Deadline for Yugoslav war crimes trial

The UN chief war crimes prosecutor for former Yugoslavia has demanded that two fugitive Serbs and a Croat be brought to trial by the end of the year.

    Former President Milosevic is among the many standing trial in the court

    Carla del Ponte said on Friday that former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and general Ratko Mladic and Croat general Ante Gotovina must be delivered to the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague before the end of 2003.

    "The continued delay in the arrest and transfer of all fugitives, includding Mladic, Karadzic and Ante Gotovina, may endanger the completion strategy of this tribunal," Del Ponte said.

    The international court wants to have all trials, excluding appeals, completed by 2008.

    Grisly Crimes

    Karadzic and Mladic face charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in connection with their role in the conflict in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995.

    "The continued delay in the arrest and transfer of all fugitives may endanger the completion strategy of this tribunal"

    Carla del Ponte 
    UN chief war crimes prosecutor for former Yugoslavia

    Del Ponte said Mladic was in Serbia and she expected Serbia to hand him over at once. Karadzic was in hiding in southeast Bosnia.

    "Both my office and the government of Croatia knows the whereabouts of general Ante Gotovina," she said.

    Gotovina is accused of killing Serbian civilians in Croatia in 1995.

    "The government of Croatia should immediately transfer Ante Gotovina to The Hague and Serbia Montenegro should do the same with Mladic," Del Ponte insisted.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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