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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Delayed Milosevic trial resumes
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic
Slobodan Milosevic has dismissed the trial as a kangaroo court
The war crimes trial of the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic has resumed after a month-long delay.

German journalist Franz-Josef Hutsch, who worked as a war reporter in Kosovo, took the stand as the fourth defence witness in the trial in The Hague.

Mr Hutsch described KLA rebels in Kosovo as a well-organised force who were assisted by foreign mercenaries.

The recess was ordered to give Mr Milosevic's court-appointed lawyers more time to prepare their case.

Steven Kay and his co-counsel Gillian Higgins, both British, were assigned to the former Yugoslav president against his will after doctors said he was too ill to conduct his own defence.

They are waiting for judges to rule on an appeal they lodged against the assignment, as Mr Milosevic has refused to co-operate with them.

They said appointing a defence team for Mr Milosevic against his wishes could lead to an unfair trial.

'Provocation'

Mr Hutsch, a former German army officer turned journalist, spent several months with KLA rebels in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999.

In his testimony, he said that in the run-up to the Nato intervention in the province, the KLA were consciously provoking fighting by staging attacks on Serb patrols.

He also said that each KLA brigade had at least one foreign mercenary officer, recruited from the Bosnian Muslim army and trained in Turkey.

MILOSEVIC TRIAL
Began February 2002
Milosevic faces more than 60 charges
Prosecutors' case rested February 2004
Court already heard from 295 witnesses

Mr Milosevic faces 66 war crimes charges relating to conflicts in the Balkans during the 1990s.

Mr Milosevic's ill-health, linked to heart problems and high blood pressure, has repeatedly brought his lengthy trial to a halt, putting it behind schedule.

The former Serb strongman began his defence in late August, having refused to use lawyers in court since February 2002, when the prosecution began presenting its case.

The trial judges appointed Mr Kay and Ms Higgins to defend him in September.

Last month, the presiding judge at the UN tribunal, Patrick Robinson, said he was giving the pair time to get "an overview of the witness situation", after they complained that many defence witnesses were refusing to testify.

Mr Milosevic, who has dismissed the charges against him as lies, wants to call more than 1,000 witnesses, but it is unlikely there will be time for all of them during the 150 trial days allotted for his defence.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Why the trial was delayed



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