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Yugoslav Prime Minister Resigns to Protest Milosevic Extradition

Aired June 29, 2001 - 11:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go now to the ground there in Yugoslavia. Our CNN's Alessio Vinci is checking in for us now from Belgrade. He's got some reaction to the latest news that we've heard this morning about the detention of Slobodan Milosevic -- Alessio.

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN BELGRADE BUREAU CHIEF: Well, that is correct, Leon. Well, the extradition of the former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic may have won Yugoslavia international praise, but here in Yugoslavia it has triggered a political time bomb.

We have just learned a few minutes ago that the Yugoslavia Prime Minister Zoran Zizic has resigned from his post as prime minister, protesting the extradition of Mr. Milosevic by the Serbian government, by the Serbian prime minister, whose name is Zoran Djindjic.

Now, this resignation is plunging this country into a potential political crisis. We have heard from the United States and other donor countries that have pledged up to $1.28 billion in this country. However, we understand that this money, once it is going to come here, is going to come at a moment of really deep political instability. And the Yugoslav and Serb authorities here will have to try to keep everybody under control.

In the meantime, we have been able to speak with some of Milosevic's lawyers. We understand they have spoken already to Mr. Milosevic via telephone at The Hague. Mr. Milosevic reportedly told his lawyers that he did not feel guilty, that he acted in the interests of the country, he said. He said he did not feel guilty, so we can pretty much assume that on Tuesday, when Mr. Milosevic will make his first appearance in the court, he will plead not guilty.

We also understand from the lawyers that, in the conversation they had with Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Milosevic had no regrets. He said that if he had to do all this again, he would make the same decisions. He would not act any differently.

We also understand that Mr. Milosevic spoke also with his wife Mira Markovic over the phone. However, the content of that conversation was not disclosed.

Back to you, Leon.

HARRIS: All right, thank you. Alessio Vinci reporting live for us from the streets of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

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