[QODLink]
Archive
War criminals could escape justice
The chief prosecutor of the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has said that suspects in Balkan war atrocities could escape justice if her court does not receive more support.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2006 18:34 GMT
Del Ponte: Victims of the Balkan wars do not deserve to be betrayed
The chief prosecutor of the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has said that suspects in Balkan war atrocities could escape justice if her court does not receive more support.

Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor, said on Friday that a plan was urgently needed to ensure that trials could continue.

 

At a meeting of international war crimes prosecutors in the Hague she said political pressure to wrap up proceedings was likely to make way for financial pressure next year.

 

The UN funds the court and can cut back its multimillion-dollar budget, possibly urging member states to make voluntary contributions outside the UN budget to keep the court running.

 

The UN tribunal is also being pressured by the UN Security Council to wrap up all trials by 2008 and to finish work on appeals two years later. But major suspects are still free.

 

War crimes

 

Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, and Ratko Mladic, the alleged architect of the murder of about 7500 Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995, are still on the run.

Those charged over Srebrenica  

 

More than two dozen people are on trial at the tribunal in cases expected to last months, if not years.

 

Del Ponte said: "The completion strategy was never intended to foster impunity for those accused of genocide and other most serious crimes. 

 

"If we do not devise today substantial measures for the task of the ICTY to be completed, this is exactly what will happen.

 

"I trust the international community cannot tolerate such a blatant breach of its principles and commitments. The victims of the Balkan wars do not deserve to be betrayed once more."

 

Problems

 

She said having Karadzic and Mladic stand trial in either Serbia or Bosnia, where they are regarded as heroes by some, instead of the Hague would be "absolutely unimaginable".

 

Mladic and Karadzic are believed to be hiding in Serbia.

 

Officials in Belgrade, under pressure from the EU to hand over war crimes suspects, say they are doing all they can to arrest them.

 

Del Ponte said her prosecutors were working with tribunal judges and defence attorneys to streamline trials.

 

She said that without their own police force, catching fugitives remained a problem.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.