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  Words in the News
  The Serbian interior minister, Dusan Mihajlovic, said on Tuesday that Slobodan Milosevic could face charges for serious crimes which carry the death penalty. On Sunday his officers carried out the arrest of the former Yugoslav leader. Paul Anderson sent this report from Belgrade.
  Audio Listen to the report in full

4th April 2001

Reactions to Milosevic arrest


  Audio Listen to the part one of the report
    Speaking to reporters in Vienna, Serbia's interior minister said there were indications that Slobodan Milosevic was involved in serious crimes, which on conviction, can carry the death penalty. He didn't specify what crimes he was referring to, but said if proof was found, the police would ask for charges to be brought. Yesterday, two days after Mr Milosevic's arrest, a senior advisor to President Kostunica, said investigations were proceeding into the former Yugoslav leader's involvement in the dozens - some say hundreds - of political assassinations and abductions. To lay charges, the police will have to find Milosevic associates linked to the killings, who are willing to testify in court that they received verbal orders from the top.
Audio Listen to the words

indications: an indication is a sign which gives you an idea of what may happen or has happened

on conviction: if the court judges that he is guilty

specify: if you specify something, you state it precisely

ask for charges to be brought: ask that he should be formally accused of committing a crime

political assassinations: muders which are carried out as political acts

associates:colleagues who supported him

verbal orders: instructions which were not written down

NEWS 2    Audio Listen to the second part of the report
    Mr Milosevic left no paper trail to assist investigators. But even if they do and they secure a conviction, it's extremely unlikely a death sentence would be handed down and carried out. It would be too politically explosive here and would look like the revolutionary justice which President Kostunica has said he wants to avoid. It would also finish off expectations in the West, that Yugoslavia will surrender Mr Milosevic to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, to face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The new Yugoslav authorities can't afford to antagonise the West by closing off that option.
Audio Listen to the words

paper trail : a trail may be signs left by someone: here, documents relating to what he had done

handed down: made by a court

politically explosive: it could cause a situation which may have serious or dangerous effects

crimes against humanity: actions which are morally or legally wrong: humanity means all the people of the world

antagonise: if you antagonise someone, you make them feel angry or hostile towards you

Read about the background in BBC News Online

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