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Milosevic Bodyguards Arrested

By Correspondents of Radio B92     Apr 1, 2001 in Technology
BELGRADE, Sunday, April 1, 2001 – The Serbian justice minister has confirmed the arrests of some of Milosevic’s personal bodyguards who foiled the first attempt to detain the former president on Saturday morning.
Vladan Batic refused to elaborate any further, saying he had not yet received the official special police report on the matter.
Asked by B92 to confirm that it was Marija Milosevic who fired the shots heard by reporters outside the residence early this morning, Batic said the investigation was still underway.
She and her mother Mira Markovic – who he added is not one of those charged with criminal obstruction – were thought by him to be still in the residence.
He confirmed that the Milosevic villa in Uzicka Street, to which police laid siege for 36 hours, was now in the control of special police.
Batiic played down earlier accusations that the first attempt to arrest Milosevic, onSaturday morning, was foiled by Yugoslav soldiers stationed there. “As far as I understand, there were no malicious obstruction attempts made, it was more a question of who was in charge,” said Batic.
He added that the military offered firm guarantees that it would act as it did in the October protests that led to Milosevic’s downfall, saying that it had “no intention of interfering with the work of the judiciary and the state institutions, and would act only in accordance with constitutional guidelines.” (B92)
Ceda was our man in Dedinje, says Djindjic
The successful negotiations that led to Slobodan Milosevic’s eventual surrender were led by Democratic Party official Cedomir Jovanovic, the Serbian prime minister said today.
Speaking at a Democratic Party meeting, Djindjic said that Branislav Ivkovic had been the “main man from the Socialist Party of Serbia” in the talks which began on the night of Friday to Saturday.
Djindjic said: “It was at Ivkovic’s suggestion that the Milosevic couple demanded to meet Jovanovic, who talked to them for five or six hours, leaving them in no doubt as to the consequences if they did not surrender.” (Beta)
Meanwhile, a source close to the authorities told AFP that negotiations started early on Saturday, and lasted for several hours. During the morning, Milosevic started shouting and threatening to kill his family and himself.
Talks were resumed in the afteroon, when Milosevic demanded a guarantee that he would not be sent to The Hague and his wife would be allowed to leave the country.
The government refused. Negotiators then pointed out to Milosevic that there were at least 12 different groups ready to deliver him to justice and claim the five million dollar reward put up by the US.
Eventually, with his hopes diminishing as special police gathered around his villa, Milosevic agreed at around 3.30am to face questioning.
Milosevic arsenal claims
A police ministry source has tonight told B92 that Slobodan Milosevic’s men had stockpiled a substantial arsenal in his villa and were planning an armed uprising.
Special police units are said to have found a stash including the following in his residence: two armoured vehicles, the owner of which is unknown; three automatic rifles; one bazooka; 30 automatic weapons; two boxes of hand grenades; 12 boxes of ammunition of various kinds; and more than 20 pistols of various calibres.
B92 has also learnt that Marija Milosevic, who is thought to have fired five shots as her father was led away, has three unlicensed pistols including a Beretta 9mm and a Walter 9mm.
The police source said that three of the armed bodyguards and their leader Sinisa Vucinic were arrested and found to be carrying weapons, as well as to have plans for an armed uprising scheduled for April.
The police ministry will now bring charges against Vucinic and his three associates for inciting armed rebellion, the source said.
B92 was told that a press conference will be called tomorrow during which the weapons cache will be on display.
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