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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 14:16 GMT
Milosevic charged with Bosnia genocide
Mr Milosevic faces 29 counts of war crimes in Bosnia
The UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague has formally charged former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic with genocide in connection with the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

The indictment alleges that Mr Milosevic "participated in a joint criminal enterprise, the purpose of which was the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of non-Serbs from large areas of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina".

It is the third indictment against Mr Milosevic, who has already been charged in relation to alleged war crimes in Kosovo and Croatia.

In addition to genocide - the most serious charge in the tribunal's arsenal - the new indictment also contains charges of complicity to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva conventions.

There are a total of 29 separate counts.

Expulsion and murder

The prosecution alleges that Mr Milosevic is responsible for the expulsion of more than 250,000 people from Bosnia, and the murder of more than 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995.

The indictment also refers to the thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Croats killed or imprisoned under inhumane conditions in more than 50 detention facilities.

It was submitted by prosecutors to the tribunal on 12 November after years of preparation, and was confirmed on Friday by Judge Richard May - the presiding judge at Mr Milosevic's three defiant appearances at the tribunal.

It is expected that Mr Milosevic will be summoned to the court again within a few days, and asked to enter a plea to the latest charges.

Legal adviser

He has refused to plead on the Kosovo and Croatia indictments, and the court has recorded not guilty pleas on his behalf.

Last week, the court agreed to allow a former US attorney general, Ramsey Clark, to be his legal adviser, but he will not be defending the former president in court.

Mr Milosevic held power for 13 years during the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia.

He was extradited from Belgrade on 28 June.

An initial trial date of 12 February has been set, but there would be a delay of several months if prosecutors succeeded in merging all three indictments into one trial.

Chief prosecutor, Ms Carla Del Ponte, has said she expects to call hundreds of witnesses and present thousands of documents.

The BBC's Geraldine Coughlan
"It is the third indictment against the ousted dictator"
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