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Yugoslavia: Milosevic Scores Courtroom Victory

The Hague, 20 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic won his first victory at the UN war crimes tribunal when the second prosecution's witness was excluded today. Presiding Judge Richard May has excluded the testimony of the UN tribunal's chief investigator for Kosovo, Kevin Curtis. Curtis was due to testify about one of the sites where large numbers of Kosovar Albanians were allegedly killed by Serb forces.

But the judges ruled his testimony would be irrelevant, since he was repeating stories he had heard from others.

The court adjourned briefly before the prosecution went on to call another UN investigator, Steve Spargo.

Milosevic today complained that the Dutch government denied his wife a visa for a weekend visit to The Hague. The Dutch Foreign Ministry confirmed that a visa application by Milosevic's wife, Mira Markovic, had been denied, saying that she had applied too late.

Milosevic is accused of genocide during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, crimes against humanity in Croatia in 1991-92, and in Kosovo in 1999.