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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Milosevic to face genocide charge
Mr Milosevic entering the tribunal on 30 August
Mr Milosevic still refuses to appoint a lawyer
Slobodan Milosevic is to be charged with genocide, it was revealed after the former Yugoslav president's second appearance at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.


I don't see why I have to defend myself in front of a false tribunal from false indictments

Slobodan Milosevic
Chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte said three amendments to the existing indictment against Mr Milosevic were being prepared, including, for the first time, charges relating to the conflicts in Bosnia and Croatia.

"It will be for genocide in Bosnia. Croatia is still open," she told reporters outside the court.

The former Yugoslav leader currently faces four counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity arising from the Kosovo conflict in 1999, but Ms del Ponte said a fifth charge would be laid against him in October or November.

Genocide is the gravest charge the tribunal can bring.

No defence lawyer

During a 40-minute hearing, Mr Milosevic refused again to recognise the tribunal and complained about the conditions of his detention, which he described as a "massive violation" of his rights.

Judge Richard May
Sparring partner: Judge May again turned off Milosevic's microphone
Prosecutors asked the tribunal to appoint a defence counsel to represent the former Yugoslav president.

However, the judges refused, and moved instead to appoint a lawyer who will assist the court in ensuring a fair trial.

The lawyer, known as an amicus curiae (friend of the court), will be able to cross-examine witnesses, and draw attention to any evidence that may indicate Mr Milosevic's innocence of the charges against him.

New charges

The court said it would not be practical to appoint counsel to defend Mr Milosevic against his will.


We have to communicate as civilised persons, not switching off the microphone

Slobodan Milosevic
Mr Milosevic said he would like to make a representation on the "illegality of this tribunal" and said his aides would release to the media a document he has written on the subject, if the tribunal did not do so itself.

He said the tribunal was violating his rights by keeping him "in isolation" from his family, lawyers and journalists.

Microphone silenced

He also criticised Presiding Judge Richard May for turning off his microphone during his first appearance on 3 July.

Mr Milosevic in court
The trial is scheduled for early next year
"We have to communicate as civilised persons, not switching off the microphone," he said.

But Judge May once again switched off the microphone when Mr Milosevic began to repeat his grievances and described the tribunal as a "political tool".

Mr Milosevic complained that visits by members of his family were closely monitored, and said that other detainees had better access to their families.

"Why [do] you need monitoring when I talk to my grandson who is two-and-a-half years old?" he asked.

Adjournment

He also said he was denied access to lawyers, with whom he wanted to discuss his imprisonment in The Hague as well as his affairs in Yugoslavia.


As to your point about your not recognising the tribunal, you have made it, and we have heard it, and there is no need to repeat it

Judge Richard May
Judge May said the problem arose because Mr Milosevic had not designated a lawyers to act as his defence counsel during the trial.

He said the tribunal would consider his complaints, and adjourned the hearing to 29 October.

The tribunal hopes to hold a pre-trial conference in early January, and to fix a date for the trial before the end of February.

Mr Milosevic is already pursuing a case in the Dutch courts, claiming he is being held illegally.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Angus Roxburgh
"The trial could begin in February"
Gerrard Strijards of the Dutch prosecutor's office
"It was quite exceptional - but we could expect that"
Niko Varkevisser, is Vice President
of the Committee to defend Slobodan Milosevic
See also:

20 Aug 01 | Europe
Milosevic gets birthday visit
30 Aug 01 | Europe
Milosevic's second hearing
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