No Asylum for Gaddafi in Serbia

Dragan Sutanovac, Serbian Minisiter of Defence, rejected any possibilty of Gaddafi receiving asylum in Serbia after Croatian media sources reported that the former Libyan leader "... might seek asylum in Serbia " as one of several countries willing to give him political and legal protection.

He added that Croatia also would not be good place for him, given that Croatia is part of the NATO Alliance.

"So, there is no way that someone from Libya would seek asylum in Croatia or Serbia," concluded the minister, denying information that the Croatian "Vecernji List" recieved from Fatima Mahmud, a member of the Interim National Council of Libya saying that Gaddafi "... could have applied for asylum in Serbia, Croatia, Chad, Algeria or Venezuela."

"It is well known that those countries, their official governments or powerful politicians, communicate with him and give him advice even today. It is known that he has very good relations with Serbia and former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić, who offered him help in the name of their great friendship," Mahmud was quoted as saying.

However, the member of NTCL lost sight of the fact that Serbia has signed an agreement of collaboration with the International Criminal Court under which Serbia would be obliged to extradite Gaddafi as someone who is accused of war crimes.

Minister Sutanovca denied any involvement of Serbian Army members in Libyan conflict after the recent arrest of five Serbs suspected of being Gaddafi's snipers charged with the killing of civilians.

"I say now what I have already said earlier. Members of the Serbian Army or the Ministry of Interior do not reside in Libya. We are waiting for information about citizens who were captured in Tripoli."

Fatima Mahmud reminded that "... many mercenaries and military experts from African countries, and also from the former Yugoslavia, especially from Croatia and Serbia, are among Gaddafi's forces."

In his interview with " Time", Mario, an ethnic Croatian artillery specialist from Bosnia and ex-mercenary said that "Gaddafi had hired several former Yugoslav fighters, most of them Serbs, to help him in his fight against NATO and the rebels"

"Their departure to Libya has no connection with our security structures, and I deeply believe that these people are construction workers, as they themselves say -- not members of any service," Sutanovac said, adding that a lot of misinformation is coming from Libya.

The Serbian Embassy in Tripoli has no information about the arrested Serbian citizens in Libya, but Agence France-Presse reported that rebels claim to have captured five Serbs suspected of "...being snipers in the service of Muammar Gaddafi."

But despite the fact that Serbian government rejects giving asylum to him, Gaddafi still believes in friendship with the Serbian people. In one of his last speeches he sent a message:

"To those of you who are in Serbia; You are true friends of Libya, and you are with me."