U.N. prosecutor expands indictment against Milosevic with Croatia charges

Friday, September 28th 2001, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ U.N. war crimes prosecutors expanded their indictment against former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to include charges in Croatia, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Details of the indictment would not be made public until the document is confirmed by a U.N. judge at the tribunal, prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann said.

Milosevic had already been charged with crimes against humanity and other war crimes in relation to Serbia's crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in 1999.

The new charges are no surprise as prosecutors had said they would broaden the charges to include the Bosnian and Croatian conflicts by October. Additional counts for Bosnia were expected to be formally brought within a few weeks, according to Hartmann.

Chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte had already said Milosevic will face a genocide charge for alleged crimes in Bosnia, but Hartmann said the Swiss prosecutor has given investigators more time to gather evidence against the ouster leader.

Milosevic's trial is not expected to begin until late next year.

Croatian President Stipe Mesic welcomed the widened charges.

``The expansion of the indictment was expected because Milosevic interweaved war crimes and genocide into his plans of a Greater Serbian state,'' Mesic said. ``Croatia can certainly be satisfied that war crimes are being individualized.''

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