nettime's_digestive_system on Mon, 4 Oct 1999 22:10:45 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> yugoslavia digest

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 Subject: [Kcc-news] U.N. War Crimes Prosecutor Sets Out Kosovo Strategy
    Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 15:06:20 -0400

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> READ  &  DISTRIBUTE FURTHER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

   Kosova Crisis Center (KCC) News Network:
  Kosova Information Center
1. Bob Dole Backs Kosovo Independence

2. U.N. War Crimes Prosecutor Sets Out Kosovo Strategy

Wednesday September 29 3:33 AM ET

Bob Dole Backs Kosovo Independence

By TOM RAUM Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Kosovo should seek independence from Yugoslavia, but
it must hold free elections and support democratic principles if it
wants international support, says former Senate Majority Leader Bob
     Dole cautioned, however, that Kosovo's Albanian majority, in
particular the Kosovo Liberation Army, could lose that support if it
should turn its back on those principles.
     The 1996 Republican presidential candidate from Kansas, who served
as an envoy to Kosovo this year for the Clinton administration,
testified Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
     Dole criticized both the Republican Bush and the Democratic Clinton
administrations for not dealing more firmly with Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic.
     ``We could and should have acted against Milosevic much earlier,''
Dole said, which he said would have avoided much bloodshed.
     ``Early intervention is far less costly and often just as effective
as belated intervention,'' Dole said. ``Half-measures yield
     So long as Kosovo's leaders agree to hold free elections, renounce
violence and move toward a market economy, ``then I believe independence
will be forthcoming and should be.''
     At the White House, President Clinton said the administration has
not changed its support for an autonomous but not independent Kosovo
within Yugoslavia.
     ``What we have supported for Kosovo, and what we continue to
support, is autonomy,'' he said during a White House meeting with
Turkey's prime minister, Bulent Ecevit.
     Dole served as a go-between with Kosovo Albanians for the Clinton
administration this year in an effort to get support for a peace plan
from Kosovo activists.
     More recently, he traveled to the region in July in his capacity as
chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons.
     While Milosevic's troops heavily damaged Albanian homes and
businesses, Dole said, ``his forces did remarkably little damage to
Kosovo's infrastructure and natural resources.''
     He said multibillion-dollar reconstruction projects many had
envisioned may not be necessary.

Copyright © 1996-1999 The Associated Press

Wednesday September 29 7:55 AM ET

U.N. War Crimes Prosecutor Sets Out Kosovo Strategy

By Janet McBride

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - New U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte set
out her strategy on Kosovo Wednesday, narrowing her investigative focus
to Yugoslavia's leaders and the perpetrators of only the most heinous
     The local justice system in Kosovo, under the aegis of the United
Nations, would try cases that fell outside the scope of the
International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia as she defined it,
Del Ponte said in a statement of prosecution policy.
     For example, nine Serbs arrested in Kosovo over the weekend by
French, Dutch and German troops would not be brought to The Hague,
prosecution spokesman Paul Risley explained, although the tribunal would
assist any local investigation.
     ``The primary focus...must be the investigation and prosecution of
the five leaders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic
of Serbia who have already been indicted,'' wrote Del Ponte, a former
Swiss attorney general.
     Prosecutors have publicly indicted Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic and four associates, including Serbian President Milan
Milutinovic, for alleged crimes in Kosovo.
     Concluding that investigation and extending charges, possibly to
include genocide, was a top priority. Beyond that, investigators would
focus their energies on other power brokers.
     ``Investigative resources high-level
civilian, police and military leaders,'' wrote Del Ponte, who took over
from Canadian judge Louise Arbour on September 15.
     The tribunal, set up in 1993 when the Bosnia conflict was at its
height, has insufficient resources to pursue all those accused of recent
atrocities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
     Thousands of bodies have been exhumed from over 150 mass graves in
the province, according to U.N. officials, and over 500 potential burial
sites have been reported so far.
     Although the tribunal could not hope to prosecute every low-level
war criminal active in Kosovo, it would take a close interest in
particularly heinous or notorious crimes, including crimes of sexual
violence, Risley told reporters.
     Landmark judgements by the U.N. court relating to Bosnia have
already established rape and sexual assault as war crimes.
     In the two weeks since Del Ponte took office, she has met officials
from the United States, Britain, France and Germany and the commander of
SFOR peacekeepers in Bosnia, General Montgomery Miggs.
     Thursday, she will speak with the director of the U.S. Federal
Bureau of Investigation, Louis Freeh. The FBI has offered the tribunal
valuable insight into events in Kosovo.
     ``They will discuss the recently completed work of the FBI forensic
team in Kosovo and ongoing cooperation between the FBI and the
tribunal,'' Risley said.

Copyright © 1996-1999 Reuters Limited

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 Subject: Bosnian Institute News
    From: Lee Bryant <> (by way of Richard  Barbrook)
    Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 23:32:07 +0000

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


* Bosnian Institute Event & Book Launch
* Inauguration of the Free Kosova Committee


Monday 4 October, 1999: Rasim Kadic : "Who will implement the provisions
of Dayton on the return of refugees?"

The Bosnian Institute's Monthly Public Forums are held on the first
Monday of every month except August (or the second Monday, if the first
is a Bank Holiday). Meetings take place in the Boardroom, University of
Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London, W1 from 7 to 9 PM. Closest
underground station: Oxford Circus.

The former Federation Minister for Social Policy for Displaced Persons
and Refugees, Rasim Kadic, is leader of the Liberal Party of

Also, from 6.30pm we shall host a reception marking the publication of
"The Killing Days" by Kemal Pervanic, who will be on hand to sign copies
of the book and make a short presentation at 7pm. Kemal is a 31-year-old
Bosnian refugee who arrived in the UK at the beginning of 1993 after
surviving seven months of brutality, tragedy and hunger in the notorious
Omarska and Manjaca camps in north-west Bosnia. This text, with a
foreword by Paddy Ashdown, is the first-hand record of an ordinary
Bosnian citizen who has endured one of the bleakest chapters in the
history of Europe.

See for details


The founding meeting of the Free Kosova Committee was held at the
National Liberal Club in London on Monday 20 September 1999, and a
Statement of principles was adopted.

The Free Kosova Committee is led by Adrian Hastings (co-chair), Quintin
Hoare (secretary), Bianca Jagger (co-chair)
and Alan Sealy (treasurer).

Initial signatories include: Chris Agee, Paul Anderson, Anthony
Arblaster, John Austin MP, Jack Cadogan, Peter Cadogan, Jill Craigie,
Chris Cviic, Michael Foot, Tom Gallagher, Sir Reginald Hibbert, John
Hodgson, Valerie Hughes, Lord Hylton, Richard Kuper, Liz Leicester,
Branka Magas, Noel Malcolm, Anton Moctonian, Melanie McDonagh, Richard
Moore, Bob Myers, Susan Nickalls, Nigel Osborne, Corin Redgrave, Peter
Rennie, Tim Robertson, Peter Rossman, Denys Salt, Amanda Sebestyen, Mark
Seddon, Martin Shaw, Ghaysuddin Siddiqi, Brendan Simms, Alison Snape,
Michael Stewart, Alun Thomas, David Turner, Vanessa Vasic-Janekovic,
Mark Wheeler, Francis Wheen, Ian Williams, Julie Wornan

Contact address:
6 St Quintin Gardens,
London W10 6AS
telephone/fax +44 (0)171 912 0275


 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 Subject: IRC benefit concert
    From: Ivo Skoric <>
    Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 13:14:53 -0400

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Countdown begins! Only 7 days 'till "Relief" benefit
concert. Please join us, tickets are still  available.
Support this important cause, and have a great time!


 A Benefit Concert for Kosovar Refugees

 sponsored by The International Rescue Committee

"Helping refugees rebuild their lives in Freedom"

When:  Thursday, October 7,  7 p.m. - midnight
Where: CB's 313 Gallery  (@ 313 Bowery St., New York,

Performing on two stages:

Acoustic stage:
  Cliff Rames
  Laurie MacAllister
  Laura Berman
  Julian Roman

Electric stage:
  Gran Fury
  Book of Sun
  Cynthia Ramirez

DJ Moni
Spinning Brazilian, Afrobeat & Latin infused rhythms.

Minimum donation: $15.00 (larger donations gratefully

All proceeds to aid newly arriving refugees in the New
York Area

For tickets sales contact:

Iskra Cickovic
The International Rescue Committee
Refugee Resettlement Department
122 E. 42nd St., 25th Fl.
New York, NY 10168
phone: (212) 551-3122
fax: (212) 551-3101


I cannot attend the benefit, but enclosed is my/our
tax-deductible gift of:

$15__  $30__   $45__   $50__   $100__   other

for the IRC Refugee Resettlement Department in New

___Check Enclosed (payable to: IRC-Resettlement Dept.),

___American Express    ___MasterCard     ___Visa

Account number:_____________________________ Exp.

My Name:

 Volunteer With Refugee Families:

 I am interested in volunteering with the IRC's New
York Resettlement Dept.
 Please send me information .  Yes___      No___

The IRC also accepts in-kind donations of furniture,
household appliances,
toys and clothing (in good condition). Please call
(212) 551-3122 or e-mail <> .
Your in-kind gift is also tax-deductible.

Thank you for supporting the IRC!

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    From: fran ilich <>
    Date: Sat, 2 Oct 1999 18:29:10 -0700

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Spanish experts see no Serbian genocide in Kosovo
by Pablo Ordaz

commentary by Jared Israel (revised 9-27-99)

[The website encourages everyone to
reproduce the following report in full including this note.]

The following article from El Pais (The Country), a mainstream Spanish
magazine, is most important. For months we've been barraged with stories
claiming Serbs killed thousands of ethnic Albanians and dumped them in
mass graves in Kosovo. Recently I did an internet search for newspaper
articles, appearing in the past 90 days, and including the words 'Kosovo'
and 'mass grave.' The report came back: 'More than 1000 - too many to list.'
I had to limit the search to articles in the NY Times and even then came up
80, nearly one a day.

It has been a giant air balloon of anti-Serbian publicity, but now comes
the pin: Spanish forensic experts, just back from Northern Kosovo where,
they were told, they would have to inspect the worst Serbian atrocities,
no mass graves and no evidence of torture.

We received this article at 11 PM on 9/23 and had a translation the next
morning thanks to Herb Foerstal in the U.S. The translation was then
checked for accuracy, again on no notice and within a few hours, thanks to
Julio Fernández Baraiba in Argentina.

Below is the article from El Pais, followed by a commentary.

El Pais * 23 septiembre 1999 - Nº 1238
by PABLO ORDAZ in Madrid

Spanish police and forensic experts have not found proof of Genocide in
the North of Kosovo. Crimes of War - yes, Genocide - no. This was definitely
shown yesterday by the group of Spanish experts formed by officials from the
Scientific Police and Civilian Forensics that has just returned from Istok,
the Zone in the North of Kosovo under the control of the Legion. {Spanish
Legion?} 187 cadavers found and analyzed in 9 villages were buried in
individual graves, oriented for the most part toward Mecca out of respect
for the religious beliefs of the Albanian Kosovars and without sign of
torture. "There were no mass graves. For the most part the Serbs are not as
bad as they have been painted," reflected the forensic official Emilio Pérez

That was not the only irony. Also questioned were the successive counts
that are being offered by the "allies" on the tragedy of Kosovo. "I have
reading the data from UN," said Pérez Pujol, Director of the Forensic
Anatomical Institute of Cartagena. "And they began with 44,000 deaths.
Then they lowered it to 22,000. And now they're going with 11,000. I look
forward to seeing what the final count will really be." The Spanish Mission
which should now submit a report to the International War Crimes Tribunal in
The Hague, left from Madrid in the beginning of the month of the August with
the feeling that they were going on a road to hell. "They told us that we
going to the worst zone of Kosovo. That we should prepare ourselves to
perform more than 2000 autopsies. That we would have to work until the end
of November. The result is very different. We only found 187 cadavers and
now we are going to return," explained the chief inspector, Juan López
Palafox, responsible for the Office of Anthropology and Scientific Police.
The forensic people, as well as the police, applied their experience in
Rwanda in order to determine what occurred in Kosovo at least in that
section assigned to the Spanish detachment and they were not able to find
evidence of genocide. "In the former Yugoslavia," said López Palafox,
"crimes were committed, some no doubt horrible, but they derived from the
war. In Rwanda we saw 450 corpses of women and children, one on top of
another, all with their heads broken open." The Chief Inspector added that
in Kosovo, on the contrary, they had found many isolated corpses. "It gives
the impression that the Serbs gave a choice to the families to leave their
homes. If some member of the clan, for whatever reason, decided to remain,
upon returning they were found dead from a shot or by whatever other
method." {our emphasis}One of the members of the Spanish mission shed light
on events in the Istok prison, bombed at the end of May by NATO planes. The
work, directed by López Palafox and Pérez Pujol was aimed at solving the
following mystery: who killed the more than 100 prisoners - the bombs of
NATO or the bullets of Serbian soldiers? The answer, according to the
preliminary studies, is clear. Some of the cadavers analyzed had shrapnel
wounds and therefore clearly appeared to have been killed by the
bombardment. But others died of clear clean bullet wounds, perhaps from the
bullets of machine guns. The most likely thesis is that after the
bombardment, the prison inmates tried to flee and were shot by Serbian


by Jared Israel

I've been reading mass grave stories in the New York Times for most of a
day. I hope to do a detailed analysis soon. Meanwhile, here are a few

* You would expect these stories to be horrifying. What is surprising is
that they are so repetitious - using the same phrases - that reading them is
* The articles are often written in semi-fictional style, as in "A cap lay
on the ground, stained bright red. 'Who would believe the Serbs would do
this?' asked the gaunt Albanian. A tear trickled down the old man's cheek."
This kind of writing encourages the reader to suspend disbelief, as one does
when reading a short story, to accept emotionally charged statements as

* Evidence, if any, is anecdotal; sources are vague.

* The discovery or even the rumor of a grave is cited (often in a press
conference by some authority figure) as proof of Serbian atrocities.
These 'atrocities' are then discussed in great, though entirely
speculative, detail. Trial by media. It is enough to make you gaga,
especially when you read such 'news' for hours at a time. The mental
equivalent of smog.

* Arguments are circular. A supposed mass grave is discovered. Assumptions
are (publicly and loudly) made about the unopened grave: the dead bodies
will be Albanians; they will be civilians; they will turn out to have been
killed by Serbs; the Serbs will have been soldiers or policemen. There is no
systematic follow-up, no testing of these predictions against fact. Rather,
such speculations, once uttered, become part of the record, to be cited in
later articles as if proven.
The Spanish experts were told they would find 2000 bodies. They found 187.
That is about 10%. Many of the 187 died when NATO bombed a prison or,
apparently. afterwards, trying to escape. The war crime involved here is
NATO's: it is a crime of war to bomb any nonmilitary target, let alone a
prison, the ultimate sitting duck.

Let me dwell on this point for a moment. NATO of course knew that the U.S.
Air Force had bombed the prison at Istok; it was publicly reported at the
time and anyway, the U.S. Air Force leads NATO, so, as a teenange American
would say, 'like, du-uh.' It was also no mystery that these bombs killed
people, prisoners and guards - that's what bombs do. Obviously if the term
'war crime' has any meaning, bombing a prison is a war crime.

Then why, may I ask, were the Spanish forensic scientists told to look for
evidence of Serbian war crimes at Istok? Given that a massive war crime
(the bombing of a prison) was publicly known to have been committed by the
U.S. Air Force, why weren't the forensic scientists instructed to look for a
U.S. war crime? Why is it necessary for them now to give a press conference
to reveal the STARTLING news that when the U.S. Air Force bombs a prison to
smithereens - it is not an act of Serbian genocide??

The Spanish scientists and policemen are correctly perceived as heroic for
standing up and saying: the bombing of a prison by the U.S. Air Force is
not a Serbian war crime. Doesn't the fact that this is indeed an act of
heroism tell us something about the present international climate?


The Spanish forensic scientists speculate that the remaining cadavers were
Albanian civilians killed by Serbian troops or police. If these speculations
are correct, these people could be victims of Serbian war crimes. That's
about 100 people, 5% of the promised 2000.

In considering this 5%, I suggest we adopt a cautious approach.


Every official in a NATO country is under pressure to parrot the NATO

Nevertheless these Spanish experts aired their reservations publicly. Note
that when they discussed the individuals with bullet wounds they made
clear they were speculating:

"It gives the IMPRESSION that the Serbs gave a choice to the families to
leave their homes. If some member of the clan, for whatever reason,
decided to remain, upon returning they were found dead." Of course, one can
only get the "impression" that these people were shot by "the Serbs" for
refusing to leave their homes if one accepts that they were members of
families whom "the Serbs" had ordered to leave. But how could the scientists
know this? They could only 'know it' from witnesses. The El Pais story says
nothing about witnesses, so now we must speculate; fortunately we do know a
few things.

First, Kosovo is under a reign of terror by the Kosovo Liberation Army,
with NATO's blessing. At the end of this commentary we list a few articles
documenting that reign of terror, including first hand accounts. (See note
1 at end)

Second, both NATO and the KLA have a strong interest in proving that the
Serbian government had a policy of genocide against Albanians. NATO needs
to prove this because the existence of Serbian genocide was NATO's
justification for bombing Yugoslavia for 78 days. The KLA needs to prove it
because Serbian genocide is the KLA's justification for driving Serbs and
"Gypsies" out of Kosovo. As CLinton adviser Sandy Berger put it, speaking
for NATO and the KLA:

  "All across Kosovo, we see reminders that America and our allies did the
  right thing in taking a stand against ethnic cleansing.. The Serb forces
  responsible for the violence are gone.But there is also tremendous sadness
  from the pain of remembering and the devastation left behind by
Milosevic's campaign of hate. And in many victims there is rage, a desire
for justice, and sometimes revenge. (Foreign Policy Adviser Sandy Berger,
"Remarks to Council on Foreign Relations", July 26, 1999)

  In this remarkable speech Mr. Berger is a) giving the KLA the green light
to attack Serbs because it's all quite understandable considering the
  "tremendous sadness" and "victims" consumed with "rage" and b) making the
  purpose of the war crimes investigations perfectly clear. That purpose is
  NOT to discover the truth. Discovery is unnecessary; Mr. Berger has
discovered the truth in advance. Rather the purpose of investigation is to
provide "reminders that America and our allies did the right thing."

  Thus the investigation is controlled by two highly interested parties,
NATO and the KLA. Their control includes not only the handling of evidence
but the recruitment and preparation of witnesses. Obviously such witnesses
can be either agents of the KLA or under KLA domination. Any witness
  testimony disliked by the KLA would be risking his or her life. And as a
  recent story in the mainstream media suggests, the KLA considers lying a
  perfectly legitimate weapon in winning international support. (See note 2
at end) So much for the witnesses.


  And then there is the problem of the graves. The Spanish experts say the
  cadavers were found in individual graves, not mass graves. That is
  thoughtful of the Serbs. And even more thoughtful: the graves were
"oriented for the most part toward Mecca out of respect for the religious
beliefs of the
  Albanian Kosovars."

  This is curious. I have read many newspaper articles which argue that
Serbs are hostile to Albanians because the Albanians are (mostly) Muslims.
This supposed hostility was supposedly the motivation for alleged
anti-Albanian atrocities. The Serbs say they don't hate anybody, that they
have been fighting to preserve a multiethnic society against a terrorist
assault by
a racist faction among ethnic Albanians - a faction backed by the U.S. and

  Let's assume the newspapers are right and the Serbs are mistaken. So first
  Serbian troops murdered these 100 Albanians out of religious hatred - and
  then they buried the Albanians facing Mecca out of religious respect.
Isn't this rather strange behavior?

 Perhaps the Spanish experts were lied to. Perhaps they were shown the
bodies of KLA troops who died fighting the Yugoslav army; hence the bullet
wounds (inflicted in battle) and the respectful burial (performed by the KLA
army). That at least would make sense.

  There are many graves in Kosovo, too many. For a year and a half a fierce
  war  raged between KLA terrorists and the Yugoslav Army and police. Aside
from those who died in the fighting, we have credible evidence that the KLA
executed many pro-Yugoslav Albanians, as well as non-Albanians (who do not
necessarily differ from Albanians in appearance) not to mention Yugoslav
soldiers and policemen.

  So, thousands of people died and were buried. The KLA has had a free hand
in Kosovo since early June, plenty of time to move bodies around, to dress
dead soldiers as civilians and to tutor 'grieving relatives' until their
stories sound believable. And despite all that the Spanish scientists, sent
to the
  zone of the worst Serbian atrocities, came back virtually empty-handed.


  Some people ask: are you saying Serbs are incapable of committing
  atrocities?  No, as with all populations, some Serbian people are probably
capable of committing atrocities. But to go from this general possibility to
charge that the Serbian armed forces systematically killed Albanian
  (while publicly arguing for multi-ethnic unity and indeed arming many
Albanians against the KLA) is to go quite a distance. Traversing it requires
  something: proof.

  American legal theory says a person is innocent until proven guilty.
  Implicit in this approach is the notion that criminal investigation should
  conducted by disinterested parties with a goal of finding out if there has
  been a crime and discovering the truth, not in proving a case to destroy
  some enemy.

  Aside from whether this standard is actually applied in the U.S. legal
  system (a HIGHLY debatable point) shouldn't we apply it when dealing with
alleged mass crimes possibly implicating a government and an entire people?
Or should such investigations be launched only as needed to justify NATO
policy? Should guilt then be decided by a hostile US press with government
officials making prejudicial statements before the fact? Should the evidence
be the testimony of 'witnesses' supplied by the US side in a vicious war,
'witnesses' who testify in secret, 'witnesses' who are never cross-examined
by the accused?

 The use of these Inquisitorial methods of proof rebounds, proving that
NATO (that is, the US government) and the media are trying to railroad the
  Serbian people.

  Every time an accusation is made, two parties go on trial: the accused and
  the accuser. For if an accusation can be shown to be false, then the
  question must be asked: was it made with malicious intent? Was it perhaps
cooked up to divert attention from and/or justify some other crime, some
greater crime, some crime by the accuser?

  The Spanish forensic scientists and policemen quoted in El Pais have done
us all a service. By denying NATO's charges they have indicted NATO. In
doing so they have risked NATO's wrath - and their careers - to tell the
Their decency gives one hope.

  (For analyses of specific instances in which NATO can be shown to have
  cooked the evidence of 'Serbian war crimes' see note 3 at end)



  Note 1: First hand reports of KLA terror

  * For an interview with the leader of the Jewish community in Pristina,
  Kosovo, go to:

  *For an eye-opening report on a recent 2 week trip through Kosovo, go to:

 * For an interview with Kosovo Albanians who led opposition to the KLA and
  have been forced out of Kosovo by threat of death, go to:

  Note 2: KLA Woman's Story Exposed as Lie

  Go to: * or if on AOL <A
  HREF="" Click here</A

  Note 3: Analysis of NATO 'mass grave' and 'atrocity' claims
  * For 'Racak - The Impossible Massacre,' by Diana Johnstone go to:

  * For 'Were NATO's mass grave pictures faked?' by Jared Israel go to:

  For a detailed look at (and refutation of) NATO's most important massacre
  story, 'Srebrenica: Three years and still waiting,' go to:

nos vemos en el futuro.


 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 Subject: [Kcc-news] Four Serbs held for killing 28 in Kosovo
    Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 12:15:43 -0400

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> READ  &  DISTRIBUTE FURTHER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

   Kosova Crisis Center (KCC) News Network:
  Kosova Information Center

September 29 1999

Four Serbs held for killing 28 in Kosovo


FOUR Serbs have been arrested as part of an investigation into the
murder of 28 ethnic Albanians whose bodies were discovered in a mass
grave in northern Kosovo this week.
     The arrests amount to one of the most successful operations by the
international forces in Kosovo investigating suspected war crimes
committed by Serb paramilitaries involved in wholesale ethnic cleansing
earlier this year. It is also the first time that the discovery of a
mass grave has led to a judicial investigation.
     French police investigators have been involved in the inquiry since
July after reports that 23 ethnic Albanians had been taken from their
homes in Mitrovica on April 14 by Serb paramilitaries. Residents told
troops from the Nato-led Kosovo Force (Kfor) that 100 Serb
paramilitaries blocked the town's main street and led the 23 away.
     Yesterday Colonel Claude Vicaire, the commander of the French
police in Kosovo, revealed that a witness, whom he declined to identify,
had supplied information "in a European country" which helped them to
locate a grave where the 28 bodies were found - the 23 force-marched
away and five others.
     So far, nine of the bodies have been identified and another seven
are expected to be formally identified soon. The grave was uncovered in
the village of Vidomiric, about two miles west of Mitrovica.
     The four Serbs arrested are suspected of committing or witnessing
the murders. A fifth Serb, who is believed to have witnessed the
massacre, is being held for questioning.
     Initially, it was speculated that the bodies had been burnt in
furnaces at the huge Trepca mine in the north of the province. But tests
of ashes there by forensic scientists failed to uncover any trace of
human remains. The crucial break for the French investigators came when
they were informed where the bodies had been buried.
     A large number of mass graves have been discovered since Kfor
peacekeepers entered the province in June, many of them as a result of
aerial reconnaissance photography which highlighted mounds of fresh
earth. French reconnaissance flights have identified 33 possible mass
graves, 17 of which have been confirmed as burial grounds.
     The Mitrovica site was not among those spotted from the air. The
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague
immediately took over control of the grave.
     The four Serbs were arrested over a period of weeks, the French
police authorities said yesterday. Colonel Vicaire said that a total of
54 people had been arrested in the Mitrovica area since June. "Some are
directly concerned with this investigation and some are not yet," he
said. He hinted that other arrests might follow in connection with a
massacre in Vidomiric.
     More than 400 bodies have been exhumed since June by war crimes
tribunal investigators in the northern sector of Kosovo, which is
controlled by the French.
     Last week an official at the tribunal headquarters in The Hague
said that more than 150 suspected war crimes' sites had been uncovered
throughout the whole of the province since the arrival of Kfor troops.
Kelly Moore, a spokesman for the tribunal, said that thousands of bodies
had been exhumed and many more were expected over the next few months.

Copyright 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: