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Slobodan Milosevic: Key quotes

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial in The Hague on Tuesday to face charges over atrocities committed by Serb forces in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Below are some of the notable quotes from Milosevic's pre-trial statements at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY):

July 3, 2001 -- "I consider this tribunal a false tribunal and the indictment a false indictment. It is illegal being not appointed by the UN General Assembly, so I have no need to appoint counsel to (an) illegal organ."

Asked by presiding judge Richard May if he wanted the Kosovo indictment read to him before entering a plea, Milosevic replied: "That's your problem."

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August 30, 2001 -- "Well, I'm, by the order of this illegal institution, in total isolation, and my question is: Why am I isolated from my family? Why can my family not visit me the same way as the others?

"I am discriminated all the time from the first day I got in. Why am I isolated from the press, especially in the circumstances in which every single day there is something printed or broadcast against me as a pure lie?

"I believe that nobody has to be afraid of the truth. You cannot even mention the idea of even-handedness in any kind of that procedure you have in mind."

October 29, 2001 -- "I have been indicted because I defended my people legally and with legitimate means on the basis of the right to self-defence that every nation has.

"The truth cannot be drowned by any kind of flood of false accusations."

October 30, 2001 -- "Please read out those judgements that you have been instructed to read and don't bother me and make me listen for hours on end to the reading of texts written at the intellectual level of a seven-year-old child -- or rather -- let me correct myself -- a retarded seven-year-old.

"Don't bother me and read it out. I think this has been a farce already."

"I would like not to be discriminated against ... So will you please remove the cameras from my cell and remove the presence of your staff when my family members visit me, because the explanation given for the cameras are nonsense.

"Apparently, they're monitoring me so that I should not commit suicide, and I am saying here in this courtroom that I would never commit suicide.

"First of all, because I do not wish to do that to my family and my children; and secondly, I would never commit suicide because I must struggle here to topple this tribunal and this farce of a trial and the masterminds behind it who are using it against people who are fighting for freedom in the world."

December 11, 2001 -- "I would like to say to you that what we have just heard, this tragic text is a supreme absurdity. I should be given credit for peace in Bosnia not war.

"I am proud to have been in command of the Yugoslav armed forces."

January 9, 2002 -- "An operation is under way to reverse the scene and the culprit ... All this is geared towards justification for the crimes committed during the NATO aggression on my nation."

"Look at this court. Courts should be impartial. This indictment has been raised according to what the British intelligence service has said."

January 30, 2002 -- "This is an unprecedented attempt to turn a victim into a culprit. I think it would be logical and just to let me go because I will not flee."

"I am fully prepared to come to any hearing because this is not a battle I will miss."

Asked his opinion about prosecution call for three indictments to be rolled into one, he replied: "By adding up three lies you will not get the truth, you will simply enlarge the lie itself."


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