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Milosevic Could Face Charges Carrying Death Penalty

By Correspondents of Radio B92     Apr 4, 2001 in Technology
VIENNA - The Serbian interior minister declared today that there is evidence to implicate Milosevic in crimes which carry the death penalty.
Speaking in Vienna after his meeting with his Austrian counterpart, Dusan Mihajlovic told reporters that proof was still needed before a charge could be laid. He refused to specify what such a charge might be.
Although the death penalty remains on the statute books in Serbia, it is many years since it has in fact been carried out.
He pointed to the very fact that, for the first time in Serbian history, a former president and secret service head were in jail as evidence of the determination of the new democratic authorities to solve crimes.
He added that he expected Milosevic associates Nikola Sainovic and Jovan Zebic to be stripped of their parliamentary immunity soon, clearing the way for proceedings to be started against them.
Mihaljovic went on to dismiss a statement he had made yesterday that Milosevic might choose to go to The Hague voluntarily as “a joke”.(B92)
US Aid Still Rests On Milosevic?
BELGRADE - Just ten percent of the announced $50 million of US aid has been approved unconditionally, Belgrade daily Blic writes.
To get their hands on the rest of the cash, the Belgrade authorities will have to agree in writing that they have an obligation to comply with The Hague indictment of Slobodan Milosevic.
In the next two days The Hague Secretary will arrive in Belgrade carrying the indictment, which, the daily writes, amounts to a court summons.
The authorities must then respond in writing, pledging to enable Milosevic to respond to the invitation.
Hague Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte is expected to present her annual report to the UN Security Council around the end of May.
If Del Ponte speaks favourably of Yugoslavia then the international donor conference could be held in June, Blic claims. (Srna)
State funded Bosnian and Croatian Serb armies: Milosevic
BELGRADE - Slobodan Milosevic yesterday denied charges of embezzlement but admitted for the first time that he had secretly used state money to fund the Bosnian and Croatian Serb armies.
The revelation came in a 115-line document typed in his cell yesterday and sent to the Belgrade Municipal Court judge, Belgrade daily Politika writes. Milosevic stressed that he had acted “in the interests of the state and the people” but had kept the payments out of official budget figures because they were state secrets.
The money was spent on arms, ammunition and other supplies for the Republic of Srpska and Krajina armies, stated Milosevic.
Cash was also given to Serbian security forces and special anti-terrorist units for equipment such as light weaponry and helicopters, which Milosevic claimed were still in use.
The former Yugoslav leader denied encouraging his associates Nikola Sainovic, Mihalj Kertes and Jovan Zebic to siphon off funds.
I wasn't even there, claims Vucinic
BELGRADE – The alleged head of Milosevic’s personal bodyguard has denied that he was in the residence at all at the moment when special police entered to arrest the former Yugoslav leader.
Yugoslav Left official Sinisa Vucinic, who was arrested shortly after Milosevic, also denied at the hearing in front of the investigative magistrate that he was a member of Milosevic’s personal security. He stated he had not organised any protection for the former president, nor shot at special police officers trying to carry out the arrest.
His lawyer Borislav Borkovic also told Belgrade daily Danas that Vucinic had not been charged with attempted armed rebellion.
''After you'', Kostunica tells NATO
BELGRADE - Yugoslav cooperation with The Hague should only be considered after NATO’s responsibility for war crimes has been fully scrutinised, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica stated today.
At a press conference this afternoon, Kostunica argued that the extradition of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic “is not the issue at this point”.
More urgency should be placed on investigating others responsible for war crimes and in particular the NATO Alliance.
Only then should Yugoslavia consider cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, Kostunica emphasised.
The President denied any connection between an international donor’s conference for Yugoslavia and the possible extradition of Milosevic.
US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher yesterday stated that American support for such a conference would depend on continued progress towards full cooperation with The Hague Tribunal.
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