December 19, 2002 |
U.N. prosecutors called for 15 to 25 years in jail for former Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic, but defense lawyers at the Hague tribunal said that was tantamount to a life sentence. Closing a pre-sentencing hearing for the 72-year-old, who has admitted crimes against humanity, prosecutors stressed the horrors wreaked on non-Serbs in the 1992-95 Bosnian war but said Plavsic's guilty plea was a mitigating factor. The defense asked for an eight-year term. A decision is expected next month.
December 18, 2002 |
Former Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic told the Hague war crimes tribunal that she was haunted by her role in ethnic cleansing in the 1992-95 Bosnian war. The tribunal heard arguments to determine a sentence after she pleaded guilty in October to a count of crimes against humanity. "The knowledge that I am responsible for such human suffering and for soiling the character of my people will always be with me," she said.
December 14, 2002 |
A car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo province, wounding at least 30 people, officials said. Dr. Zeki Zeka from the emergency center of the Pristina hospital said that 32 people had been admitted and that seven were seriously injured. The blast came a day before a visit by 15 U.N. Security Council ambassadors. The province has been run by the United Nations since 1999.
December 7, 2002 |
Judges at Slobodan Milosevic's war crimes trial revealed Friday that a secret witness testifying against the former Yugoslav president is Milan Babic, once one of his key allies. Babic allowed his name to be released after three weeks on the witness stand. His lawyer said he had decided to contribute to reconciliation in the Balkans. Before Friday, the court had referred to Babic as Witness C-61 and forbidden publication of his name, though his identity was widely known in the Balkans.
November 21, 2002 |
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan met in Belgrade with the chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor, a gesture apparently aimed at stepping up pressure on Yugoslav officials to arrest suspects wanted by The Hague tribunal. Carla Del Ponte has complained repeatedly that Yugoslavia has failed to apprehend key suspects, including the Bosnian Serb wartime army commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic. "There is no political will to arrest him," Del Ponte said after meeting Annan.
November 14, 2002 |
A U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague ordered cardiology and psychiatric exams for former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic amid concern that his refusal to name a defense lawyer is harming his health and disrupting his trial. Milosevic, 61, has a heart condition and high blood pressure, and his ill health has delayed the proceedings by more than a month since he was brought to The Hague in June 2001.
November 13, 2002 |
The U.N. war crimes tribunal dropped all but the most serious charges against Bosnian Serb wartime commander Ratko Mladic, focusing its indictment on genocide and crimes against humanity. The court has increased pressure on the Yugoslav government to arrest Mladic, and the amended indictment is aimed at speeding up proceedings. The indictment had 36 counts but was reduced to 15, which include murder and deportations.
November 12, 2002 |
Yugoslavia's pro-Western deputy prime minister, a key contender in Serbian presidential elections, said Monday that he would not run in the Dec. 8 repeat ballot. Miroljub Labus finished second behind Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica in the October runoff for president. The vote was declared invalid because of low voter turnout. "Voters in Serbia evidently do not believe these elections can change anything," Labus said. "Therefore I have no wish to run again."
November 2, 2002 |
The challenge of defending himself against scores of war crimes charges has apparently taken its toll on Slobodan Milosevic, who was too exhausted to appear in court Friday. The former Yugoslav president, who is 61, required medical attention at the United Nations detention center outside The Hague, and his trial was adjourned until Monday.
November 1, 2002 |
Yugoslavia conceded that a state arms dealer had violated U.N. trade bans against Iraq. The admission came two weeks after evidence surfaced that a Bosnian Serb factory cooperating with a Yugoslav arms dealer had refurbished Iraqi military aircraft. A Yugoslav government statement said that "because of imprecise regulations on arms trading, there have been several cases of breaching the U.N. embargo." The embargo began after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.