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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 01:03 GMT
Indicted Serbian minister sacked
Sreten Lukic
Serbia does not want to hand Lukic over to The Hague
The new government in Serbia has sacked its deputy interior minister, war crimes suspect Sreten Lukic.

The International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague indicted him last year for his role as the head of Kosovo's police during the 1999 conflict.

But correspondents say his sacking does not make it any more likely that he will be extradited to the tribunal.

Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has said he would prefer any war crimes suspects to be tried in Serbia.

Popular support

When Mr Lukic was indicted in October 2003 there were angry protests from the Serbian government of the day and thousands of police attended a rally in the capital Belgrade to show support for their former commander.

The United Nations tribunal wants Serbia to send General Lukic to The Hague along with three retired generals to face charges of crimes against humanity during the Kosovo conflict.

The chief UN war crimes prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, said Serbia should abandon hopes of being allowed to try the men itself as the seriousness of the cases meant they had to be heard in The Hague.

But outlining his government policies to parliament earlier this week Mr Kostunica said Serb war crimes suspects should be tried at home.

Mr Kostunica's minority government, which received backing from the Socialist Party of jailed leader Slobodan Milosevic, was voted in on Wednesday.

The Hague's wanted men
20 Feb 03  |  Europe
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24 Oct 03  |  Europe
Kostunica introduces new cabinet
02 Mar 04  |  Europe

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