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Friday, 24 August, 2001, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Milosevic gives TV interview from cell
Scheveningen detention unit at The Hague
Mr Milosevic called Fox TV from detention in The Hague
The International War Crimes Tribunal has given a warning to the former Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, after he succeeded in giving a live interview to a US television network.


I'm proud for everything I did in defending my country and my people

Slobodan Milosevic
Mr Milosevic, who is accused of war crimes in Kosovo, on Thursday phoned Fox News from the tribunal's detention centre in The Hague where he is being held.

Mr Milosevic maintained his innocence, attacked the war crimes tribunal and said he was sorry lives were lost during ethnic violence in Kosovo.

The former Serb leader, who refuses to recognise the legitimacy of the tribunal, is next due in court on 30 August.

'Sorry'

"All of us are sorry for the death of any, any person all around the world, there is no question that anybody is happy for the death of any person anywhere," he told Fox News.

He accused the tribunal of fabricating evidence against him.

"Of course they have no evidence. They cannot have evidence for things that never happened... But this so-called tribunal has one specific characteristic. They are able to fabricate the evidence."

Slobodan Milosevic
Mr Milosevic maintains his innocence

He said he had never ordered his troops to kill civilians and that they were under strict orders to "eliminate terrorist groups".

There were clear orders that those individuals who had committed this type of crime should be arrested and punished, he said.

He accused the government in Belgrade of selling him to The Hague in exchange for American money.

He compared this process to the slave trade, saying he thought the sale of human beings was something which belonged in the distant past, not in the 21st Century.

Embarrassment

The International War Crimes Tribunal is clearly embarrassed by Mr Milosevic's ingenious attempts to publicise his cause.


No detainee can speak to the media and Milosevic has been warned that some of his privileges could be restricted or withdrawn

Tribunal spokesman Jim Landale

The former president also managed to speak to members of the Russian communist party, through a phone call to his brother in Moscow.

The tribunal spokesman, Jim Landale, told the BBC that the television interview was regrettable and something which should not have happened.

He said media interviews were not allowed, although detainees did have access to a phone and a monthly phonecard worth $31 to call their friends, family and lawyers.

Mr Milosevic had claimed not to have been aware of the restriction, but Mr Landale said he had now certainly been made aware, and warned that if abused, communication privileges could be restricted or withdrawn altogether.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jim Fish
"Mr Milosevic has spoken out protesting his innocence"
Dusko Doder, co-author of a Milosevic biography
"The prison in Hague is like a motel compared with prisons in Yuogslavia"
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