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YUGOSLAVIA TO PROBE DEFENSE CHIEF

The Yugoslav defense minister will be investigated for alleged involvement in Bosnian war crimes, the first such move against any top official in Yugoslavia.

The state prosecutor in the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro announced Monday he was investigating Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic's alleged involvement in the arrest and deportation of Muslims in the early days of the Bosnian war.

In comments Tuesday to the state news agency Tanjug, Bulatovic did not deny the allegations. He denounced the prosecutor, Vladimir Susovic, as "an obedient apparatchik of a political faction."

The U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague requested the investigation, Susovic said in Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital. At the tribunal Tuesday, a spokeswoman said Bulatovic had not been publicly indicted. The tribunal often keeps indictments secret, however.

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