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Yugoslav Court Extends Detentions

August 31, 2000

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ A Yugoslav military court on Thursday refused to release two Britons and two Canadians arrested on suspicion of terrorism, granting military officials more time to investigate the case.

The lawyers representing the four detainees _ Canadians Shaun Going and Liam Hall and Britons Adrian Prangnell and John Yore _ said the army judge extended their detention for another month.

Canada’s top diplomat in Belgrade, Angela Bogdan described the decision as ``very distressing.″

``The detainees accepted this latest development with a great deal of dignity and composure,″ Bogdan said. ``They had hoped to be released today.″

The four arrested were vacationing on the Montenegrin coast and were en route back to Kosovo, where the two Britons trained local police for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. An army patrol stopped them, searched their car and arrested the four after discovering explosives-related material in the trunk.

Ivan Jankovic, a Belgrade lawyer representing the Canadians, said that the judge has demanded a report from the United Nations and NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo, a southern Serb province where Going ran a construction company. Going’s nephew, Hall, was employed with him for the summer.

Going claimed that the material was left over from his work, but the military launched an investigation on possible espionage and terrorism charges.

``The report asks in detail about Mr. Going’s company, his handling of explosives, import and other licenses, details on the company’s storage and use of explosives,″ Jankovic told reporters outside Belgrade’s military prison.

British and Canadian diplomats in Belgrade have already complained about the length of the proceedings against the four, held at the Belgrade military prison for a month but not formally charged, and waiting for a decision by the army prosecutor on whether to indict them.

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