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[ALBSA-Info] Greek MPs oppose Milosevic extradiction

Kreshnik Bejko kbejko at
Fri Jun 29 09:24:57 EDT 2001

AFP, June 29, 2001
Greek deputies oppose Milosevic transfer to UN court

ATHENS, June 28 - A vast majority of Greece´s parliamentary deputies sent a 
petition to the Yugoslav embassy here on Thursday opposing the transfer of 
former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to face war crimes charges in 
The Hague.

"We express our categorical opposition to the appearance of Milosevic in the 
court because it is clear that the indictment and the whole procedure go 
beyond legal measures and violate any notion of national sovereignty and 
international law," the petition stated.

Some 77 of the Greek parliament´s 100 deputies had signed the document.

Yugoslavia´s Constitutional Court on Thursday froze a government decree 
passed last week which paved the way for the transfer of war crimes suspects 
-- including Milosevic -- to face trial at the International Criminal 
Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Belgrade came under massive pressure, particularly from the United States, 
to cooperate with the UN court or risk losing desperately needed 
international aid to rebuild the battered country.

The Greek petition said that Belgrade took its decision "under intolerable 
pressure from the forces which didn´t hesitate to bombard Yugoslavia without 
pity under the premise of defending human rights," referring to NATO´s 
bombardment of the country in 1999.

The alliance launched the campaign in response to Belgrade´s crackdown on 
ethnic Albanians in the breakaway province of Kosovo in 1998-1999, the 
episode for which Milosevic is facing war crimes charges.

The Greek Communist Party also announced that one of its leaders, Stratis 
Korakas, had met with Milosevic in the Belgrade prison that has been his 
home since he was arrested on April 1 on domestic accusations of corruption 
and abuse of power.

Korakas said he sent the former hardline leader "the warm greetings of all 
Greek communists and congratulations for his dignified attitude, courage and 
pride before his accusers."

According to the party´s statement, Milosevic said he and his collaborators 
"were being targetted by NATO because they had not bowed their heads under 
the orders" of the alliance.

Greek Foreign Minister Panos Beglitis, however, said that Milosevic´s 
extradition remained a question for "Yugoslavia´s political forces and the 
democratically elected government, which is dealing with the affair in a 
responsible way."

Greece, traditionally a very strong ally of Belgrade, "is following the 
issue with particular interest," he added.
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