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Thursday, May 6, 1999 Published at 00:23 GMT 01:23 UK

World: Europe

Milosevic should face trial - Serb politician

Zoran Djindjic spoke to the BBC at a secret rendezvous

A senior Serbian opposition leader has come out of hiding to call for President Milosevic to face trial for war crimes.

The BBC's Brian Barron's exclusive interview
Serbian Democratic party leader Zoran Djindjic told the BBC that the flight of refugees from Kosovo, and their detailed accounts of Serb atrocities there, had convinced him of a need for a Nuremburg-style war crimes trial.

Kosovo: Special Report
"Milosevic is responsible for all that is happening in this country. Only he conducts the war, only he takes decisions," he said.

But he added that it would be difficult for the people of Serbia to accept the truth about atrocities.

Mr Djindjic, a former mayor of Belgrade, is constantly on the move, in fear for his life.

On Wednesday he gave an exclusive interview in Montenegro to the BBC's Brian Barron.

Mr Djindjic said his party's first job after the war would be to try to remove President Milosevic from office.

"He has destroyed our country," he said.

[ image: Kosovar Albanians
Kosovar Albanians "not safe in Serbia"
Mr Djindjic has a track record as an outspoken critic of President Milosevic and in 1996, helped lead the pro-democracy marches in Belgrade.

He makes no secret of the fact he would like to be the next president of Yugoslavia.

He says his life is in danger as an opposition leader, travels with a squad of bodyguards and moves from city to city every two or three days.

"It's a risk of (the) profession, you cannot be democratic opposition in the Balkans without risk. It is not easy to kill me."

Opposition stirring

In the past two weeks Serbian opposition politicians have been increasingly bold about voicing dissent.

Social Democracy Party leader Vuk Obradovic told the BBC President Milsovevic was "the problem" of the Serbian people.

Yugoslav censors refused to allow the interview to be transmitted back to London.

And Vuk Draskovic, leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement, was fired from the government for saying the Belgrade leadership should admit it could not defeat Nato.

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