Milosevic 'would refuse to answer court summons'

Thursday, March 01, 2001
Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic has told friends he will ignore any summons to appear for questioning about alleged crimes under his rule.

Authorities have already ordered an investigation into reports that Milosevic spirited huge amounts of gold out of the country during his time in office.

The investigation, ordered by the Belgrade prosecutor's office, could lead to charges ranging from corruption to war crimes.

It is not clear when Milosevic will be detained since the announcement marked only the start of a preliminary investigation.

Sinisa Vucinic, of the neo-communist party led by Milosevic's wife Mirjana Markovic, said: "Milosevic told me personally that he'll never answer to any court subpoena."

A crowd of approximately 50 people has been gathering in the street where Milosevic lives to protect him from arrest. They have pledged to prevent officials from delivering a summons to Milosevic for questioning.

Support for Milosevic has melted away since October, when a brief revolution forced him to acknowledge that he lost elections and he stepped down.

Former Interior Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic said the gathering was prepared to "protect territorial integrity, freedom and social justice - everything that Milosevic represents."

Stojiljkovic, like Milosevic and two other associates, is wanted by the Netherlands-based UN war crimes tribunal for alleged involvement in atrocities during the crackdown on Kosovo Albanians ordered under Milosevic.