Swiss authorities say they have frozen bank accounts belonging to five supporters of disgraced former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic.This content was published on December 20, 2001 - 15:42
Responding to a request by the Yugoslavian authorities, the justice ministry in Bern has frozen accounts in three banks in Zurich, Geneva and Lugano, but said the amount of money involved in the most recent blockage is not yet known.
The five people, who have not been named, have been accused of corruption and embezzlement by the Yugoslav authorities.
The ministry revealed that Swiss bank accounts containing nearly SFr9 million belonging to other former members of the Milosevic regime have already been blocked, following earlier requests by the Yugoslavian authorities in August.
In 1999, at the request of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Switzerland ordered the freezing of assets belonging to Milosevic and four others accused of war crimes.
Meanwhile, a Swiss inquiry into alleged gold trafficking by the Milosevic regime has been dismissed, due to lack of evidence. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said investigators were unable to prove that a Genevan company had violated a Swiss government embargo by buying gold from a Cypriot company thought to be controlled by Milosevic.
Milosevic is awaiting trial before a U.N. tribunal on charges he committed war crimes during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Swissinfo with agencies
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