BUDAPEST — Yugoslav prosecutors have charged Dragoljub Milanovic, former chief of the state network Radio Television Serbia, with the manslaughter of 16 employees killed when NATO missiles destroyed RTS studios in Belgrade in 1999.
Belgrade’s District Prosecutor Office said Milanovic “provoked general danger” by not evacuating the studios despite warnings that they were a potential target during a 78-day air war against Yugoslavia in 1999.
Critics charge that Milanovic, a trusted adviser of fallen former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, wanted to create a civilian body count that would embarrass NATO and mobilize outrage at home.
NATO’s Robertson may testify
Officials in Belgrade say NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson may testify at Milanovic’s trial that the Yugoslav government was warned about a potential attack on RTS.
A court date has yet to be set, but Milanovic’s trial is expected to explore the political synergy between his RTS and the rise of Milosevic, in the Hague awaiting trial on war-crimes charges. Milanovic is credited with paving the former president’s path to power in the late 1980s by using state TV to discredit Milosevic’s opponents and represent him as the savior of the Serbs.