Serbian general says he was libeled

March 19, 2012 at 5:05 PM
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BELGRADE, Serbia, March 19 (UPI) -- The chief of staff of the Serbian army is suing the head of a human rights group, alleging he was libeled by accusations he committed war crimes in Kosovo.

Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic filed the suit in the First Basic Court in Belgrade against Natasa Kandic, who heads the Humanitarian Law Center, the Serbian daily newspaper Danas reported.

In January, the law center accused Dikovic of responsibility for war crimes in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999 in what it called his "zone of responsibility."

The group alleged the 37th Motorized Brigade of the Yugoslav Army, while commanded by Dikovic, killed civilians and committed rape, harassment and beatings.

The center, which has offices in Belgrade and Pristina, said Dikovic was "unfit" to head the army and urged authorities "to submit facts to the president of Serbia about the actions of the former commander of the 37th Motorized Brigade during the war, as well as the Hague Tribunal's evidence about war crimes committed in the zone of responsibility of wartime commander Dikovic."

Dikovic and Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac labeled the center's allegations "completely false."

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