- The Washington Times - Friday, August 31, 2001

THE HAGUE — U.N. prosecutors said yesterday that they will indict Slobodan Milosevic for genocide in the Balkan wars. The defiant former Yugoslav president bitterly complained during a tribunal session that he was being isolated in prison, unable to defend himself in the media.
The war-crimes tribunal also ordered the appointment of a lawyer to assist Mr. Milosevic, who has refused to name his own counsel.
Mr. Milosevic repeated his refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the court, which is based in The Hague, and said he saw no need to defend himself against what he called illegal indictments. He faces four counts of war crimes for the reputed suppression of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in 1999.
For the second time in a month, the former dictator squared off against the tough British presiding judge, Richard May, protesting that his meetings with his family and legal advisers were constantly watched by prison guards.
"I am discriminated against all the time, from the first day I got in," Mr. Milosevic said in English. "Why you need monitoring of my talks with my grandson, who is two years old?"
Mr. Milosevic's grandson, Marko, visited Aug. 20 for his 60th birthday.
At another point, Mr. Milosevic belligerently asked, "Why I am isolated from the press … when every single day there is something printed or broadcast against me as a pure lie? So, you are keeping me in isolation."
He added: "If there is on one side all that machinery you represent, all that secret services, military machinery, media machinery and everything else, and on my side is only the truth, then it is clear it is completely discriminatory. You cannot even mention evenhandedness."
Judge May cut the defendant short. "Very well, Mr. Milosevic, there must be an end to this." The prison has rules barring media interviews "and they must be followed."
"They don't discriminate against you," he said.
Outside the courtroom, Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said her office will indict Mr. Milosevic on Oct. 1 for genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and war crimes in Croatia in the early 1990s. Those indictments would be combined with charges for crimes against humanity in Kosovo in 1999, and would likely go to trial in the autumn of 2002.
During his two months in detention, Mr. Milosevic has been visited by several lawyers, including former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and twice by his wife, Mirjana Markovic.
In recent weeks, Mr. Milosevic was allowed to mingle with other war-crimes suspects at the U.N. detention unit after more than a month of isolation. He is said to play cards with fellow inmates and spend much of his time reading.
Mr. Milosevic, who was transferred to The Hague June 28 by Serbian authorities, advised the court in writing last Friday he would not appoint a lawyer to represent him.
The court said the appointed lawyer would not represent Mr. Milosevic, but would "assist the court" by ensuring that the defendant's interests were protected and that he gets a fair trial.
Judge May said the tasks of the appointed lawyer would be to help prepare pretrial motions, to cross-examine witnesses during the trial and to make objections on his behalf.


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