Genocide charge against Milosevic sent to tribunal; Yugoslav Navy Admiral surrenders

Tuesday, November 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ Prosecutors with the U.N. war crimes tribunal have charged former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic with genocide in Bosnia _ perhaps the most serious accusation against him so far.

The latest indictment was filed last week, prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann said Monday. It must be confirmed by a judge before Milosevic is summoned to the court to plead. It was the third case filed against the ousted Yugoslav leader.

So far, Milosevic has refused to cooperate with the tribunal _ which he calls illegal _ or to enter a plea to charges of war crimes in Kosovo and Croatia. A plea of innocent has been entered on his behalf to all charges.

Details of the Bosnia indictment were not available, but it was expected to accuse Milosevic of responsibility for the deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. It was delayed for several weeks so evidence from recent exhumations of mass graves of Bosnian civilians could be included.

In another development, a retired Yugoslav Navy admiral surrendered to the U.N. tribunal Monday to face charges of murder and the wanton destruction of the medieval Croatian city of Dubrovnik in 1991.

Miodrag Jokic, 66, was admitted to the U.N. detention unit in Scheveningen, a suburb of The Hague, where Milosevic and 48 other suspected war criminals were being held.

Jokic was expected to appear before the tribunal later this week to plead to charges of responsibility for war crimes by himself and by men under his command.

The retired admiral arrived on a plane with Mirjana Markovic, Milosevic's wife, who was coming for a regular monthly visit to her husband. She was accompanied by her daughter-in-law and grandson.

Jokic and three other senior officers were charged with destroying much of the ancient port town of Dubrovnik during the Croatian war in 1991. They were indicted last February, but the indictments were made public only last month.

Retired Gen. Pavle Strugar, 68, was the first of the four officers to surrender in late October. They were indicted for suspected murder, plunder and the destruction of nearly 70 percent of Dubrovnik in an attempt to incorporate the 17th-century town into Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic.