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Serb General Pleads Not Guilty


7 February 2005 -- Former Yugoslav Army General Vladimir Lazarevic has pleaded not guilty at a trial in The Hague to crimes against humanity stemming from accusations that he drove 800,000 ethnic Albanians out of Kosovo in 1999.

Lazarevic surrendered to the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia last week.

Today he responded to charges on four counts of crimes against humanity and one count of violation of laws and customs of war. He denied each of the charges.

Lazarevic commanded the army's Pristina corps during the 1998-99 conflict with separatists in Kosovo province. NATO's bombing campaign forced Serbian troops to withdraw, and since then the province has been under UN control.

(Reuters)
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