U.S. scientist says research of Kosovo killings implicates Serb forces - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

U.S. scientist says research of Kosovo killings implicates Serb forces


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ After weeks of survivor testimony, the U.N. war crimes tribunal listened Wednesday to a cold statistical analysis by an American scientist implicating Slobodan Milosevic's forces in the deaths of 10,000 Kosovo Albanians.

Hundreds of thousands of people were expelled during a four-month campaign of terror in Kosovo in 1999, independent researcher Patrick Ball said.

The former Yugoslav president claims they fled Albania and Macedonia to escape NATO bombing or threats by the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army.

But the ``two causes are statistically implausible, given the evidence,'' Ball said at Milosevic's trial. Exhaustive research carried out with the American Bar Association Central and East European Law Institute ``tends to reject those hypotheses,'' he said.

Outlining a 70-page technical analysis of data from the village of Morina on the Albanian border, Ball said Serb hostilities were often directly followed by an outflow of refugees from Kosovo.

The document, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a compilation of refugee registers from Albanian border guards, the United Nations and non-governmental human rights groups.

The data, some of which Ball gathered himself in Albania, was charted alongside records of killings in the region.

Ball highlighted three periods in late March, mid-April and early May when peaks in population flows coincided with attacks by Yugoslav forces. The number of refugees fell drastically when the hostilities ebbed.

``The statistical evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that Serb forces conducted a systematic campaign of killings and expulsions,'' the report concluded.

During cross-examination, Milosevic accused Ball of ``serving the American policies of enslavement.''

But Ball coolly told him he has been critical of U.S. government policies. He said he never sought to ``advance U.S. interests through my work.''

Ball and four other authors of the report considered three possible explanations for the peaks in refugee flows: KLA fighting with Serbs; the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia or Serb military activity before ruling out the first two.

The former Yugoslav president is on trial for war crimes in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. He has refused to accept a defense attorney and is representing himself.

Earlier Wednesday, presiding Judge Richard May warned Milosevic when he questioned Bajram Bucaliu, a railroad employee from Kosovo, about his detention after a train accident and his father's and brothers' troubles with the law.

``Attempts to smear a witness do not help the court. They are not relevant,'' May told Milosevic, advising the defendant to focus on ``matters more recent and relevant to the indictment.''
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