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The following Wire Service story covers a press conference by the ICDSM, sponsor of the "FREE MILOSEVIC! HANDS OFF YUGOSLAVIA" petition. The petition can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/petition/petition.htm

Chris Black's report (mentioned below) can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/petition/black.htm

Committee Backing Milosevic Warns Against Extradition to ICTY.

Agence France Presse. 21 June 2001.

BELGRADE -- An official of an international committee set up to defend Slobodan Milosevic Thursday warned of catastrophic consequences for Yugoslavia if the former president is handed over to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

"Be sure that misery, poverty, famine and total destruction would prevail in the country" if Milosevic is sent to The Hague, said Mikhail Kuznecov, deputy chairman of the International Committee for the Defense of Slobodan Milosevic.

"Do not have any illusions that the United States or NATO will give you money and help you rebuild your economy?" he told reporters.

The committee was set up on March 24, just a week before Milosevic's arrest by Belgrade reformers on charges of abuse of power and corruption, to clear the ex-president's name over the war crimes indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). NATO "is aiming to destroy Yugoslavia and its citizens," Kuznecov said, adding that Milosevic "is in prison since he was the only one to confront the Alliance, and even managed to stop it."

He said that no "law can legalise" Milosevic's extradition to ICTY, as the move "is clearly banned by the Constitutions of Yugoslavia and Serbia."

The committee, chaired by Bulgarian MP Velko Valkanov, and grouping figures like former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and writer Harold Pinter, said it has members from 20 countries throughout the world.

Its activities are supported by more than 600 prominent figures from 30 countries, said a statement on its website (www.predsednikmilosevic.com).

Kuznecov said the committee has set up an international working group to monitor legal procedures against Milosevic, led by Canadian lawyer Christopher Black, who had visited the former president in prison last week.

Black was among the lawyers who in 1999 brought war crimes charges against NATO leaders for the bombing campaign on Yugoslavia.

(c) 2001 Agence France Presse Reprinted for Fair Use Only.


[To read the ICDSM petition to FREE MILOSEVIC, go to http://emperors-clothes.com/petition/petition.htm

To read comments by signers of the ICDSM petition worldwide, go to http://emperors-clothes.com/petition/states.htm ]




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