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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Milosevic Puts Blame on West

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Slobodan Milosevic, claiming moral victory in court, on Monday accused the West of inciting ethnic hatreds to deliberately break up Yugoslavia and denied knowledge of the Srebrenica massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims for which he is charged with genocide.

Ending a 10-hour defense statement stretched over three days, the former Yugoslav president fiercely attacked the Western NATO countries, singling out the United States and Germany. He charged they sought domination in Eastern Europe through the disintegration of multi-ethnic countries, such as the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

"War on the territory of Yugoslavia was incited by big Western powers," Milosevic said. "The goal of Western envoys was not to bring peace, but their interest was destroying the country and ensuring a new colonialism."

He denied knowing about the July 1995 massacre in the UN-protected zone of Srebrenica in Bosnia, where more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were rounded up and shot under the orders of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, now the tribunal's two most wanted fugitives. All three have been indicted for genocide at Srebrenica. He also denied knowledge of the horrors in Bosnian prison camps -- where thousands of non-Serbs perished during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war -- saying he was told prisoners were being kept only briefly to be swapped in prisoner exchanges.

"The truth is on my side and that's why I feel superior here. That's why I feel a moral victor," he said. "I'm in prison but I'm a free man," he said. "My name is Slobodan with capital 'S,' which means freedom in my language."