Former top Yugoslav army officer transferred from Serbia to UN war crimes

A former top officer in the Yugoslav army, wanted for allegedly leading a campaign of “terror and violence” in 1999 in Kosovo, was transferred today from Serbia to the detention unit of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.An indictment by the ICTY issued last October accuses General Dragoljub Ojdanic, who held the post of Chief of General Staff, of leading Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serb forces in targeting a substantial portion of Kosovo Albanian civilians for expulsion from the province in an effort to ensure continued Serbian control. The alleged acts occurred between 1 January and 20 June 1999.According to the indictment, approximately 800,000 Kosovo Albanian civilians were expelled from the province by their forced removal and subsequent looting and destruction of their homes, or by the shelling of villages.Surviving residents were sent to the borders of neighbouring countries and en route many were killed, abused or had their possessions and identification papers stolen, according to the charges. Specific massacres were also allegedly committed by Serb forces in a series of places listed in the indictment.Three other suspects, Milan Milutinovic, Nikola Sainovic and Vlajko Stojiljkovic, are also named in the indictment against Gen. Ojdanic, who is charged with one count of violations of the laws or customs of war and four counts of crimes against humanity.

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