Yugoslav official: Captured U.S. soldiers won't face trial
April 4, 1999
BELGRADE (CNN)-- A Yugoslav government official said Sunday three captured U.S. soldiers will not face trial, but Yugoslavia's ambassador to the United Nations wasn't quite as sure.
Milan Bozic, a Yugoslav federal government minister and deputy mayor of Belgrade, told ABC's "This Week": "Of course they will not be tried."
He later backed up that claim on CNN's "Late Edition."
"The army is under the control of the federal government, so we will treat them along the lines of any conceivable international agreements. First of all, Geneva Convention," he said.
"They will receive the best treatment. They will be held here, and we strongly believe that this madness with the bombing will stop very soon, and they will be at their homes as soon as possible," Bozic said.
He said officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross will soon be allowed to meet with the three soldiers.
Ambassador Jovanovic won't rule out trials
However, Yugoslav U.N. Ambassador Vladislav Jovanovic left the door open for the three to stand trial.
"Whether they are going to be brought to justice before the military court, it will depend on the result of the investigations which are now under way. Those investigations are routine whenever you capture infiltrated enemy soldiers in your territory," Jovanovic said on "Fox News Sunday."
The three soldiers, identified by the Pentagon as Staff Sgt. Andrew A. Ramirez, 24, of Los Angeles; Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Stone, 25, of Smiths Creek, Michigan; and Spec. Steven M. Gonzales, 21, of Huntsville, Texas, were taken into custody late Wednesday.
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