Third Milosevic Indictment Filed

U.N. war crimes prosecutors said on Monday they have asked the tribunal in The Hague to confirm a third indictment against Slobodan Milosevic — including the gravest charge of genocide — for alleged atrocities in Bosnia.

The former Yugoslav leader already faces two indictments accusing him of crimes against humanity for alleged atrocities carried out by Serb forces in Kosovo in 1999 and in Croatia between 1991 and 1992.

The ex-communist functionary turned Serb nationalist leader, who was handed over to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in June, is accused of spearheading "ethnic cleansing" during the bloody break up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

So far, Milosevic has refused to cooperate with the tribunal — which he calls illegal — or to enter a plea to charges of war crimes in Kosovo and Croatia. A plea of innocent has been entered on his behalf in both cases to all charges.

Learn more about the strife in the former Yugoslavia.

Details of the Bosnia indictment were not available, but it was expected to accuse Milosevic of responsibility for the deaths of hundreds and perhaps thousands of people during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. It was delayed by several weeks to include evidence from the recent exhumations of mass graves of Bosnian civilians.

Details of an indictment are only disclosed once it has been confirmed by judges. The accused is then called before the court to hear the charges and enter a plea.

Milosevic has declined to enter a plea to the first two indictments against him. A "not guilty" plea was entered on his behalf by the court.

Serbia and Croatia fought a war in 1991 after the break-up of Yugoslavia. An ethnic conflict involving Serbs, Muslims and Croats raged in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995.

Milosevic was defeated in elections by reformists in Belgrade in October 2000 after 13 years in power.

The 60-year-old former Serb strongman, the most prominent European to face war crimes charges since the Nuremberg trials at the end of World War Two, could face life behind bars if convicted.

In another development, a retired Yugoslav Navy admiral surrendered to the U.N. tribunal Monday to face charges of murder and the wanton destruction of the medieval Croatian city of Dubrovnik in 1991.

Miodrag Jokic, 66, was admitted to the U.N. detention unit in Scheveningen, a suburb of The Hague, where Milosevic and 48 other suspected war criminals were being held.

Jokic was expected to appear before the tribunal later this week to plead to charges of responsibility for war crimes by himself and by men under his command.

Before leaving Yugoslavia, Jokic told reporters that this "was a difficult decision for me and my family, but being a soldier it was only fair and just."

Jokic and three other senior officers were charged with destroying muh of the ancient port town of Dubrovnik during the Croatian war in 1991. They were indicted last February, but the indictments were made public only last month.

"I have nothing to be ashamed of. As an admiral, I performed my duties professionally and conscientiously...I stand by my acts today. They fall within the responsibility of a soldier. I hope my country will stand by me," Jokic said.

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