What remains of the case against Milosevic?

20 September 2004 by HEIKELINA VERRIJN-STUART

On 15 September, the trial of Slobodan Milosevic was adjourned for a month. After imposing lawyers on the accused and hea- ring only two defence witnesses, the Court was forced into an impasse when dozens of defence witnesses suddenly refused to give evidence in the space of a few days at The Hague.

We may even have lost sight of the actual case against the accused. However, a June 16 ruling on a motion for "judgement of acquittal" filed by "friends of the court" provides a good basis for an assessment of the evidence upheld so far against the former Serbian leader. The motion concerns 185 separate incidents and allegations in the three indictments of Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia. The test in this mid-term procedure is whether a judge could hypothetically find enough evidence for a conviction, beyond reasonable doubt, not whether he would actually convict.

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