Kosovo women's leader on trial for terrorism
Friday 12 November 1999
Flora Brovina, 50, is one of the most prominent of about 2,000 people who were arrested in Kosovo before and during Nato's air strikes and are known to be still in prison. The doctor was arrested outside her flat in Pristina, Kosovo'scapital, during the air strikes in April. She and many of her fellow prisoners were transferred to jails in Serbia two days before Yugoslav troops were forced out of Kosovo.
Dr Brovina has denied all the charges against her, describing the Albanian Women's League she founded in 1992 as an apolitical organisation devoted to education and health. "I am accused of things that have nothing to do with me," she told the court in the Serbian city of Nis. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The prosecutor alleged that Dr Brovina had hosted meetings of the Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla movement. He also accused her of forming a KLA unit and making uniforms for the rebels.
"If you're anti-war, you can't be a terrorist," Dr Brovina retorted, referring to peace demonstrations she had helped to organise. She also said that none of her family had ever been in the KLA. Dr Brovina admitted she had distributed medicines and food and said she had received requests for help from some men and some items which she was asked to sew into uniforms. "I firmly refused, because I did not want to get involved in that."
After a three-hour session, Judge Marina Milanovic postponed the trial until 25 November to allow the prosecutor to call a witness to testify on medicines found at a humanitarian organisation Dr Brovina was involved in running.
Dr Brovina's lawyer, Zika Jokanovic, a Serb from Kosovo, said the prosecution had produced no concrete evidence to support the charges. "It's too early to say what the decision will be," he said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said it has a list of 2,000 Kosovo Albanian prisoners provided by Serbiaand has visited most of them. Relatives say there could be thousands more in prison.
On Wednesday James Rubin, the US State Department spokesman, accused Serbia of mistreating the prisoners.
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Becky Watts: Four appear in court charged with hiding body parts after teenager's death
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
Professor Brian Cox brands astrology-believing Tory MP David Tredinnick an 'outlier on the spectrum of reason'
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...