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The BBC's Andrew Clark
"The stand-off is finally over"
 real 56k

Zarko Korac, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister
"He was in a pretty bad mental state.... he wa saying he would kill himself and his family"
 real 56k

The BBC's Peter Biles
"It was ultimately a rather humiliating end for the former strong man of the Balkans"
 real 56k

Vladimir Krisljanin, Serb Socialist Party
"The accusations against him are groundless"
 real 28k

Sunday, 1 April, 2001, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Milosevic arrested
Cars leave Milosevic residence
Cars speed away from Milosevic villa after the arrest
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has been arrested and taken to prison, ending a heavily-armed standoff at his Belgrade villa.

As it happened
Fri 1800 GMT:
Serb media report Milosevic's arrest
2200 GMT:
Milosevic addresses supporters
Midnight GMT:
Police storm villa
Sat 0430 GMT:
Riot police clear area round villa
Sun 0400 GMT
Milosevic surrenders
The news came shortly after five single shots and a burst of automatic fire were heard at the Milosevic home where the ex-leader had been surrounded by police for nearly 36 hours.

A convoy of five cars was then seen speeding away from the scene. BK TV showed footage of the the car carrying Mr Milosevic entering Belgrade's central prison and the security gates closing behind it.

A top official from ex-leader's Socialist Party, Vladimir Ivkovic, said Mr Milosevic had decided to give himself up of his own free will.

Special police outside the Milosevice residence
Police had sealed off the villa since Friday
Government negotiators had spent several hours inside trying to secure a peaceful end to the stand-off, amid speculation until the last minute that force would have to be used.

Mr Milosevic was thought to have been holed up in the villa with his wife and daughter and about 20 well-armed and possibly drunken bodyguards.

His defenders fought off a special police assault on the villa in the early hours of Saturday and Mr Milosevic earlier insisted that he would "not go to jail alive".

He was unbalanced, he was threatening, showing his gun - he was saying he would kill himself and his family

Deputy PM Zarko Korac
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Zarko Korac told the BBC that the ex-president was in a distraught mental state prior to his arrest.

According to officials who had seen him, "he was unbalanced, he was threatening, showing his gun - he was saying he would kill himself and his family," Mr Korac said.

This account is at odds with a statement given by an apparently relaxed and cheerful Mr Milosevic that was broadcast on Belgrade's Radio B92 only 24 hours ago.

Wanted man

Mr Milosevic faces charges in Yugoslavia of corruption and theft of state funds.

He is wanted on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

But, addressing a news conference in Belgrade, Serbian Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic said he would not be arrested on the international indictment for war crimes.

Ex-Yugoslav President Milosevic greeting supporters
Mr Milosevic was last seen outside the villa on Saturday morning
The minister made it clear he would not be extradited to the Hague.

The arrest coincides with the expiry of a US deadline for the Yugoslav government to detain the former president or risk losing substantial American economic aid and loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The White House has said nothing publicly about the situation, partly in an effort to avoid complicating matters further for the Yugoslav authorities.

US officials had indicated that the arrest of Mr Milosevic would be regarded as an important first step but Washington still wants to see him brought before the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

A decision on whether to release some $50m of aid is expected on Monday; but despite the fact that President Kostunica shows no signs of preparing to extradite Mr Milosevic, US officials say the Bush administration is expected to recommend that the funds be released.

The UK has welcomed the arrest in the name of people seeking peace and justice in the Balkans.

"It is another important step towards bringing Milosevic and his cronies to book for their crimes against humanity," Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said.

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See also:

01 Apr 01 | Europe
In pictures: Milosevic arrested
01 Apr 01 | Europe
The downfall of Milosevic
31 Mar 01 | Europe
Media confusion in Belgrade
07 Jun 00 | Europe
Nato accused of war crimes
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