AGENCE FRANCE PRESS ON "DEFEND MILOSEVIC" PRESS CONFERENCE

Borba100 at aol.com Borba100 at aol.com
Thu Jun 21 20:33:49 MDT 2001


(Originally Posted by Barry Stoller)

Agence France Presse. 21 June 2001. Committee backing Milosevic warns against
extradition to ICTY.

 BELGRADE -- An official of an international committee set up to defend
Slobodan Milosevic Thursday warned of catastrophic consequences for
Yugoslavia if the former president is handed over to the UN war crimes
tribunal in The Hague.

"Be sure that misery, poverty, famine and total destruction would prevail in
the country" if Milosevic is sent to The Hague, said Mikhail Kuznecov, deputy
chairman of the International Committee for the Defense of Slobodan Milosevic.

"Do not have any illusions that the United States or NATO will give you money
and help you rebuild your economy?" he told reporters.

The committee was set up on March 24, just a week before Milosevic's arrest
by Belgrade reformers on charges of abuse of power and corruption, to clear
the ex-president's name over the war crimes indictment by the International
Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). NATO "is aiming to
destroy Yugoslavia and its citizens," Kuznecov said, adding that Milosevic
"is in prison since he was the only one to confront the Alliance, and even
managed to stop it."

He said that no "law can legalise" Milosevic's extradition to ICTY, as the
move "is clearly banned by the Constitutions of Yugoslavia and Serbia."

The committee, chaired by Bulgarian MP Velko Valkanov, and grouping figures
like former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and writer Harold Pinter, said
it has members from 20 countries throughout the world.

Its activities are supported by more than 600 prominent figures from 30
countries, said a statement on its website (www.predsednikmilosevic.com).

Kuznecov said the committee has set up an international working group to
monitor legal procedures against Milosevic, led by Canadian lawyer
Christopher Black, who had visited the former president in prison last week.

Black was among the lawyers who in 1999 brought war crimes charges against
NATO leaders for the bombing campaign on Yugoslavia.



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