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The BBC's Ben Brown
"The search for evidence of war crimes has now come right to Sloboban Milosevic's doorstep"
 real 56k

The BBC's Ben Brown
"Discovery of Kosovon graves bring hope to future prosectution of Milosevic"
 real 56k

Borisav Sikimic
"Perhaps two good aspects have emerged from such a terrible discovery"
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Thursday, 21 June, 2001, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Kosovan mass graves shock Serbs
Pro-Milosevic demonstrators
Milosevic has some ardent supporters but the mood is changing
By Nick Thorpe in Belgrade

New media reports have been published in Yugoslavia with alleged details of the mass transport of ethnic Albanians' corpses from Kosovo.

A lorry driver has given gruesome details about the alleged transport of bodies during the war two years ago in an attempt to destroy evidence of war crimes.

The reports are already changing the way ordinary people feel about co-operation with the international war crimes tribunal.

The latest opinion poll shows for the first time that a majority would be in favour of extraditing former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to face charges in The Hague.

Corpse-filled lorries

The latest horrific allegations were published in Thursday's edition of the independent weekly magazine, Vreme.

In the article, a man now said to be under the witness protection programme of the Hague tribunal gives details of 10 journeys he made in the spring of 1999, from military camps in Kosovo to a copper-smelting complex at Bor in eastern Serbia.

mass grave
The interior ministry is investigating sites of alleged mass graves
He claims that on one occasion, he opened the back of the lorry and found it packed to the ceiling with bodies.

The report, which cannot be independently confirmed, is only the latest in a series which has shocked the Serbian Republic.

Other lorry drivers have come forward, saying they made similar journeys from Kosovo to two mass grave sites already unearthed by the Serbian police - one in Batajnica, near Belgrade, and another at Petrovo Selo in eastern Serbia.

Thousands of bodies

The Yugoslav Interior Minister, Dusan Mihajlovic, has said evidence exists of a meeting between the then president Slobodan Milosevic and senior police and military chiefs in March 1999, at which Mr Milosevic allegedly ordered the disposal of war crimes evidence.

The minister has also said that he believes over 1,000 bodies were moved.

The latest opinion poll shows 46% of those asked are now in favour of his extradition to The Hague, and 36% against.

Mr Milosevic, who has been indicted for war crimes by the tribunal, has been in prison in Belgrade for almost 12 weeks on charges of fraud and abuse of power.

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18 Jun 01 | Europe
Milosevic prosecution in trouble
18 Apr 01 | Europe
Milosevic's life behind bars
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