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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January, 2005, 12:20 GMT
Wanted Serbian general surrenders
General Vladimir Lazarevic, June 2000
Gen Lazarevic: Wanted over his role in 1998-99 Kosovo war
A Serbian army general, Vladimir Lazarevic, has surrendered and will go to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague next week to face charges.

Mr Lazarevic is one of four generals indicted 15 months ago in connection with war crimes in Kosovo in 1999.

His surrender was announced by the Serbian government on Friday.

War crimes investigators have been putting pressure on Belgrade to hand over suspects still wanted over the 1990s Balkan wars.

Mr Lazarevic made the decision to surrender during talks on Friday with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, the statement said.

It said his decision showed his wish "to fulfil, in this most difficult way, his duty to the fatherland and to help his country".

Kosovo crackdown

Mr Lazarevic, 55, led Serbia's Pristina Corps during the Kosovo crisis, including the 1999 Nato bombing.

He was made commander of the Third Army in Kosovo in March, 2000.

The indictment says he and three other Serbian generals "planned, instigated, ordered, committed" crimes against Kosovo Albanians during Belgrade's campaign against separatist guerrillas.

Police General Sreten Lukic and Army General Nebojsa Pavkovic are also wanted in The Hague. They are reported to be in poor health.

A fourth indicted general, Vlastimir Djordjevic, is believed to be in Russia.

The indictment says forces under their command "murdered hundreds of Kosovo Albanian civilians" in a "deliberate and widespread or systematic campaign of terror and violence".

The violence resulted "in the forced deportation of approximately 800,000 Kosovo Albanian civilians," it says.

Angered by Belgrade's perceived reluctance to hand over suspects, the United States has suspended financial and political aid to Serbia.

The European Union has made it clear that the development of closer EU-Serbia ties depends on Belgrade extraditing wanted war crimes suspects.




SEE ALSO:
Unmik and Serbia discuss Kosovo
17 Jan 05 |  Europe
Serb fury at war crimes charges
21 Oct 03 |  Europe


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