Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript

CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN BREAKING NEWS

Serbia Will Turn Over Milosevic to International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague

Aired June 28, 2001 - 13:37   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Our top story of the hour is the decision by the Serbian government in Belgrade to turn over its former president, Slobodan Milosevic, to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

That's where our CNN Christiane Amanpour is now, where preparations are being made for that trial -- Christiane.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, this tribunal has been waiting for years for this moment. They indicted Slobodan Milosevic, along with four of his top officials, two years ago, on crimes against humanity and on crimes that are called the violation of customs or laws of war.

They are waiting for him to arrive here. It has now been confirmed in Belgrade that he is being sent over here.

What will happen is that within a few days -- perhaps a day or two -- or certainly within a week of his arrival, he will be in court to hear the charges against him, and then there will be a lengthy sort of pretrial period where his defense lawyers will gather the evidence they need, gather their witnesses to be prepared for trial. The chief prosecutor says that she is prepared for trial, and she has been for quite some months and years now.

It's worth saying that this extradition of Milosevic has come after an enormous amount of pressure from the United States and from other international officials, certainly from Europe -- but particularly the United States has made it very clear to the Yugoslav authorities, the reformist government in Yugoslavia, that any aide, which they badly need, is contingent on the cooperation with the war crimes tribunal and is contingent on them sending over indicted war crimes suspects, such as Slobodan Milosevic, to The Hague.

An important donors conference where aide will be pledged and where the United States will join is in Brussels tomorrow, this is, apparently, an effort by the Serbian authorities to comply with that request for cooperation, in order for them to get the aid that they so desperately need -- Lou.

WATERS: Because this is a first, Christiane, Milosevic the first former head of government to be brought before the war crimes tribunal, will anything be handled differently because of that? AMANPOUR: We've asked spokespeople here, and they say, apart from the obvious security measures that they always take, no special conditions or concessions for the former Yugoslav president, that he will be given a medial checkup when he gets here, which that is normal. There will be all sorts of security checks and security processes that are already in place, because they go to a detention center, a jail, not far from here. He will be in his own room. There will be a desk, a bed, a television. He will be able to exercise. In other words, not a different concession or no different treatment for Milosevic than for the others.

WATERS: I heard you report, about an hour ago, that in addition to his indictment of two years ago on crimes against humanity and other war crimes, there may be a new attempt to seek new indictments. What's that about?

AMANPOUR: Yes, indeed. As you know, prosecutors here, ever since the tribunal was first established, back in 1993, have been looking to try the architects of the Balkan wars. They've said that there is no way that they can try everybody who may have been responsible for what has gone on in the Balkans for the last 10 years, but that they definitely were going to go after the chief architects. And in their view, Slobodan Milosevic was the chief architect for the last 10 years of the wars that ravaged the Balkans.

You know that there were the wars of Croatia and Bosnia, and in that light, the chief prosecutor is working on indictments that she says that she may present in the fall, two more indictments for his alleged criminal responsibility in Croatia and Bosnia. Furthermore, she may even expand the current indictment to include the charge of genocide, which is the most serious charge under international law -- Lou.

WATERS: Christiane, in the case the prosecution is successful in this matter, what is the punishment? What is the possible extent of punishment for Milosevic and the others?

AMANPOUR: There is, as you know, no death penalty, and there is no life, but there is many, many years behind bars. And it really does depend: We've seen sentences handed down here of other inditees who have go on trial, some of them quite prominent ones, in the last couple of years. They have had, one of them -- the longest sentence -- was 45 years. So there is that possibility.

WATERS: Christiane Amanpour, keeping watch in The Hague.

As we've been reporting, the Yugoslavian government has confirmed Milosevic will be on his way to the war crimes tribunal at The Hague in the Netherlands, the former Yugoslav president indicted for alleged atrocities committed in Kosovo during his crackdown he ordered two years ago, on the province's ethnic Albanian population. That crackdown ended after NATO's 78-day bombing campaign.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top