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Clark: Milosevic knew of massacre plan

By CNN's Dylan Reynolds

Clark
Clark was NATO's allied commander during the alliance's 1999 Kosovo campaign.

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Former NATO commander Wesley Clark faced questions from Slobodan Milosevic, on trial in The Hague.
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(CNN) -- Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic knew that plans were being made for a massacre at Srebrenica, former NATO commander Wesley Clark told The Hague war crimes tribunal, according to evidence made public on Thursday.

Clark, a U.S. Democratic presidential candidate who helped negotiate the accord that ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war, testified behind closed doors at Milosevic's trial on Monday and Tuesday.

Clark testified that Milosevic knew Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic was planning a massacre in Srebrenica, Bosnia, in 1995, and warned him "not to do this," according to the transcript, released on the court's Web site after it was edited by U.S. State Department lawyers.

Milosevic is on trial charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Balkans in the 1990s.

Prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann told CNN that Clark's testimony had been "extremely important."

She said it was the most direct evidence so far in the two-year-old trial about Milosevic's advance knowledge of the massacre of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995 after Bosnian Serb forces overran the enclave.

The massacre was Europe's worst atrocity since World War II. Mladic and Milosevic are both charged with responsibility for the massacre.

Hartmann said the assertion that Milosevic knew the massacre would happen -- whether or not he tried to prevent it -- would add weight to the prosecution case that he bears a criminal responsibility.

Clark, who met with Milosevic for more than 100 hours during the Balkan wars, said he was part of a U.S. delegation negotiating a Bosnian peace plan in August 1995 when he questioned Milosevic about the massacre, during a break in proceedings.

"I asked him: 'If you had so much influence, how did you permit General Mladic to kill all those people at Srebrenica?' He looked at me and said: 'Well, General Clark, I told him not to do it, but he didn't listen to me.'"

During cross-examination, Milosevic denied the conversation ever took place.

"General Clark, this is a blatant lie. First and foremost because we did not talk about Srebrenica at all, and secondly because I, throughout this time, through all of those years, I never issued a single order to General Mladic or was I in a position to issue him an order."

Milosevic said to Clark: "I, for example, believe firmly until the present day that General Mladic did not order any execution of people in Srebrenica. I believe that this was done by a group of mercenaries."


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