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 Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
The Milosevic case: Timeline
Slobodan Milosevic
A guide to the key landmarks in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague, with links to transcripts, analysis and the main news stories.

February 2002

Carla Del Ponte
The trial opened with a statement from chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte accusing Mr Milosevic of being responsible for incidents of "calculated cruelty".

The next day, Mr Milosevic hit back. He accused the court of lacking legitimacy and condemned his arrest in Belgrade as "illegal".

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Slobodan Milosevic

In a robust defence speech lasting over four hours Mr Milosevic accused Nato of being the aggressor in the 1999 Kosovo conflict, and described the proceedings as a "political trial".

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Mr Milosevic said he wanted to question the former US President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

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Mahmut Bakalli

Mahmut Bakalli, former Communist leader of the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, told the court Albanians were persecuted under a system of "apartheid".

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Slobodan Milosevic

In a frequently confrontational exchange, Mr Milosevic mounted a forceful cross-examination of Mahmut Bakalli.

Mr Milosevic challenged Mr Bakalli's interpretation of the term "apartheid", and questioned the nature of his relationship with Kosovo Liberation Army militants.

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The first Kosovan victim to give evidence leaves court before Mr Milosevic could finish his cross-examination. The victim - an ethnic Albanian farmer - had previously told the court that Serb forces killed 16 members of his family.

Mr Milosevic said the witness had been removed as part of a conspiracy.

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Retired farmer Halil Morina, 65, told the court how his family fled for their lives as Serb troops destroyed a Kosovo village in 1999.

Mr Milosevic accused the prosecution of calling false witnesses and complained that the court was making him prove his innocence, instead of insisting the prosecution prove his guilt.

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Mira Markovic

Mira Markovic, the wife of Slobodan Milosevic, was issued a visa to travel to the Netherlands and visit her husband.

The court heard how an ethnic Albanian doctor had watched from his home in the Kosovan town of Suva Reka as a pregnant woman tried to drag a wounded relative to safety while Serbian police pursued them.

Mr Milosevic accused the witness of "testifying on the basis of assumptions" and not hard facts.

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Mr Milosevic made a fresh demand to be released from custody, saying it is hindering his ability to defend himself. The former Yugoslav president said: "A basic right is the right to defence, I have been denied this right through isolation."

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March 2002

Journalists watch the proceedings
For the first time in the trial, witnesses testified against Mr Milosevic behind closed doors. No information was given on the nature of the testimonies given in secret.

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The trial was postponed after a fire broke out in a kitchen at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The building was evacuated just 20 minutes before Mr Milosevic's trial was due to resume.



Slobodan Milosevic was denied a request for a temporary release from United Nations custody in order to help him conduct a more effective defence.

The presiding judge, Richard May, said that he did not want to disrupt proceedings and was not confident that Mr Milosevic would return.

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Sabit Kadriu, a Kosovo Albanian witness, described seeing killings, burnings and deportations when he visited villages in north-western Kosovo ahead of the Nato bombing campaign in 1999.

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Mr Milosevic has told the war crimes trial that al-Qaeda members assisted Balkan rebels in their fight for independence from Serbia.

The former president made the allegations while cross-examining Sabit Kadriu, a Kosovan human rights worker who testified about seeing Serb massacres in Kosovo in 1999.

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US scientists present research at the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic to refute his allegation that Nato bombings were responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Kosovo in 1999 and the mass exodus of its people.

Dr Patrick Ball and colleagues said a new statistical study showed that Yugoslav forces loyal to Mr Milosevic were the most likely culprits behind an "organised campaign" of killings and expulsions.

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The first senior European politician to testify at the war crimes tribunal trying Mr Milosevic - British politician Paddy Ashdown - said spoken of his deep shock at seeing ethnic Albanians being forced to leave their homes and their villages being shelled, looted and burned.

Lord Ashdown described one valley south of the Kosovo capital Pristina: "What we were presented with, was an entire amphitheatre of hills in which every village was ablaze, and we saw and heard the reports of shellfire.. we concluded that the weapons being used here were artillery."

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April 2002

British general Karol Drewienkiewicz, who was in Kosovo in 1998 as a deputy commander of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM), says Belgrade significantly hindered the work of international monitors during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo.

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May 2002

The most senior ethnic Albanian to testify at Mr Milosevic's trial - Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova - accused the former Yugoslav President of triggering the 1998-99 war in the breakaway province.

But Mr Milosevic rejected the allegation, labelling Mr Rugova a pawn of the "great powers" who had tried to implement their own agenda.

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June 2002

William Walker, former KVM head, told the court that he believed Mr Milosevic had known of Serbian atrocities against ethnic Albanians in the province in 1999.

He was testifying on the Racak killing of more than 40 ethnic Albanians on 15 January 1999, which he described as a "civilian massacre" at the time - in comments believed to have played a key role in forming international opinion that led to Nato's military intervention in Kosovo.

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July 2002

Slobodan Milosevic has told the UN war crimes tribunal that a lorry-load of bodies found in the River Danube were the victims of human trafficking.

"We are talking here about an organised criminal group," he said. "People had drowned when the lorry toppled and ended up in the river." Prosecutor says the 86 bodies were the result of Serb war crimes, committed in Kosovo.

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Rade Markovic
Markovic was a loyal ally of Mr Milosevic

Slobodan Milosevic's secret police chief during the Kosovo conflict has said his orders came exclusively from the interior minister, not from the former president.

Rade Markovic, who was brought from a Belgrade jail to testify at Mr Milosevic's war crimes trial in The Hague, said he gave the former leader intelligence briefings, but his orders came from the interior minister.

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A health check on Mr Milosevic has found he is at serious risk of a heart attack and will need to rest.

He has suffered at least two bouts of flu since his trial started, causing proceedings to be delayed by a month. The prosecution is given until 13 September to finish its case against concerning events in Kosovo, and until 16 May 2003 to finish the cases relating to Bosnia and Croatia.

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Mr Milosevic returns to court after a one month summer recess.

Despite concerns over his health, he appeared defiant as ever as he cross-examined ethnic Albanians who claimed to have witnessed atrocities.

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August 2002

Rowland testified at the Hague
The BBC's former Belgrade correspondent, Jacky Rowland, was summoned to the war crimes tribunal to give evidence.

She answers questions about what she saw in the Dubrava prison in Kosovo in 1999, where numerous prisoners were killed.


September 2002

Thousands of Muslims were massacred
Mr Milosevic faced a charge of genocide - the most serious war crime - as the second part of his trial got underway.

The prosecution opened its case on Bosnia and Croatia, after having finished its arguments on Kosovo.

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At The Hague

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