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Yugoslavia: Rugova Accuses Milosevic Of Lying To Court

The Hague, 6 May 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Kosovo's President Ibrahim Rugova accused former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic of lying during his trial for war crimes earlier today. The exchange happened on the second and final day of Rugova's testimony as a witness before the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague.

Milosevic, who faces charges of genocide in Bosnia and crimes against humanity in Kosovo and Croatia, challenged Rugova's testimony regarding April 1999, at which time Milosevic's forces kept him under house arrest. Rugova, who led passive resistance by Kosovo's Albanian majority against Milosevic's rule, had testified that he feared the Serbian government would murder him.

But in cross-examination, Milosevic said he had protected Rugova from assassination by Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) separatist guerrillas. He told Rugova to look him in the eye and deny that his assertion was true. Rugova said the claim was "only a lie."

For more on Rugova's testimony at the Milosevic trial, please see Yugoslavia: Kosovo's President Testifies Against Milosevic At The Hague.