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Yugoslavia: Second Arrest Warrant Ready For Milosevic

Rome, 2 April 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The chief prosecutor for the UN war crimes tribunal, Carla Del Ponte, says she has prepared a second arrest warrant for former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, for war crimes. Del Ponte said in an interview with the Italian daily "La Reppublica" that the arrest warrant was for crimes in Bosnia. She did not give details.

Milosevic was indicted in 1999 for crimes against humanity in Kosovo.

Del Ponte said she was, "absolutely optimistic" that Milosevic would be handed over to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague by the end of the year.

Del Ponte told reporters that there is "no doubt" that Milosevic would be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of charges that he committed war crimes in Kosovo. The Hague prosecutors have sought life sentences several times before, but the court has never handed down a life sentence.

Yugoslav authorities detained Milosevic yesterday on charges of abuse of power, criminal conspiracy, and stealing public funds. Del Ponte said the detention was a sign there could be cooperation between the UN tribunal and Yugoslav authorities.