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Yugoslavia: Defiant Milosevic Blasts War Crimes Tribunal

Rome, 3 February (RFE/RL) -- Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is quoted as saying the international war crimes tribunal is "immoral and illegal" and that he will refuse to appear before it. In an interview published today in the Italian newspaper "La Stampa," the indicted war crimes suspect compared the Hague-based tribunal to a Nazi concentration camp. Milosevic said the court was interested in carrying out reprisals against what he called "disobedient" peoples, such as the Serbs.

Milosevic added that since his downfall from power in October, he and his family no longer feel safe in Belgrade.

Milosevic's successor as president, Vojislav Kostunica, has rejected Western demands to hand over Milosevic to the tribunal for trial on charges of war crimes in Kosovo. But Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic said yesterday that an indictment was being prepared against Milosevic and that court proceedings on Yugoslav territory could start within weeks.