Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

REPORT: Milosevic Chooses Solitary

Given the chance to integrate into detention community with fellow inmates the ex-president has opted for solitude.
By Mirko Klarin

Following a stipulated 30-day period in solitary detention, undergone by all new Hague inmates, the tribunal registrar was informed Slobodan Milosevic had adjusted well and was ready to be integrated with the rest of the detainees.

However, Milosevic opted against joining Bosnian Serbs held in the centre, preferring a continuation of his solitary confinement.

His wish would be respected, said press spokesman Christian Chartier, for "as long as we can accommodate this".

Among other things, his desire for isolation will depend on cell availability and the pace with which the 39 fugitives being pursued by The Hague are brought to detention. If one of the cells in Milosevic's wing is needed then, said Chartier, he will "get neighbours despite his wish not to mingle with the rest".

Milosevic's 'legal agent', the Canadian lawyer Christopher Black, explained that previously Milosevic has refused an offer to mingle with Bosnian Croat and Bosniak detainees, saying that he would wait until he is permitted to meet all of them. It cannot be ruled out that Milosevic has again protested at the prosecutor's request to ban his contact with four detained Bosnian Serbs.

Their names haven't been released, but it seems logical to assume they are the former Bosnian Serb leaders: Momcilo Krajisnik, Biljana Plavsic, Radoslav Brdjanin and General Momir Talic. They stand accused of genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the charge which may befall on Milosevic when his indictment is extended to include crimes committed during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

By the same token, there are some detainees who would much rather not share space with Milosevic. One is General Rahim Ademi who was offered one of the five empty cells on Milosevic' wing - an offer he turned down.

Mirko Klarin is IWPR senior editor for the war crimes tribunal and editor-in-chief of SENSE News Agency.

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