State Duma's Left-wing Opposition Protests In Connection With New Charges Brought Against Slobodan Milosevic

Representatives of the left-wing opposition in the State Duma - communists and agrarians - made a statement on Monday in which they expressed a protest in connection with the new charges brought by the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia in The Hague against ex-President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic. The statement, issued in the State Duma, points out that "now Milosevic is accused of acts of violence during the civil war in the territory of the former Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Bosnia." The authors of the statement remind the audience that initially - in May 1999 at the peak of NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia - Milosevic was accused of crimes against Kosovo Albanians. "In the past slightly more than two years the Tribunal has not found any proofs that would confirm these charges," says the statement. "The new charges are absurd," underscore the authors of the statement. In their opinion, these accusations rest on the supposition that "since at that time Slobodan Milosevic was the leader of Serbia he was responsible for everything that was going on in the territory of former Yugoslavia." Behind this "absurdity" stands "an undisguised political persecution," believe the authors of the document.