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Milosevic Charged with 32 New Crimes


Slobodan Milosevic has been charged with 32 new counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity - including extermination, persecution and murder. Judges at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal confirmed the new indictment against the former Yugoslav president for crimes allegedly committed in Croatia in 1991 and 1992.

This is the second indictment against Slobodan Milosevic, who is already in custody awaiting trial for crimes allegedly committed in Kosovo. He is being charged with the murder of hundreds of Croats and non-Serbs, the imprisonment of thousands more and the deportation of 170,000 people from Croatia.

Prosecutors say that when Mr. Milosevic was president of Serbia in the early 1990s he participated in what they call a "joint criminal enterprise." Its goal was to throw the Croats and non-Serbs out of about one-third of Croatia, including Dubrovnik, Slavonia, and the Krajina region, and incorporate that territory into a new Serb-dominated state.

Prosecutors say Mr. Milosevic and others attacked Croatian towns, took them over and then established a regime of persecutions to get the non-Serbs to leave. Murder, torture, imprisonment and plunder were the tactics of the day, including, say prosecutors, the execution of 255 people in a single day.

The new indictment lists the names of 466 people who were killed, many of them women and elderly.

Slobodan Milosevic is being charged with their murders, in addition to the more than 900 deaths prosecutors already hold him responsible for in Kosovo.

Mr. Milosevic, who has refused to appoint lawyers and to recognize the court, will have to answer to the new charges. If he refuses to enter a plea, as he has in the past, judges will enter another not-guilty plea for him.

Prosecutors have yet to issue the third long-awaited indictment against Slobodan Milosevic for crimes allegedly committed in Bosnia, including genocide. That indictment is expected in the coming weeks, along with an expanded Kosovo indictment to include the many bodies of ethnic Albanians now being found in mass graves in Serbia.