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Wanted former Serbian general not hiding in Russia - ministry

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Russia's Foreign Ministry denied Thursday a statement made by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia saying that the fugitive former Serbian General Vlastimir Djordjevic is hiding in Russia.
MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Ministry denied Thursday a statement made by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia saying that the fugitive former Serbian General Vlastimir Djordjevic is hiding in Russia.

"The ICTY's information on this individual's possible whereabouts in Russia was thoroughly checked. This man does not live at the address given by the Tribunal," the ministry's spokesman, Mikhail Kamynin, said, adding that no such address exists in Moscow.

He also said Russia is taking further steps to search for Djordjevic.

Djordjevic, 58, is one of the six people wanted by the Hague-based Tribunal. He is accused of war crimes in Kosovo committed in 1999, when he headed the Serbian Interior Ministry's Public Security Service, and also served as a deputy minister.

He remained in his post after the fall of the Milosevic regime October 5, 2000, and disappeared immediately after the discovery of mass graves where Serbian police had buried slain Kosovo Albanian civilians. Djordjevic is thought to have played a key role in hiding the bodies.

Kamynin said neither Russia nor ICTY Prosecutor Carla del Ponte "have serious grounds to claim that Djordjevic is in Russia."

On January 30, del Ponte said she has no hopes that Djordjevic will ever be arrested, as Russia refuses to cooperate with the ICTY on the problem.

Kamynin said Russia has always actively cooperated with the Tribunal.

"We checked all ICTY requests on the whereabouts of those wanted, and have promptly forwarded responses to requests for cooperation," he said.

In August 2005, Dragan Zelenovic, wanted for war crimes by the Hague Tribunal, was arrested in the west Siberian region of Khanty-Mansiisk, where he had been living for several years under an assumed name and working in the construction industry.

In June 2006, he was extradited to Bosnia and Herzegovina and later taken to The Hague. On January 17, he pleaded guilty of crimes against humanity (torture and rape).

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