Serbian Interior Minister about the operation to detain Milosevic and its consequences

The measures taken by police to arrest Slobodan Milosevic were not aimed at his extradition to the International Tribunal in Hague but to ensure that he answered before the Yugoslav court of law for his numerous violations of the country's legislation, Serbian Interior Minister Dushan Mikhailovic told reporters at a press conference Saturday. According to him, no one should be allowed to stay above the law. The Minister said that law enforcers had made an attempt last night to detain Milosevic and hand him over to the country's judicial authorities. The police operation met with resistance. Two policemen were wounded as a result and a photo correspondent suffered slight injuries. According to Mikhailovic, the former President had told policemen that "he would not surrender alive". Mikhailovic also said that the police had not used firearms, and having met with resistance chose to discontinue the operation "to avoid inevitable casualties", RIA Novosti reports. The Minister stressed that Milosevic was no longer entitled to enjoy official security protection. He is now surrounded by supporters armed with assault rifles, two machine guns and hand grenades. Mikhailovic also said that responsibility for the aborted attempt to arrest Milosevic should also be imposed on servicemen of the Yugoslavian Army who are guarding his residence.

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