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Document: Milosevic Ordered Cleanup

September 6, 2002

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Slobodan Milosevic ordered troops to remove bodies of civilians killed in Kosovo, according to a signed statement by his secret service chief produced at the former Yugoslav president’s war crimes trial Thursday.

The document, signed by Rade Markovic from a Belgrade jail, states that Markovic was present when Milosevic gave the cleanup order to his interior minister at a meeting in March 1999.

It said the minister, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, had warned that the bodies could ``become objects of an investigation by the Hague tribunal.″ Milosevic is now on trial before that tribunal, facing 66 charges of war crimes allegedly committed on his authority during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

With Thursday’s testimony, prosecutors tried to show that Milosevic must have known of murders and widespread expulsions of Kosovo Albanians by Serb troops.

Milosevic, who is conducting his own defense, said at different times that Markovic’s statement was taken out of context, was made under duress, or was a complete fabrication.

Other witnesses for the prosecution have testified that Stojiljkovic directed police to get rid of the bodies and destroy the truck. Milosevic has said the whole incident was invented by prosecutors.

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