Yugoslavia extradites Milosevic in exchange for aid

Yugoslav government extradites former president
Milosevic to UN War Crimes Tribunal in exchange for US
reconstruction aid

The move is extremely controversial in Belgrade where
Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica called the decision
illegal and unconstitutional, and a serious jeopardy for
Yugoslavia’s constitutional order. The Constitutional Court
of Yugoslavia had pronounced the government decree on
extradition unconstitutional.

The donors conference for Yugoslavia,
jointly organised by the European Commission and the World
Bank, is expected to pledge around 1.2 billion US dollars
for economic reconstruction of the country. Yugoslavia
expects to receive 4 billion US dollars in reconstruction
aid over the next four years. The US had refused to
participate unless Milosevic was extradited to the Hague
tribunal.

 

European Commission President Romano Prodi welcomed the
extradition, congratulating the Yugoslav authorities for
the decision. "I have always been confident in Serbian
democracy, and my confidence has been confirmed by recent
events," said Mr Prodi.

Commissioner for External Relations
Chris Patten called the move "a historic day for the people
of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, for all the peoples
of the Balkans, and all who believe in the rule of
international law". Mr Patten added that the trial will
give "the many victims of Balkan wars the chance of
justice".

The Swedish Presidency of the European
Union hailed the extradition as "a strong message that
international justice will prevail". The Presidency called
on "all political forces in the FRY to seize this historic
opportunity for peace and reconciliation".

NATO Secretary General George Robertson
congratulated the authorities in Belgrade for "their wise
and courageous decision". "The people of Yugoslavia and
others in the Balkans are longing to move forward to rejoin
the European family of nations. We expect that the trial of
Mr. Milosevic in The Hague will make a decisive break with
the past," said Lord Robertson.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said
Milosevic's transfer to The Hague marks "a victory for
accountability over impunity".

Several European government and the US
administration also welcomed the extradition.

 

The Yugoslav government extradited former Yugoslavia's
president Slobodan Milosevic to the United Nations War
Crimes Tribunal in The Hague where he will stand a trial
for crimes against humanity in Kosovo. The last minute
decision on the eve of the international donors conference
held in Brussels on 29 June was the condition for the
United States to donate aid for the reconstruction of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, ravaged by a decade of
wars.

 

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. 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, ensuring its
de facto

independence from Serbia.

 

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