Sources: War Crimes Tribunal to indict Milosevic
May 26, 1999
LONDON (CNN) -- The International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague is preparing to indict Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on charges of war crimes, sources have told CNN.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour said the indictment is likely to be handed down this week, perhaps as early as Thursday. Details on the indictment were not available. Other people may be named in the indictment, Amanpour said.
The tribunal would not comment on the report, but said it would hold a press conference Thursday. There was no immediate comment from Yugoslavia, but the government in the past has said the tribunal was biased and anti-Serb.
Many of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees fleeing Kosovo have reported systematic rapes, beatings, detentions and mass killings at the hands of Serb forces.
The indictment of Milosevic would mark the first time a sitting head of state has been indicted on charges of war crimes.
Under the rules of the international tribunal, persons indicted on war crimes charges are required to surrender or be surrendered by authorities. But observers say Milosevic is unlikely to turn himself in to the tribunal for trial, leaving NATO in the position of negotiating with an indicted war criminal for a settlement to end the Kosovo crisis.
"It's going to deeply complicate the effort to find a diplomatic solution," said CNN's David Ensor.
There is some precedent for negotiations with indicted war criminals -- U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke met with Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, in the presence of Milosevic, for negotiations leading up to the Dayton accords in 1995.
Karadzic and Mladic remain at large despite indictment on war crimes charges.
Senators call for more support of war crimes tribunal
ICTY - UN War Crimes Tribunal
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