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Wednesday, 20 February, 2002, 16:06 GMT
Milosevic cross-examination: Excerpts
Slobodan Milosevic and Mahmut Bakalli
The exchange lasted nearly four hours
Slobodan Milosevic's questioning of Mahmut Bakalli, the former Communist leader of Kosovo escalated into a ill-tempered political wrangle lasting nearly four hours.

In one exchange, the two men wrangled over Mr Bakalli's testimony in which he said Mr Milosevic had known of the killing of more than 40 members of the Jashari family in early 1998.

The argument centred on a meeting attended by both men in 1998.

Bakalli: "I told him: 'You are killing women and children. He knew about the incident."

Why do you keep making grimaces, as if you don't understand the translation, when you understand very well what I am saying

Slobodan Milosevic

Milosevic: "Did you know that they did not want to surrender and they shot at policemen?

"Do you know that the ones that came out did not get killed?

"Do you know of any police that would flee when they are fired at from a barricaded position?"

Mr Bakalli replied he did not have such details, but that he knew women and children were among the victims.

Click here to return to previous transcript

He accused Mr Milosevic of responsibility for the deaths of "12,000 people, women and children, pregnant women, claiming you were fighting terrorism".


The indictment against Mr Milosevic includes more than 600 civilians killed by Serb forces in 1998-99.

Judge Richard May
Judge Richard May frequently had to interrupt proceedings

At times, Mr Milosevic's questioning was terse and focused on fact.

At other stages he became more personal and aggressive. During some periods, Mr Bakalli appeared tense and flustered, pausing to mop his brow.

Displaying open irritation Mr Milosevic demanded: "Why do you keep making grimaces, as if you don't understand the translation, when you studied in Belgrade like me and understand very well what I am saying?"

In another exchange, Mr Milosevic asked whether the Kosovo rebel group was disarmed when international peacekeeping forces arrived in 1999.

Bakalli: "Yes, it was disarmed."

Milosevic: "Then, what are they firing with now?"

(Mr Milosevic added that 3,000 Serbs had been killed in Kosovo by "terrorists" since the arrival of the Nato-led troops)

Bakalli: "Arms can be purchased in Kosovo freely."

Milosevic: "Do you know about drug trafficking in Kosovo?"

Bakalli: "No"

Milosevic: "Do you know about arms smuggling in Kosovo?"

Bakalli: "No, that doesn't exist."

Milosevic: "But you said a moment ago that weapons can be purchased freely in Kosovo?"

At one point, Mr Milosevic challenged Mr Bakalli, a former Communist Party chief in Kosovo over his own personal politics.

Milosevic: "When did you change your Communist convictions?"

Bakalli: "There is one conviction which I didn't change, and that is that you destroyed Yugoslavia with pleasure, through war."

See also:

19 Feb 02 | Europe
Kostunica attacks Milosevic trial
18 Feb 02 | Europe
Milosevic defence transcript
14 Feb 02 | Europe
Kosovo glee at Milosevic plight
11 Feb 02 | Europe
Milosevic allies still at large
01 Feb 01 | Europe
UN stands by Milosevic indictment
19 Feb 02 | Europe
The Milosevic case: Timeline
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