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Judges Question Serbian Enforcement of Release Conditions

TU No 448, 13-Apr-06
The move comes after three such accused – the ex-Yugoslav deputy prime minister Nikola Sainovic and two former chiefs of staff of the Yugoslav army, Dragoljub Ojdanic and Nebojsa Pavkovic – were spotted attending the funeral of former Yugoslav president and fellow-indictee Slobodan Milosevic in Pozarevac last month.

The three had been allowed to return to Serbia pending the start of trial proceedings against them on charges relating to the conflict in Kosovo in the late Nineties. They are banned from contacting each other and from travelling outside the municipality of Belgrade.

At a court session on March 31, defence counsel argued that the accused had permission to attend the funeral from the Serbian government. Moreover, the defence said it was the practice of the Serbian justice ministry to occasionally allow individuals on provisional release to travel outside Belgrade with a police escort.

Deputy prime minister Miroljub Labus was quoted by the Serbian news agency B92 as saying that no one from the government granted the three men permission to travel to Pozarevac.

The judges hearing the case have given Belgrade two weeks to file a response to their request for further information.

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