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Yugos To War Crimes Prosecutor: 'Whore'

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In an unprecedented verbal attack laced with obscenities, the Yugoslav government lashed out Wednesday at the chief prosecutor of the international war crimes tribunal, calling her a prostitute in the service of the United States.

Justice Minister Petar Jojic, in a 25-page open letter to The Hague-based tribunal, denounced the chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, as well as the entire tribunal, terming it illegal. He said Yugoslavia will never extradite suspects living within its borders
including the country's president, Slobodan Milosevic.

"You are running the dungeon which, like the worst whore, you have sold out to the Americans and to which you bring innocent Serbs by force, by kidnapping and murder," the justice minister said of del Ponte in the letter.

Del Ponte was traveling and was not immediately available for comment.

Milosevic was indicted last year for atrocities committed by his forces during the 18-month crackdown on Kosovo Albanians, which ended after NATO's 78-day bombing campaign.

Yugoslavia has recently accused the tribunal of being behind two clandestine arrests of suspects, which it said were snatched from Yugoslavia's territory in cross-border actions from neighboring Bosnia. The men had previously refused to surrender voluntarily.

Yugoslav police recently arrested eight people accused of abducting and helping deliver suspects to The Hague.

Jojic claimed del Ponte has "mean intentions" and "sooner or later, you will have to face truth, your acts will be a matter of investigation and the last part of your rotten life you will spend behind bars. The Hague tribunal is an institution that merely carries out policies of the United States of America and other NATO countries."

The official, a member of the ultranationalist Serb Radical Party, said the tribunal is "not an international legal institution but a criminal organization that consists of mercenaries, spies, scumbags, America's and NATO's servants."

"You and your predecessor can symbolize prostitution as you take money from customers and do your best... to keep them satisfied," Jojic said, referring to del Ponte and her predecessor, Louise Arbour of Canada. "The Hague tribunal is a perverse institution that has nothing to do with international law."

Aleksander Vasovic