Text of report by Serbia-Montenegrin radio Kontakt Plus on 7 June
[Announcer] The [Belgrade] District Court War Crimes Council has not questioned witnesses in the process against war crimes indictee Anton Lekaj yesterday [6 June]. Judge Miroslav Alimpic said yesterday that UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] head Soren Jessen-Petersen had just allowed that witnesses for defence to be heard. Members of the court council who are from Belgrade, Miroslav Alimpic and Dragoljub Stankovic, refused to attend such a hearing, stating that this was a political move and direct interference of executive power in judiciary.
There could be two reasons for such a move it is assumed that Jessen-Petersen wanted to demonstrate that the issue of statehood has already been dealt with or to emphasize his close personal ties with The Hague indictee [former Kosovo Prime Minister] Ramush Haradinaj, who is indicted, together with Lekaj, for war crimes committed in the Pastrik hotel [in 1999].
War Crimes Prosecutor's Office spokesman Bruno Vekaric said that he agrees with the view that this was Jessen-Petersen's political decision, adding that this was not the only reason [as heard].
[Vekaric] There is another reason for concern it is obvious that political games are stronger than a court proceeding, and Serbian judicial bodies are obviously victims of such political games in this case. I think this could harm the procedure, I believe it conveys a wrong message, and, unfortunately, the most important thing is that this is a sort of a break off in our cooperation with UNMIK judiciary.
Source: Kontakt Plus, Kosovska Mitrovica, in Serbian 1400 gmt 7 Jun 06