The International Criminal Court in the Hague delivers its verdict today on former Serb President, Milan Milutinovic and five other former Yugoslav and Serb officials. It will be the court’s first verdict over alleged war crimes committed against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Milutinovic handed himself in 2003 after his term in office came to an end. The 66-year-old faces four counts related to the repression of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo at the end of the 1990s. They include deportation and murder as Belgrade tried to crush the Kosovo Liberation Army.
An estimated 800,000 Kosovo Albanians were forced from the territory. The Humanitarian Law Centre estimates amost 10,000 were killed between 1998 and 2,000. Milutinovic was a loyal ally of Slobodan Milosevic. The former Yugoslav President died in 2006 at the Hague where he too was on trial for war crimes. Milutinovic denies all charges and disputes the prosecution’s claims of the extent of his power. The Yugoslav army was forced out of Kosovo in 1999 by an 11-week Nato bombing campaign. The territory declared itself independent a year ago.