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Yugoslavia: Court Issues Warrants For 17 War Crimes Suspects

Belgrade, 9 May 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A Belgrade court today issued arrest warrants for 17 Serbian war crimes suspects indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal. The Belgrade district court said in a statement that the warrants were issued for indictees who did not meet a government deadline to surrender voluntarily.

The move comes after the Yugoslav government last month passed legislation governing its cooperation with the UN tribunal in handing over suspects.

But the chief investigative judge of Belgrade's district court, Branislav Todic, said authorities do not know the whereabouts of several suspects, including the two most-wanted indictees, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and wartime commander Ratko Mladic.

The court did not issue an arrest warrant for current Serbian President Milan Milutinovic, also wanted by the UN court, warning that his arrest could jeopardize the sovereignty and security of the country.