Milosevic's arrest ends tense standoff
BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA - Police arrested former Yugoslav president Slobodan
Milosevic before dawn Sunday and handed him over to a judge, the
government has confirmed. The arrest ended a 26-hour standoff.
INDEPTH: Slobodan Milosevic
Branislav Ivkovic, a close aide to Milosevic, said the former dictator
voluntarily surrendered "to include himself in the legal procedure."
Five shots were heard during the arrest but it appears no one was injured.
A convoy of five cars whisked Milosevic to Belgrade's central prison, away
from the villa where he and his heavily armed gates had holed up.
Milosevic had vowed not to be taken alive. But his surrender came as
police appeared to prepare for a raid. Officers wearing masks and wielding
machine guns had gathered near the villa.
Hundreds of police pushed back Milosevic supporters who had been
protesting outside the compound all day.
Charged with corruption
Serbia has charged Milosevic with abuse of power and corruption that cost
the state about $100 million US.
It's believed the Belgrade authorities do not intend to send him to the UN
War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague which has indicted him for atrocities
committed in Kosovo.
Milosevic responded to the corruption allegations Saturday in a radio
interview: "Whoever has any evidence about this can take this money as my
gift. I never (had) any accounts."
Two failed arrest attempts
The drama began to unfold on Friday afternoon with the filing of the
Within a few hours, masked special police firing stun grenades advanced on
Milosevic's compound. They were met with resistance from inside the villa.
Another attempt during the night turned into a gun battle between police
and Milosevic's guards. Two people were hurt.
The dramatic events began on the same day as an ultimatum set by the U.S.
was about to take effect: if Milosevic wasn't in custody by March 31, the
U.S. would cut off about $100 million US in aid.
Earlier on Saturday, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica was clear his
his predecessor would be caught.
"If the state is to survive, no one can be untouchable," Kostunica said.
"No man, not even Slobodan Milosevic, is worth a civil conflict and
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