BUTCHER IN THE DOCK; Crimes against Humanity, Deportation, Persecution, Violation of the Customs of War, 340 Murders. the Tip of the Milosevic Iceberg

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), June 30, 2001 | Go to article overview

BUTCHER IN THE DOCK; Crimes against Humanity, Deportation, Persecution, Violation of the Customs of War, 340 Murders. the Tip of the Milosevic Iceberg


Byline: MARK ELLIS

SLOBODAN Milosevic - the Butcher of Belgrade - will finally face international justice before a war crimes court next week.

The former Yugoslav President will be charged with some of the most shocking crimes against humanity since World War II.

Yesterday, prosecutor Louise Arbour said the indictment against Milosevic had been amended and enlarged to include more crimes and more victims.

But the cold legal jargon of the charges failed to mask the horror of the evil of ethnic cleansing.

Milosevic and four top aides face four charges - three of crimes against humanity, including murder, deportation and persecution and one of violations of the laws or customs of wars, which includes murder of prisoners.

All relate to their command of forces carrying out atrocities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

On Tuesday, Milosevic, 59, will step into the dock and will be asked how he pleads.

His replies will make history as he becomes the first head of state to answer war crimes charges in an international court.

It will send a chilling message to dictators worldwide that there is no hiding place from justice.

Tribunal president Claude Jorda said: "The transfer of Milosevic is a turning point and the beginning of a new era in the development of international justice."

Detailed charges about his alleged role in the Kosovo violence in which thousands died will be read out.

Prosecutor Arbour said there was "a credible basis to believe those accused are criminally responsible ... for the murder of over 340 identified Kosovo Albanians".

But that is only the tip of the iceberg and prosecutors are in the process of adding more charges covering a decade of Balkans' bloodshed that left hundreds of thousands dead.

World leaders applauded his transfer from a Belgrade prison to the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague - apart from the tyrant's old friend, Russia.

Milosevic's final humiliation began early yesterday when he was handed over by the Serbians and flown by the RAF to the UN tribunal in The Netherlands. …

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