Milosevic Insists That Tribunal For Former Yugoslavia Is Illegal

A third session of the UN Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has started in The Hague examining the case of Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav ex-president. The court is listening to the arguments of the defendant and his trial lawyers regarding illegality of the tribunal. Milosevic worded his arguments in a letter he had previously sent to the judges. According to the ex-president, the International Tribunal for former the Yugoslavia is illegal, since it was set up outside of a corresponding international treaty. Milosevic calls the decision to set up a tribunal for the former Yugoslavia only a political arbitrariness of the UN Security Council. The ex-president also thinks that the tribunal is a political instrument the US have created to persecute its adversaries. Mikhail Vladimirov, Milosevic's Dutch lawyer, spoke in the courtroom demanding that the UN International Court should comment on these arguments. The lawyer also emphasized that Milosevic had been deprived of the right to give interviews in order to protect his reputation. In addition, the lawyer accentuated that Milosevic's extradition had been illegal, since the Yugoslav constitution prohibits extradition of Yugoslav citizens. Serbia, as a part of Yugoslavia, is not a UN member, and, according to Vladimirov, is not obliged to cooperate with the international tribunal in extraditing persons who are accused by the court.

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