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The World

Former Serbian President Surrenders to Tribunal

Milan Milutinovic, a former Milosevic crony, is charged with complicity in Kosovo atrocities.

January 21, 2003|From Associated Press

THE HAGUE — Serbia's former president surrendered to the U.N. war crimes tribunal here Monday to face charges that he was complicit in the deadly crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo province in the late 1990s.

Within hours of his arrival in the Netherlands, Milan Milutinovic was summoned from prison in a suburb of The Hague to the tribunal's courthouse for an hourlong meeting with the chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte.

Milutinovic, 60, was informed of his rights, and he agreed to answer questions at a later date, prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann said.

During his presidency of Serbia, Yugoslavia's main republic, Milutinovic was mostly a figurehead of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's regime and lost what little influence he had when the former Balkan strongman was ousted in October 2000.

But as a former member of Milosevic's inner circle and his wartime defense council, Milutinovic is believed to have potentially incriminating evidence that U.N. prosecutors want aired in court. Milosevic is on trial at The Hague.

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