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UN: Del Ponte Says Milosevic Must Be Tried In The Hague

BELGRADE, 25 January 2001 (RFE/RL) - The chief prosecutor of the UN war crimes tribunal, Carla Del Ponte, today rejected proposals by Yugoslav officials to try former President Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia. Del Ponte says the UN tribunal's jurisdiction is for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. As she puts it, "for these crimes Milosevic will come to The Hague and be tried there." But the prosecutor adds Milosevic can be tried in Yugoslavia at a later date for lesser crimes.

Del Ponte made the remarks at the end of her three-day visit to Belgrade.

President Vojislav Kostunica says Serbian war crimes suspects should be tried in Yugoslavia, as the country's constitution bars the extradition of its citizens and could cause political instability.

Del Ponte says her talks with Kostunica were disappointing as she found it practically impossible to have a dialog with the Yugoslav president. But she says her meetings with other officials in Belgrade were "completely positive".