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Serbian Jesuit warns tribunal could martyrise Milosevic

Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic could be "turned into a martyr" if tried for genocide by the UN war crimes tribunal, said the head of Serbia's Jesuit community.

Fr Lorant Kilbertus, who has headed the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's small Jesuit community since 1991, spoke with Catholic News Service in a telephone interview from Yugoslavia.

"It's in people's mentality here to create as many martyrs as possible," he said. "When Milosevic appeared before the tribunal, he spoke very clearly, without exaggerated emotions, as someone 100% certain of his own rightness. This has inspired people to rally around him again."