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Milosevic Given Greater Scope In Defense Case


1 November 2004 -- The UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague said today that former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has been given the right to lead his own defense case after appealing against the imposition of defense lawyers.

Appeals judges ruled that while two court-assigned defense lawyers would remain involved in the case, Milosevic would be given far greater scope to run his case, providing his health allows it.

The restoration of Milosevic to a more central role in the trial, which has been repeatedly delayed by his ill health, has been one of his central demands since the defense opened in August.

Milosevic, who is 63, rejected a decision by judges in September to appoint two British lawyers to manage his defense to avoid trial delays due to his ill health, sparking an appeal that resulted in today's ruling.

Milosevic is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo in the 1990s.

(AP/AFP/Reuters)

For full coverage of Slobodan Milosevic's trial at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, see RFE/RL's webpage "Milosevic on Trial".
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