Indictment Against Milosevic, 4 Aides

An overview of the charges against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four of his aides by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia:

Milosevic's indictment:

The U.N. war crimes tribunal charged former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four aides in 1999 with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war, accusing forces under their command of atrocities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo province. The men are accused of deporting about 740,000 ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and of murdering 344 Albanians identified before May 24, 1999, when the indictment was confirmed by a judge. The full version of the indictment is at http://www.un.org/icty/index.html.

Indictment excerpts:

"Beginning in January 1999 and continuing to the date of this indictment, Slobodan Milosevic, Milan Milutinovic, Nikola Sainovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic and Vlajko Stojiljkovic planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in a campaign of terror and violence directed at Kosovo Albanian civilians living in Kosovo in the FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia]."

"The operations targeting the Kosovo Albanians were undertaken with the objective of removing a substantial portion of the Kosovo Albanian population from Kosovo in an effort to ensure continued Serbian control over the province."

"The forces of the FRY and Serbia have in a systematic manner, forcibly expelled and internally displaced hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians from their homes across the entire province of Kosovo."

"Beginning on or about 1 January 1999 and continuing until the date of this indictment, forces of the FRY and Serbia, acting at the direction, with the encouragement, or with the support of [the indicted] have murdered hundreds of Kosovo Albanian civilians."

Mass killings:

The indictment lists several cases of alleged mass killings, for example in the Kosovo villages of Velika Krusa and Mali Krusa.

"On or about 25 March 1999, the Kosovo villages of Velika Krusa and Mali Krusa . . . were attacked by forces of the FRY and Serbia. Village residents took refuge in a forested area. . . . On or about the morning of 26 March 1999, Serb police located the villagers in the forest. The police ordered the women and small children to leave the area and to go to Albania. The police then searched the men and boys and took their identity documents, after which they were made to walk to an uninhabited house between the forest and Mali Krusa. . . . Once the men and boys were assembled inside the house, the Serb police opened fire on the group. After several minutes of gunfire, the police piled hay on the men and boys and set fire to it in order to burn the bodies. As a result of the shootings and the fire, approximately 105 Kosovo Albanian men and boys were killed by the Serb police."

Counts of the indictment:

Count 1: Deportation, a crime against humanity. . . .

Count 2: Murder, a crime against humanity. . . .

Count 3: Murder, a violation of the laws or customs of war. . . .

Count 4: Persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, a crime against humanity. . . .

Source: Reuters

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