Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's demand for provisional release from detention to enable him to prepare his day-to-day defense was rejected by a three-judge panel of The Hague war crimes tribunal Wednesday.
"The trial has already begun and that the chamber is not convinced that the accused would not present a threat to victims and witnesses and that he would appear for his trial if released, the chamber has, for these reasons, rejected his demand," chief Judge Richard May said.
He said, however, the trial chamber recognized Milosevic's appeal for a provisional release to enable him to prepare for his defense and a fair trial.
Milosevic had initially refused to recognize the legitimacy of the tribunal and is conducting his own defense.
Milosevic was accused of crimes against humanity and genocide in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s and was the tribunal's most-wanted man until his extradition from Belgrade last June.
Milosevic said in court he was planning his defense with the help of information received by telephone from his friends and party aides in Belgrade. A newly founded body for Milosevic's defense recently told media it had been gathering the necessary information as soon as it found out the names of witnesses in the case.
Milosevic Wednesday also protested to the judges against the prosecution's decision to introduce a witness out of the order supplied. But the judges ruled to allow the witness, Savit Kadriu, to take the stand. They took the view that since Kadriu was expected to testify at length and introduce video tapes, Milosevic would have enough time to prepare for his cross examination.