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Milosevic Blasts Hague Tribunal Hearing


Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic remained defiant on the second day, Tuesday, of a hearing before the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The former Yugoslav leader dismissed the court as a farce that has served to incite attacks on Serbs.

Slobodan Milosevic told the U.N. war crimes court it was a farce and accused it of inciting "terrorism" against Serbs.

This was the former Yugoslav leader's fourth pre-trial appearance. Judges have set February 12 as the starting date for Mr. Milosevic's trial. He has been indicted for crimes against humanity in Croatia and Kosovo, and is expected to face charges of genocide in Bosnia.

Prosecutors say they are ready for the Kosovo case. They say they will call more than 220 witnesses, and will present hundreds of documents, videos, maps, and exhumation reports over the course of about 170 days. That is just for Kosovo, and they say similar time is needed to make their case on the Croatian charges.

Prosecutors say the Bosnia indictment, which will include charges of genocide, will be ready next week. They hope to have one trial for all the charges.

Mr. Milosevic has asked the judges to disqualify the prosecutor, accusing her of telling flagrant lies on behalf of what he called the real aggressor in Yugoslavia - NATO.

"If you are really a part of that machinery, then please read out those judgments you have been instructed to read, and do not bother me and make me listen for hours on end to texts written at the intellectual level of a seven year old or - let me correct myself - a retarded seven year old," Mr. Milosevic said.

An angry Mr. Milosevic also asked judges to remove the observation cameras in his cell. Both his parents committed suicide, and he says the tribunal installed the cameras to keep 24 hour watch on him.

On Tuesday he assured the court he would never commit suicide. "I do not want to do that to my family," he said, "and I have to struggle here to topple this tribunal."

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