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Iraq Violence; Jackson Reaction; Rafsanjani Interview

Aired June 14, 2005 - 12:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN ANCHOR: Insurgent violence. A suicide attack and a car bomb in two Iraqi cities takes a heavy toll of lives.

JIMM CLANCY, CNN ANCHOR: Iran goes to the polls this week, and a familiar face is a frontrunner. A conversation with former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.


THOMAS MESEREAU, MICHAEL JACKSON'S ATTORNEY: Because I thought their whole case was bogus.


VERJEE: Michael Jackson's attorney reacts after a jury hands down not guilty verdicts to all charges. What's ahead for the now tarnished star?

CLANCY: It is 8:00 p.m. in Baghdad, 8:30 in Tehran. I'm Jim Clancy.

VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

A warm welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. We have a lot happening this hour.

CLANCY: That's right. Saddam Hussein's attorney speaking out.

VERJEE: We have a live interview with the man likely to be the next president of Iran.

CLANCY: Plus, continuing reaction to the acquittal of Michael Jackson, who still faces many challenges.

We are going to begin, though, with Saddam Hussein's legal defense. And one of his lawyers going on the offensive, it seems. The deposed Iraqi leader was questioned by the head of a special tribunal Sunday with video of the hearing made public. Saddam's last court appearance came back in July of last year.

A member of his defense team argues that the wheels of justice are turning far too slowly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GIOVANNI DI STEFANO, HUSSEIN'S ATTORNEY: This man should have already been charged, should have been indicted, and perhaps, even at this stage, within a month or two, we have should been starting some form of trial on some charge. As it is -- and I know it's boring for everybody -- here is a man that's 20 months in custody without a charge, and we are no -- no closer to the target.


CLANCY: Di Stefano also says that Saddam Hussein's trial shouldn't be held outside Iraq due to the country's shaky security situation.

VERJEE: More violence around Iraq underscores that point. Bombings, mortar attacks and shootings have killed dozens more people.

Jennifer Eccleston reports from Baghdad.


JENNIFER ECCLESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Since a new Shiite-led government was formed two months ago, there's been a surge of suicide car bombings in Iraq, with many targeting Iraq's security forces. And that was all too evident today, with two attacks on Iraqi police, and as is often the case, on civilians.

A car bomb and a mortar attack on a police station in Kanan, northeast of Baghdad, killed five people and wounded four others. Among the dead, members of the Iraqi police and army.

Now, the attacks came only minutes apart. The station was first hit by mortars, and then the car bomb exploded.

Further north, now, in the ethnically-mixed and oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt detonated his lethal package in a busy market in the city center. Nineteen people were killed and 89 were wounded.

Now, Iraqi police tell CNN most of the dead and wounded were people gathered outside of a bank to receive their monthly salary. Police and passersby were struggling to help the injured and to load the dead onto pickup trucks. Now, the force of the explosion was so significant, according to Iraqi officials, and they expect that death toll to rise.

Jennifer Eccleston, CNN, Baghdad.


CLANCY: And just to clarify, that violence is one of the reasons that an attorney for Saddam Hussein says his trial should be moved out of the country.

Moving on to other topics, the debate over European Union financial policies triggering a showdown between Paris and London. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan meeting in Paris, talking about global issues, including debt relief for Africa. But Mr. Blair's visit was dominated by a difference of opinion with France. Paris wants London to freeze a lucrative budget rebate from the European Union, but Britain says Europe would first have to scale back its farming subsidies.

VERJEE: South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma is out of a job. President Thabo Mbeki fired Zuma on Tuesday over Zuma's implication in a high-profile arms bribery scandal. Mr. Mbeki announced the sacking at a joint session of parliament, saying the decision was in the best interest of the public.


THABO MBEKI, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: As president of the republic, I've come to the conclusion that the circumstances dictate that in the interest of the honorable deputy president, the government, our young (ph) democratic system in our country, it would be best to release honorable Jacob Zuma from his responsibilities as deputy president of the republic and member of the cabinet.


VERJEE: Zuma's successor hasn't been named.

CLANCY: Relieved, grateful, but exhausted.

VERJEE: That's how the lead defense attorney for Michael Jackson is describing the entertainer a day after a California court completely exonerated him.

CLANCY: On Monday, Jackson, of course, was found not guilty on those charges of child molestation. And there were lesser counts as well.

VERJEE: His attorney says Jackson is going to change his behavior that triggered the three-month trial.


MESEREAU: Well, Michael Jackson has not molested anyone. He's been too nice to a lot of people that took advantage of him. And he didn't just let boys in room, he let families come in and out of his room. He let them play and stay over, and basically he was just too open and too nice to too many people, and that will change.


CLANCY: Mesereau calls the prosecution case against Jackson "nonsense" and "bogus," and apparently the jurors agreed.

VERJEE: Jackson has a large following outside the United States. Reaction overseas has been mixed. The British public reacted to the Jackson verdict with both delight and disgust.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's brilliant. I don't think he was to blame at all. I think he just missed out on a childhood. Completely missed out on a childhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he hadn't gone so far to go -- you know, having some kids so close, he brings the problems on himself.


VERJEE: In Germany, Jackson's not guilty verdict took some by surprise.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I did not reckon with this verdict because I did not think that it would be possible for him to be acquitted on all points. However, I am happy about the verdict. Now he can make music again. He can do what he likes again.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I think that on the one hand, I am happy for him. And if in doubt, they have to be proclaimed innocent.

But on the other hand, I think that it can't all have been fabricated, and that everybody wanted to blackmail him I also think is a bit illogical. But if in doubt, they have to be declared innocent. So super, cheers for Michael.


VERJEE: We'll bring you more on the Jackson acquittal later this hour.

CLANCY: Let's take a moment, though, and take a look at some of the other stories that are making news around the U.S.

With nearly 200 descendants of lynching victims in the gallery, the United States Senate has officially apologized for failing in the past to take a stand against the lynchings of thousands of black people. Those in attendance included a 91-year-old man believed to be the only living survivor of a lynching attempt.

A former U.S. Army sergeant who deserted to North Korea in 1965 and now lives in Japan is headed home for a reunion with his aged mother. Charles Jenkins turned himself in and served 25 days in a U.S. military jail in Japan last year.

California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is calling a special referendum on three proposals that would change how the state spends money, treats public school teachers and elects politicians. Political observers say if the ballot initiatives fail, Schwarzenegger probably will not seek a second term in 2006. VERJEE: Coming up on YOUR WORLD TODAY, talking with the frontrunner in Iran.

CLANCY: Shia Muslim clergy man, supporter of Ayatollah Khomein, and two-term leader of his country, now he's running again.

VERJEE: Is Hashemi Rafsanjani Iran's once and future president? He speaks with our Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour. That's just ahead.



Forty-eight million Iranians are eligible to vote in Friday's election, a pivotal presidential vote.

VERJEE: Voters have to decide on whether to hand their future to a familiar face or to go for someone new.

CLANCY: Iran, of course, a vast country that appears to be heading in what some say is two directions at the same time. One of them, toward a pure Islamic state. The other, toward a modern democracy.

VERJEE: Now, that's created a struggle between reformists and hard-liners. The outcome could have global consequences.

CLANCY: The United States views Iran as a rogue state bent on getting a nuclear weapon. Iran vehemently denies that accusation.

VERJEE: In this election, a two-time president of Iran wants to claim that mantle for an unprecedented third time.


VERJEE (voice-over): Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani held the presidency from 1989 to 1997. Rafsanjani's coming back to a somewhat disillusioned Iranian public.

Iranians put their faith and their votes for democratic reform behind the current president, Mohammed Khatami. Many say Khatami failed to deliver.

Rafsanjani has been a powerful figure at the forefront of Iranian politics since 1979. Polls show the conservative cleric is the frontrunner in this election.

In the election campaign, Rafsanjani says he wants to create jobs and relax social restrictions. He says women should be able to wield more power in politics. His own daughter opened a reformist women's magazine, but it was shut down by hard-liners.

"TIME" magazine says Rafsanjani appears to have reinvented himself as a hip reformer to appeal to young voters. Most of Iran's population is under 25. The former president's past record shows him to be a pragmatist, a deal-maker. A close aide to Ayatollah Khomeini, he backed the war with Iraq in the '80s, then urged Khomeini to accept the U.N. resolution that ended the war. He strongly denounced the U.S. while making deals with Reagan administration officials in covert arms for hostages talks in the mid '80s.

Rafsanjani currently hold the chairmanship of what's known as the Expediency Council. It mediates disputes between parliament and the Guardian Council, which has the power to prevent legislation.


VERJEE: If none of the eight candidates receives a majority on Friday, a runoff will be held on the first of July.

Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour joins us now from Tehran -- Christiane.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Zain, Jim, indeed, we are in Tehran, and we are interviewing exclusively the frontrunner, as you mentioned, in this Iranian election. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani joining me.

Mr. Candidate, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

I want to ask you, first of all, many, many Iranian people, millions of Iranian people, say that they are unhappy, that they are impatient and frustrated with the political process, with the pace of reform. So much has been promised and very little has been delivered.

What can you do for the young people of this country, for the people of this country, if you are elected?

AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): There's many people, as you have pointed out, make such judgments, but the majority of the Iranian people are satisfied (INAUDIBLE) with their revolution. Much has been done in this country, and they attach great importance to the work that we have done for the revolution, through this revolution, and their loyalty to the revolution, and for the young generation that have not seen the revolution itself, the early years under the present conditions. We have to meet their expectations, and we need to have some plans for the young people so they -- we can touch the revolution and see the benefits of the revolution. And we will do that.

AMANPOUR: As you know, many were hoping (INAUDIBLE) democracy, freedom, reform in all sorts of aspects of life. They still want that.

Do you understand that? Do you understand that that's what the young people of this country want? And if you are president, will you go in that direction?

RAFSANJANI: Why not? We have a clear understanding what the needs are. We have great relations and communication with the young people, and we hear very loud and clear the voices of the young people and in our election campaigns we see. Anyone that wants to say anything they wish to say, they can say, they have an opportunity to say.

So we have a clear understanding of the desires of the youth of this country. And if you look at the election scene in this country fairly, and you make a fair judgment, you will see that everyone is free to say whatever they want. There is a free and lively discussion, debate, and people are writing. And nobody makes any objection.

There is a good example of freedom in this country that's manifesting itself. There may be other desires and wishes and demands that go beyond the issue of freedom. Naturally, those are issues. And those demands, to the extent that's possible, that is in the interest of the country, and given the public opinion, those demands and desires will be met as well.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Rafsanjani, many, many Iranian people want to have good relations with the whole world, including the United States of America. Many people say it's time to put the enmity behind them and move forward.

Can you do that? Is that something that you have set yourself as a priority? Do you wish to see normal relations with the United States?

RAFSANJANI: In previous years -- years ago, that I had an interview with you, I said at that time that the United States, before the revolution and even after revolution, has shown hostility toward Iran, has held a hostile attitude toward Iran. Before the resolution, you ask -- supported the monarchic regime of the shah that treated the people of Iran very badly. And even after the victory of the revolution, the United States has not been really good to us.

Therefore, the United States is indebted to Iran. And at that time, I propose that if Americans want better relations with Iran, they need to do something. They need to do something to show that they are doing something new, a new policy.

They have adopted a new policy, a new -- they have adopted a new way. And they should show signs and indications of goodwill so our society can trust them. And if that happens, I don't see any problem with talking to the United States and reaching the goals, the shared goals of the two nations.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Rafsanjani, you know that just a couple of weeks ago, in connection with talks between the Europeans and Iran, the United States agreed to not oppose Iran's application to the WTO, the World Trade Organization, and agreed also to look favorably upon delivering Iran's spare parts for aircraft.

Are these the kind of goodwill signs that you mean? Is this a sign of goodwill?

RAFSANJANI: Yes. I consider these steps in a right direction. And we also heard another thing that President Bush has said, that Iranians can have low-level uranium enrichment.

If you look at these three things together, it seems that the United States is choosing a new approach. But this is not enough. They need to do more. And at that time, 10 years ago, I told you in an interview that they should do something larger.

For example, they should unfreeze our assets in the United States. Those assets belong to us, and they have to return to us. And if they do that, this is a good sign that the United States has relinquished this hostile attitude towards -- and I said that as a sign. And it can be some other things, some other important measures. At that time, I said that -- at this time, since I am not yet -- I'm not responsible as a -- as a president of this country, but when I become the president, I may raise other things.

AMANPOUR: You talked about signs and things that are still left to do. As you've always said, it takes a long time, and sometimes these steps are small steps. But you've accepted that those things that the United States has done, the Bush administration has just done, are positive signs.

What will you do if you're president to reciprocate? What is the next step? Will you do something to reciprocate that positive goodwill gesture?

RAFSANJANI: First of all, we approve -- the fact that we have accepted that these are positive steps, this is a reaction from us, a positive reaction. United States, when they are in this region, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq, they have seen -- Americans have seen themselves that Iran has behaved responsibly in this regime.

And if Iran wanted to create some problem and troubles and look for adventures, both in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was possible for Iran to do these things. And the United States has also confirmed the gestures, the assistance and the help from Iran. They have admitted that Iran has been helpful, and they have confirmed that Iran has acted responsibly, both in Afghanistan and in Iran.

This is really important. So the things that we have done are really much larger than the steps taken by the United States.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Rafsanjani, we're going to take a short break. When we come back, we will talk about Iran's nuclear program, terrorism, and the whole issue of how to get over the axis of evil after a break.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back, as we continue our interview with the frontrunner in the upcoming Iranian presidential elections. They're scheduled for this Friday.

Dr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is still with us.

I want to ask about Iran's nuclear program. It's a source of great contention between the United States, between Europe and Iran. Will you continue to suspend your nuclear program, the nuclear activity, if you get a comprehensive deal, as you've asked for in terms of bilateral security, in terms of technological support, economic support, in relation for basically normalizing relations?

RAFSANJANI: There have been the discussions that we had with the European Union, the three major countries of the European Union in Switzerland, and their plan, this comprehensive deal and plan should also include enrichment. Enrichment should not be omitted from such a scheme (ph).

But there are also conditions and grounds that, if we -- if they accept that we continue with the enrichment, at a limited scale, on a limited scale, that there is no danger of going toward the military direction, I think this will be acceptable. This is the principal, the gist of the plan.

Other things will be bilateral. And the two sides have to agree with each other. That is, if we lend our cooperation, it should be mutual.

Both side should have interest, the Europeans, Iran, and Americans as well. And it will not be this way, that -- it will -- the plan will not be this way that we will reach -- we will suspend nuclear -- suspend enrichment activities altogether. But we are going to give assurances that the enrichment will not be for military purposes.

AMANPOUR: How will you do that? Because, as you know, the United States -- many in the United States, quite frankly, don't trust Iran on this issue and believe that you are trying to get the knowledge to be able to build a nuclear weapon.

They point to all the years of hiding your nuclear activities that only came out in the last couple of years. And they just don't -- they don't believe what they can't verify and see, obviously. What are you going to do, then, to give them assurances? How are you going to resolve this?

RAFSANJANI: We have told them that you should tell us that how we can provide such assurances. Don't tell us that we should stop enrichment altogether.

You should tell us that by keeping the enrichment activities in Iran, what you want from us to provide these assurances. In this new plan that they have set on a time frame as well, they should ask the (INAUDIBLE) the ways that we can provide such assurances.

We have -- we have told them what we can do to provide such assurances, and the plan that we have proposed will be studied by them. It will be either acceptable to them, or they will present a new solution or a new plan. Then we will study their proposal. Anyway, the objective of these talks with the European Union is to provide assurances to the Europeans, and even Americans, that our activities will be for peaceful purposes.

Now, there is talk that there has been a failure on our side, concealment on our side. We have given our response.

In the past, the IAEA did not fulfill its own obligations according to its own regulations. They should have then -- they should have then given us assistance and help in -- for nuclear, peaceful technology. They didn't do that. And their failure is even greater than our -- the failure on our part, for the first time that, when it became clear that we can do something, we reported what we did.

And in the past, we also provided regular reports. And there might have been some failures on our side. There is no reason for us to conceal anything. We have nothing to hide.

This is our right, our inalienable right. And Europeans, even in their talks, they have accepted very explicitly that they do recognize the right of Iran for enrichment. And if they are really honest, then we should not have these talks and discussions about matters like this.

AMANPOUR: We've got about one minute left. I want to ask you about the other major issue, why people just don't trust Iran, because of the terrorist issue. Some people say, for instance, the U.S. administration, that it's not just a nuclear program, it's Iran's nuclear program. Iran has been behind state-sponsored terrorism for years. Even now, there are reports that suspected -- that suspected -- he's having a little trouble with translation. Push your earpiece in.

Even now, there are reports that suspected Al Qaeda agents are in Iran, and are either being sheltered here or are under your control. Why don't you give them up? Why don't you give them to their country of origin for trial? Give them to the country of the victims for trial? What's the point of keeping them here?

RAFSANJANI (through translator): If these talks and discussions are going to be held in a right climate and if the two sides do not level baseless allegations against each other, then you will see that we are right. You know well that these terrorists that you're talking about, the members of Al Qaeda, who created them? Who do you think supported Al Qaeda and who created this outfit? It's the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think? Miss Amanpour is asking the question from you.

RAFSANJANI (through translator): America created them to confront Iran, and Arab countries also supported. If there is terrorism under the name of Al Qaeda, the responsibility lies directly on the United States. And those who opposed us. Then how the United States can really charge us with supporting terrorism, while you see the MKO organization, the Iranian terrorist outfit, and they are receiving the support of the United States and they are active both in United States and European countries, and they are freely carrying out their activities? Therefore this allegation of support for terrorism, this allegation against Iran, is really a brutal judgment. In Iran, we are really the victim of terrorism. You have been a couple days in Tehran. I don't know you've heard or not, there have been explosions, bombings in Iran, and you do not have these sort of bombings in United States. This shows that Iran is really a target of terrorism, and Iran, more than any other country, has campaigned and fought terrorism.

These -- what these individuals have (INAUDIBLE) to, they have come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and they have been returned by Iran to their countries of origin, and there have been some of Al Qaeda members that have committed crimes in Iran, and they have been tried and they are imprisoned in Iran, according to Iranian laws.

AMANPOUR: The election is on Friday. If you become the winner -- this is our last question -- what is the first thing that you will do? Will it be to reach out to the international community? Will it be to deal with issues inside Iran? What do you see your role as being? A bridge between, maybe, some of the more conservative and some of the more reform-minded? What do you see your role as being if you become president?

RAFSANJANI (through translator): Naturally, when I become the president, the first thing that I will do is perform the cabinet. When I form the cabinet, then I will deal with the plans I have for the country, both domestic matters and also international matters. And in Iran, I can work great with conservatives and also reformers, because both groups are the supporters for my candidacy. Large part of them are supporting me. And I can also cooperate and work with our parliament and with the leader himself. I've had fraternal relationships for 50 years. I do not have a problem with the national coherence and unity in this country.

And with respect to the outside world, as I demonstrated in my previous tenure as a president, I am going for a policy of relaxation of tension and detente, and this is a policy that I will apply to the United States as well.

And if Americans are sincere in the cooperation, working with Iran, I think the time is right to open new chapter in our relations with the United States. But if the United States wants to continue its obstructions and hostility, then the previous, the past conditions will persist. But during the new time, new era, I predict that both with our neighbors, with the Western countries, with Asian countries, I will elevate the relationships with them.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Rafsanjani, we're out of time, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

RAFSANJANI (through translator): Thank you very much. I hope in Iran you will be able to see the realities and reflect these realities to the world.

Thank you.

CLANCY: Chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour there with Hashemi Rafsanjani, a man many people think will be the next president of Iran. He's already served two terms, a famous figure in the government, not answering, really glossing over his responses on a couple of key issues there with Christiane, saying that -- not admitting that they had hidden their nuclear-enrichment program. It was only revealed by a dissident group. Also in holding the Al Qaeda prisoners, he turned the focus completely around and said that was really an issue where Iran was the victim of terrorism.

Interesting interview. Though. You have to go back and listen to it some more, I think.

VERJEE: Interesting interview, also making the point that now he thinks is the time that Iran and the U.S. have to open a new chapter.

CLANCY: Right. Well, we'll have more on that later. But for now, I'm Jim Clancy.

VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee. Here's some of the top stories we're following. British Prime Minister Tony Blair says it's difficult to bridge the gap between London and Paris over the European Union's finances. He made the statements during talks with French President Jacque Chirac in Paris. Mr. Blair also said that the E.U. must reconnect the priorities people have in Europe with the way the money's spent.

CLANCY: South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma fired over his role in a corruption scandal. President Thabo Mbeki announcing move on Tuesday at a joint session of parliament. Once seen as the heir apparent to Mr. Mbeki, Zuma refused to step down, saying he committed no crimes. A successor has not been named.

With 10 verdicts of acquittal behind him in his molestation trial, Michael Jackson is left to ponder the next phase of his life and career. Jackson's fans around the world are relieved and happy. Jackson's lead defense attorney says he believes his client's behavior will change.

CLANCY: We're going to take a short break here. YOUR WORLD TODAY will continue. So stay with us.


CLANCY: Welcome back.

Voters in northern Lebanon are going to go to the polls on Sunday for the fourth and final round of their parliamentary voting. The four-stage elections, held over consecutive weekends, come on the heels Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon this year. But what's causing a buzz is the strong showing that was made in the third round by former general Michel Aoun.

The Maronite Christian leader returned home just weeks ago from 14 year of exile in France after fighting the Syrian army. But Aoun fell out with opposition groups and formed his own alliance with some pro-Syrian groups in order to get into the election.

Earlier we talked with Michel Aoun, asking him about the militant group Hezbollah. Would he disarm it? It has won several seats in south Lebanon. The United States considers, of course, Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization.


MICHEL AOUN, LEBANESE POLITICIAN: Certainly, that's a problem that we have to -- to discuss it seriously. And at the end, it has to deliver its weapons to the Lebanese Army, because we cannot unify the country with two armies, with two defense decisions, with two security decisions. We have to unify the country with only one decision. For the unity of Lebanon, we have to do so.


CLANCY: That was Lebanese politician and former Army chief Michel Aoun.

VERJEE: Officials deny it, but reports persist in Serbia and Montenegro that leading war crime suspect Ratko Mladic might surrender soon. The war crimes tribunal has called for the arrest of top suspects before the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre next month.

Nic Robertson reports that new video from that period has changed the climate in Belgrade.


NIC ROBERSTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shots ring out. A body falls. Natasa Kandic watches as the tape she brought to the world's attention plays on and the killing of Muslims from Srebrenica, in Europe's biggest post-World War II slaughter of civilians, continues.

Women of that Bosnian town weep. Kandic's aim, though, not to shock the victims, so much as the perpetrators.

NATASA KANDIC, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I didn't see any other way how to face Serbia, Serbian politicians, with what we did in past.

ROBERTSON: Already shown at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague and in edited versions on Serbian television, the video reveals the apparent casual manner of the killers. It shocked Serbian leaders into denouncing the deaths and raised expectations the commander responsible for the 1995 attack on Srebrenica and the disappearance of more than 7,000 men from the town. General Ratko Mladic will be sent to the Hague to face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

KANDIC: We believe that we don't -- they change climate in Serbia. The after our videotape, nobody will stand up as a (INAUDIBLE).

ROBERTSON: What concerns her now is the quick condemnation by Serbia's prime minister didn't go far enough and could hamper Mladic's transfer to the Hague. KANDIC: The problem is that probably the premier (INAUDIBLE) don't want to show Ratko Mladic as the biggest war criminals.

ROBERTSON: Investigative journalist Dejan Anastasjevic has been tracking Mladic for more than a decade.

DEJAN ANASTASJEVIC, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I have no doubt at all that the military's still protecting him.

ROBERTSON: Until a few years ago, he says, Mladic was free to walk Belgrade's streets, drew a state pension, but may now be beyond the government's reach.

ANASTASJEVIC: The government still does not control the military. The government may pass the orders around, but it will simply not go down the chain of command because...

ROBERTSON: In the privacy of his office, he says he's doing all he can to follow the government's progress.

ANASTASJEVIC: My sources are telling me that at this moment, they see really no serious movement on the Mladic front.

ROBERTSON: Some Serbian media speculate Mladic may be hiding in Belgrade house. When we turned up, the blinds were down, the laundry drying outside.

(on camera): You want us to leave?


ROBERTSON (voice-over): And his Bosnian-Serb neighbors, very unfriendly.

(on camera): One theory has it that General Mladic could be hiding behind these gates, at the secret top chitter (ph) underground bunker system, so secret that it only became public last year when two guards were unexpectedly shot to death. The rumor has been further strengthened by the fact that one of one of Mr. Mladic's former bodyguards has been seen working here.

(voice-over): So concerned were officials about this rumor, the country's defense minister took journalists on a tour of the underground complex. He insists the government is committed to getting Mladic to the Hague.

PRVOSLAV DAVINIC, DEFENSE MINISTER: The government is doing its best and it has certain resources at its disposal that it believes would be effectively used to complete this process.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Do you know where Mr. Mladic is?

DAVINIC: No, certainly not. That would be -- then the problem would have been solved.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): He says Mladic is in ill health, mentally unstable, and his surrender to the Hague is the last obstacle blocking international investment in Serbia.

DAVINIC: Everything is pending, as a matter of fact, the resolution of this case. Therefore if he were -- resemble normal -- he would certainly consider that as his duty, I would say, to help the nation.

ROBERTSON: It is this focus on economic need and failure to recognize moral duty that so disappoints this Kandic.

KANDIC: Not the politicians who never criticize the Serbian war policy. I thought maybe videotape will change climate in this institution.

ROBERSTON (on camera): Has it? Has it done as much as you expected it to?

KANDIC: No, it's not happened.

ROBERSTON (voice-over): She's still hoping the tape may yet prove to be the catalyst that gets Mladic to the Hague.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Belgrade.


VERJEE: Let's check some stories making news now across the United States.

Authorities in the state of Florida are investigating the death of a 4-year-old boy at Walt Disney World. The boy lost consciousness while on the theme park's Mission: Space ride. Authorities briefly shut down the ride, but reopened it after concluding it's operating normally.

Well, authorities have freed two former hotel security guards detained in connection with the disappearance of a U.S. teenager. Three other men are still in custody. They're the last people known to have been with Natalee Holloway before she disappeared two weeks ago.

The Associated Press reports the U.S. government will remap its biometric passport requirements to make it easier for travelers from friendly countries to enter without a visa. The initial requirements called for fingerprinting or iris identification. Without the revisions, some governments from so-called visa-waiver nations could have been barred from entering the U.S. this fall.


VERJEE: Tough times for Australia, as England win the 20-over shootout.

CLANCY: Here's Patrick with cricket and the rest of sports.

PATRICK SNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Jim and Zain. It's cricket that what do we start with, out in the sport's headquarters (ph) in fact, at Lords in London, England. Some of game's the biggest names in their continuing efforts to raise money for tsunami victims in Southeast Asia. Now an MCC-11, which is the side (INAUDIBLE), taking on an international team for whom Australian spin king Shane Ward was in action, and good a effort from the host. He reached 327 for seven from their allotted 50. Steven Fleming (ph) and Jack Kallis (ph) weighing in with 62 each.

The international response wasn't good, though. Brian Lara's (ph) side all out for 215. A crushing defeat by 112 runs.

It's an all-too-rare occurrence, but England have actually beaten Australia in a cricket match. It may have been just the 20-20 clash Between two of the sport's biggest rivals, but a win to savor nevertheless for the English. Man of the match, Kevin Peterson (ph), doing the damage with the bat, as his side went on to amass a 179-7 from there (INAUDIBLE). A huge six there into the spectators. The Aussies went on to suffer their biggest ever collapse in the limited over score (ph) by losing five wickets for just one run. Gilchrist (ph), the first to go. Then the turn (ph) of Matthew Hayden as (INAUDIBLE), and Peterson again combining well. Nice catch. It would turn out to be an emphatic win for the home side by 100 runs.

Malcolm's Glazer's grip on Manchester United is growing ever tighter, it seems. Though he remains just a little short of seizing total control of the world's most profitable football club. The Florida-based tycoon announced he now owns 97.3 percent of shares in the eight-time English Premier League champions. And he's also extended the deadline now for shareholders to sell remaining stock to him at three pounds each, until later on this month. Earlier this week, the club announced season ticket sales have increased for next season, which starts up again in mid-August.

Some special action from Major League Baseball now. This is the Atlanta Braves at the Texas Rangers. Rangers well in command, 7-0 up, bottom of the fourth. Alfonso Soriano sending one deep to (INAUDIBLE) Ryan Langerhan (ph) to get back and makes a great catch. He slams into the wall for his troubles, his head striking it, in fact, but he hangs on for the catch.

Rangers winning again 7-3. Finally, we head to the Netherlands for the Rocket Dam (ph) Air Race, won by the American Mike Mungo Mango (ph) after two fine runs over the Mass River (ph). The fellow American Kirby Shambly (ph) has had to settle for fourth spot, though, after his plane caught an inflatable gate and propeller actually tore through it. Mungo's very much the man of the moment in his field, having won in Reno last year. And he also came in third in the season opener at Abu Dhabi two months ago. The World Series now moving to Austria. That is the sports for now.

CLANCY: All right, on that high note, we'll have to call it a day.

VERJEE: Stay with CNN for more news. I'm Zain Verjee.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy.


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