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Breaking News

Yugoslav Police Surround Milosevic Residence

Aired March 30, 2001 - 1:30 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We are getting word out of Belgrade, Yugoslavia of police surrounding the home of former President Slobodan Milosevic ahead of a U.S. deadline calling for his arrest for war crimes.

We have on the line CNN producer Pedrag Bambic from Belgrade.

Pedrag, what's going on?

PEDRAG BAMBIC, CNN PRODUCER: Well, first of all, coming to this area, it is worth noting that the whole area is actually blocked by the strong forces of the riot police, fully equipped, armored, completely armed, you know, and ready for the action. Used some other roads, though, to approach the residence of former President Milosevic in front of his house, in front of his gate, actually there is 100 people gathered. That's hundreds of people -- of Milosevic's supporters, and they are chanting "Serbia, Serbia," "Slobo, Slobo," which is a nickname of President Milosevic, and "Slobo, we won't give you up" and that kind of chants.

WATERS: Predrag, what would be the nature of this exercise if there were to be an arrest of Milosevic? Does he have his own security forces there at the residence?

BAMBIC: Well, that is something that nobody knows for sure, but we can assume that he has some security. On the other hand, there is normal police gathered in front of the gates trying to establish the order and keep it, actually, although the street itself is closed by the riot police forces.

WATERS: We have had indications, have we not, for several days that this might happen, even with denials from members of the new Yugoslav government?

BAMBIC: There is a dispute between several factions of the ruling party and, of course, the opposition, meaning the party of former President Milosevic and his wife regarding the delivery and extradition of President Milosevic to the International War Crimes Tribunal. The outcome of that dispute and discussion is uncertain yet, so it's not clear who has the authority to order the extradition of the Yugoslav citizens, which is forbidden, otherwise, by the Yugoslav Constitution. And the situation is, in short, not clear yet.

WATERS: And what of the threats that Yugoslavia would lose millions in Western financial support if they didn't arrest Milosevic; how does that factor into these current events?

BAMBIC: Yes, some authorities -- some parties in the coalition are letting the people know that that is something that is going to happen. Others insist that that doesn't matter.

WATERS: All right, CNN producer Predrag Bambic from Belgrade.

And, again, the story is that riot police have surrounded the Belgrade home of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic amid demands from the West, based upon the financial support still going to Yugoslavia that, unless an arrest is made of Milosevic, that Western aid may stop. We don't know exactly what the plan is, but we're certainly going to keep a close watch on the story. As soon as we know more, you'll know more.

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