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Hague War Crimes Prosecutor slams Serbian Prime Minister for Non-cooperation

Carla Del Ponte, the Hague-based war crimes tribunal's chief prosecutor, told the UN Security Council on 23 November that Serbia's lack of cooperation with the tribunal is "the single most important obstacle" to the tribunal completing its work by 2008 and closing down by 2010, Reuters reported.

She stressed that the tribunal must continue working until every important indictee is brought to justice. Del Ponte noted that 20 indictees have not been arrested, about 12 of whom live openly in Serbia. And she dismissed Serbian claims that former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic is not in Serbia, calling the assertion "absolutely wrong. [The Belgrade authorities] are not cooperative in arresting fugitives. It's a scandal."

Del Ponte singled out Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica as being unwilling to arrest indicted war criminals and again criticized Bosnian Serb authorities for failing to arrest any indictees despite promises of cooperation.

Turning to Croatia, the prosecutor argued that there are unspecified "strong indications" that former General Ante Gotovina is being protected by a support network "within state structures".

(RFE/RL 24.xi.04)

 
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