, Hague Tribunal Spokesman
    "Those that are relevant can be called to testify"
      Tim Judah, Balkans Specialist
    "The prosecution will have the upper hand"
      The BBC's Justin Webb
    "The accused did win one battle today"

    At The Hague

    Still wanted



    See also:

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