Milosevic defies UN court

Milosevic calls UN war crimes tribunal “illegal”
and refuses to cooperate

The tribunal’s chairman Judge Richard May said he would
treat Mr Milosevic’s refusal to plead as a “not guilty”
plea. The tribunal will try Mr Milosevic on three counts of
crimes against humanity in Kosovo in 1999, which led to the
NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in the spring of
1999:

  • mass deportation of 750,000 Kosovo Albanians,
  • murder of 600 Kosovo Albanians,
  • breaking the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of
    war.

 

Former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, told
the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague on 3 July that it
was "false" and "illegal". He refused to enter a plea on
charges of crimes against humanity. In his first appearance
in court after his extradition on 29 June, Mr Milosevic
said the aim of the trial against him was "to produce false
justification for the war crimes of NATO committed in
Yugoslavia".

 

Mr Milosevic was indicted by the UN tribunal in May 1999.
He was charged with crimes against humanity for atrocities
committed against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. More than
10,000 ethnic Albanians are estimated to have died in two
years of clashes with Yugoslav police and army forces that
tried to crack down the rebellion in Kosovo. The
inter-ethnic warfare ended with a 78-day NATO bombing
campaign, which was followed by the establishment of a NATO
protectorate in Kosovo.

 

The tribunal scheduled the next hearing in the last week of
August. The trial is expected to take years, and Milosevic
could get a life sentence if convicted.

 

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