Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

First Picture: Milosevic in Prison as He Awaits Justice

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

First Picture: Milosevic in Prison as He Awaits Justice

Article excerpt


FLANKED by guards, Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav leader behind almost a decade of war in the Balkans, is led into prison in Holland today to be confronted with a long list of charges of crimes against humanity. The first picture of the 59-year-old former Yugoslav president behind bars came after he was delivered to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, read the indictment and had his rights explained. He will be tried for his alleged role in Kosovo violence that left thousands of ethnic Albanians killed or missing and made refugees of hundreds of thousands more. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment without parole.

Dutch riot police were called to marshall hundreds of pro- and anti-Milosevic demonstrators, mostly refugees from the wars, gathered in The Hague.

Milosevic has been temporarily assigned to a single-man cell in a special UN wing of the prison pending a final decision on whether he will be segregated from 38 other war crimes defendants held there.

Tribunal spokesman Jim Landale said Milosevic spent an uneventful first night following a routine physical examination. There was no suggestion of any health problems but he will be closely monitored for several days. This follows his comments three months ago that he would shoot himself rather than submit to arrest. Dutch television this morning broadcast pictures of Milosevic being led across the prison yard by two guards. The decision to extradite was expected to yield immediate rewards, with international donors expected to agree today to Yugoslavia's appeals for almost [pound]900 million in aid.

"We did it. Now it's your turn," said Yugoslav deputy prime minister Miroljub Labus in his opening address to the 15-nation European Union. As word spread of the transfer from prison in Belgrade to Holland, about 3,000 pro-Milosevic supporters gathered in Belgrade, chanting "Uprising, uprising".

Milosevic's wife, Mirjana Markovic, briefly appeared at the prison gate but turned back without entering.

Despite the crowds, Milosevic was put on a Serb aircraft for Tuzla, headquarters of the American peacekeeping operation in Bosnia, where he was transferred to a British aircraft and flown to The Hague. …

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