|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 6 July 2006
The trial of six former high-level political and military leaders of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) charged with alleged crimes in Kosovo during 1999, will begin on Monday, 10 July at 9.00 a.m. in Courtroom I.
The charges against Milan Milutinovic, Nikola Šainovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic, Nebojša Pavkovic, Vladimir Lazarevic and Sreten Lukic, all former associates of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Miloševic, focus on an alleged campaign of terror and violence directed against Kosovo Albanians and other non-Serbs living in Kosovo. The crimes with which they are charged include deportation,
forcible transfer, murder and persecutions of thousands of Kosovo Albanians.
The prosecution’s indictment alleges that the accused participated in a joint criminal enterprise, the purpose of which was, among other things, to modify the ethnic balance in Kosovo to ensure continued Serb control over the province. The accused, and other members of the joint criminal enterprise, used the powers available to them as political and military leaders to achieve this
purpose by criminal means consisting of a widespread or systematic campaign of terror and violence that included deportations, murders, forcible transfers and persecutions directed at the Kosovo Albanian population. According to the indictment approximately 800,000 Kosovo Albanian civilians were deported.
The prosecution asserts that throughout Kosovo, forces of Serbia and the FRY systematically shelled towns and villages, burned homes and farms, damaged and destroyed Kosovo Albanian cultural and religious institutions, murdered Kosovo Albanian civilians and other persons taking no active part in the hostilities, and sexually assaulted Kosovo Albanian women.
A pre-trial conference will be held on Friday, 7 July 2006 at 9.00 a.m. in Courtroom III, all accused will be present.
All proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website www.un.org/icty.