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2001: Ex-Yugoslav leader arrested after siege
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has been arrested and taken to prison, ending a heavily-armed standoff at his Belgrade villa.

The news came shortly after five single shots and a burst of automatic gun fire were heard at Mr Milosevic's home where he had been surrounded by police for nearly 36 hours.

A senior official from the ex-leader's Socialist Party, Vladimir Ivkovic, said Mr Milosevic had decided to give himself up of his own free will.

'Unbalanced' mental state

Mr Milosevic was thought to have been holed up in the villa with his wife and daughter and about 20 well-armed bodyguards who fought off a police assault on the villa in the early hours of Saturday.

Mr Milosevic earlier insisted that he would "not go to jail alive" and was said to be in an "unbalanced" mental state.

Mr Milosevic faces charges in Yugoslavia of corruption and theft of state funds.

He is also wanted on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

However, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica has said the extradition of Mr Milosevic to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague is not his government's immediate priority, despite growing international pressure.

The arrest coincides with the expiry of a US deadline for the Yugoslav government to detain the former president or risk losing substantial American aid and international loans.

A decision on whether to release some $50m of aid is expected on Monday.

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Slobodan Milosevic
The US wants Mr Milosevic to stand trial for war crimes



In Context
In June 2001 after US pressure Slobodan Milosevic was extradited to The Hague to face the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

His trial started in February 2002 and could last for several years.

The prosecution have to prove that as head of state Milosevic was behind all war crimes committed during the conflicts in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

A further complication was that Milosevic, who said he did not recognise the tribunal's authority, has chosen to defend himself.

During the trial the former Yugoslav leader has cross-examined witnesses including the BBC's former Belgrade correspondent, Jacky Rowland.

Milosevic died in his cell at the UN tribunal in March 2006. A post mortem examination revealed he died of a heart attack but there was speculation it may have been brought on by the wrong medication.

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