Dutch mull options over detainees in YU
AMSTERDAM, Aug 20, 2000 -- (Reuters) The Netherlands is considering responses if Yugoslavia prevents four Dutch detainees held in Belgrade from receiving a fair trial, including cutting off diplomatic relations, local radio reported on Saturday.
Several Dutch radio stations cited a confidential report from the Dutch Foreign Ministry saying that cutting diplomatic ties was one way to pressure Belgrade, which has accused the four men of spying for the West.
The ministry declined to elaborate on the content of the report. "The list with ideas exists but I don't want to say anything about the content," a spokeswoman said. "We've had some thorough brainstorming sessions about possible steps but this is a list of options that serve as a basis for further talks."
Border guards captured the four men -Godfried de Rie, Bas van Schaik, Sander Zeitsen and Jeroen van Iersel - last month. Expected to be tried on terrorism charges, they have already served a 30-day sentence for entering Yugoslavia without proper visas.
The Netherlands Foreign Ministry could expel Yugoslav diplomats from the Netherlands and withdraw its diplomats from Yugoslavia. It could also send a diplomatic mission to Yugoslavia or call for European Union support.
One of the four men was seen in a video shown in Yugoslavia saying the four had planned to kidnap President Slobodan Milosevic and take him to The Hague if they met him or decapitate him and send his head to the UN Tribunal there.
Western officials have said the four men appeared to be adventurers who fell into the hands of Serbian police.