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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04THEHAGUE985
2004-04-20 15:11:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

ICTY: SENIOR FORMER USG OFFICIALS ON MILOSEVIC

Tags:   BK  HR  KAWC  NL  PHUM  PREL  SR  ICTY 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 000985 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/WCI - PROSPER/RICHARD, EUR/SCE -
STEPHENS/GREGORIAN/MITCHELL, L/EUR - LAHNE, L/AF - GTAFT.
INR/WCAD - SEIDENSTRICKER/MORIN; USUN FOR ROSTOW/WILLSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6 FIVE YEARS AFTER CLOSURE ICTY
TAGS: BK HR KAWC NL PHUM PREL SR ICTY
SUBJECT: ICTY: SENIOR FORMER USG OFFICIALS ON MILOSEVIC
WITNESS LIST


Classified By: Legal Counselor Clifton M. Johnson per 1.5(d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 000985

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/WCI - PROSPER/RICHARD, EUR/SCE -
STEPHENS/GREGORIAN/MITCHELL, L/EUR - LAHNE, L/AF - GTAFT.
INR/WCAD - SEIDENSTRICKER/MORIN; USUN FOR ROSTOW/WILLSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6 FIVE YEARS AFTER CLOSURE ICTY
TAGS: BK HR KAWC NL PHUM PREL SR ICTY
SUBJECT: ICTY: SENIOR FORMER USG OFFICIALS ON MILOSEVIC
WITNESS LIST


Classified By: Legal Counselor Clifton M. Johnson per 1.5(d).


1. (C) Summary: Slobodan Milosevic -- in one of his first
filings before the International Criminal Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) -- submitted to the trial chamber on
April 13 a confidential document describing the witnesses he
may call during his upcoming defense case. While the list
itself remains under seal, Embassy Legal officers have
confirmed reports that it includes over 1600 individuals,
although only 300 or so of them are named in the document.
Of these, the list names the following current and former
American officials: former President Bill Clinton, former
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of

SIPDIS
Defense William Cohen, Ambassador Christopher Hill, General
Wesley Clark, and former Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. OTP
sources are confident that the trial chamber will permit only
a fraction of the 1600 individuals to be called as witnesses.
End summary.


2. (C) On April 13, Milosevic filed with the trial chamber a
confidential document describing the witnesses he intends to

SIPDIS
call to support various parts of his defense. The document
is not strictly speaking a witness list; rather, it is a
memorandum divided into sections keyed to the indictments.
After each section, the document lists the individuals whose
testimony he believes would rebut that particular charge.
Most of the 1634 individuals referenced are described with
general placeholders, such as their position or role. Only
about 300 of them are specifically named.


3. (C) In a meeting with Embassy legal officers on April 16,
Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte confirmed that the document
included USG officials. Reading directly from a list drawn
from the filing, she said that the filing included former
President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen,
Ambassador Christopher Hill, General Wesley Clark, and former
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. She said that it also included
a long list of Russian officials, followed by French and
British officials, and finally, in the words of a senior
adviser, Anton Nikiforov, a number of Chomskyite
anti-globalists whose proposed contributions are somewhat
mysterious. Nikiforov was perplexed by the Russians listed,
noting that a number of them would be damaging rather than
helpful to Milosevic. Del Ponte said that the list
indicated that Milosevic was planning a primarily political
defense.


4. (C) The filing is now with the trial chamber and the
Prosecution will have an opportunity to respond to it at a
May 17 pre-defense phase conference in chambers. Given that
the defense has been allocated 150 days for its portion of
the case, it is inconceivable that the trial chamber will
approve anything more than a fraction of the list. (NB: By
contrast, the OTP called nearly three hundred witnesses
during its case, though its witness "wish lists" involved
substantially more names and placeholders as well.) Further,
any decision with respect to specific witnesses is not likely
to occur for some time given that Milosevic has to decide
first to call the witness, request that the witness appear,
and then justify and pursue a court order if the witness
refuses. The USG would have an opportunity to weigh in at
the stage a court order is sought, if not sooner, and Del
Ponte has agreed to keep us informed of developments with
respect to Milosevic's witness requests.


5. (C) Comment. Milosevic's filing does not come as much of a
surprise as Milosevic has been saying for over two years that
he would call former senior officials of the United States
and other governments. While Del Ponte may be right that the
list reflects a political rather than a legal defense, the
proof of that will be not in the three hundred witnesses
identified but in the remaining 1300. Some of these
witnesses may be insiders from the Milosevic regime who would
be in a position to challenge specific aspects of the
Prosecution case. Until those witnesses are identified, it
will be difficult to characterize the defense phase with any
definite degree of certainty. End comment.
SOBEL