Yugoslav Tribunal Resumes Milosevic Trial and Focuses on Compelling Reporters? Testimony

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Tuesday, October 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
At the end of August 2002, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) resumed its trials after a short break. The trial of former Yugoslavia leader Slobodan Milosevic resumed while the issue of requiring the testimony of news reporters became a focus of at least two trials. On August 26, 2002, the presiding judge Richard May said concerns about Milosevic?s health may require a slower pace for the trials which resumed after a month-long summer break. In July 2002, the court asked Mr. Milosevic to undergo an examination because he faced ?severe cardiovascular risk.? The trial, which started in February, is expected to end their case about atrocities in Kosovo by mid-September before turning to other counts in the indictment, namely the earlier conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia. On August 27, 2002, Musa Kraniqi, an ethnic Albanian physics teacher, testified during the trial of Milosevic for war crimes in Kosovo that in May 1999 Serb guards had massacred dozens of Kosovo Albanians in a 48-hour killing spree in Kosovo prison. The following day the guards hunted and killed prisoners who had hid in sewage pipes and basements. Over 30 media organizations have supported Randal and filed a brief supporting his position that journalists should be compelled to testify only if their evidence was essential and not available elsewhere. The ICTY prosecutors have argued that Randal?s evidence was essential and not otherwise available. The prosecutors also contended that the ICTY should not set broad policy, but limit the ruling to the facts of this case. If Randal does not testify, the ICTY could find him in contempt.