- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 12, 2002

Kosovo chapter of Milosevic trial ends

THE HAGUE Slobodan Milosevic's war-crimes trial passed a major landmark yesterday as prosecutors wrapped up the first part of their case against the former Yugoslav president at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague.

Mr. Milosevic, accused of spearheading "ethnic cleansing" in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo in the 1990s, has been on trial for 22 weeks, with these proceedings focusing on charges related to Kosovo. Yesterday, he vigorously cross-examined the final witness against him about those charges.

Europe's biggest international war-crimes trial since Adolf Hitler's henchmen were tried in Nuremberg, Germany, has heard evidence from more than 100 witnesses.

The trial was adjourned for two weeks, with U.N. prosecutors preparing to begin their case against Mr. Milosevic on Sept. 26 on his role in the Croatia and Bosnia conflicts.


Putin considers strikes on rebels in Georgia

MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin told his military yesterday to consider strikes inside Georgia if the former Soviet republic failed to end rebel incursions across their common border.

Mr. Putin chose the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States to issue his harshest warning yet to Georgia, which Moscow says has failed to flush out Chechen separatists staging raids over the border.

He told representatives of security ministries in the resort of Sochi that Russia knew that rebels now in Georgia had helped prepare the attacks on the United States and the apartment block blasts in 1999 that killed about 300 people in Moscow and other Russian cities.


Haider to head party again

VIENNA, Austria Austria's Freedom Party nominated far-rightist Joerg Haider yesterday to be its leader once again after a party feud that led to the resignation of key leaders and the collapse of the governing coalition.

Mr. Haider's nomination comes less than 2 1/2 years after he resigned from the post of chairman as part of a deal that brought the party into a coalition with the z People's Party. His confirmation as party chief at a special convention on Sept. 20 is considered certain.

After quitting the post, Mr. Haider, 52, became governor of Carinthia province. A Freedom Party executive committee meeting in Linz nominated him for reinstatement as party chairman.


Argentine politicians may face mental exams

BUENOS AIRES Argentine politicians, blamed by voters for leading the country to its worst economic crisis, would have to undergo psychiatric tests to ensure they are mentally fit to hold office, according to a bill awaiting congressional approval.

Sen. Jorge Capitanich, a former Cabinet chief, has submitted a bill that would require all congressional and presidential candidates to take mental as well as physical exams, a spokesman for the legislator said yesterday.

The bill, likely to be debated this week, would also require future leaders to present any criminal records and proof that they have paid taxes in a country where half of potential revenues are lost to evasion.


U.N. probes reports of Congo killings

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo The United Nations is investigating reports that more than 100 people were killed in the war-devastated northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a spokesman said yesterday.

Residents fleeing the town of Nyankunde in Ituri province told U.N. observers in nearby Bunia that their village was attacked last Thursday by tribal warriors and fighters from one of several Ugandan-backed rebel factions.

Violence has flared in Ituri during the past month as Ugandan troops have pulled out under an agreement aimed at ending a war in the central African state that has left an estimated 2 million people dead.

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