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Bosnia: Del Ponte Wants Special Squad To Capture Karadzic

United Nations, 21 March 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The chief prosecutor of the UN war crimes tribunal said a special squad should locate the hiding place of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic though NATO-led troops have refused to do so. Carla Del Ponte said she is not surprised at the failure of two recent raids by the international Stabilization Force (SFOR) seeking Karadzic in the Bosnian villages where he is hiding. Del Ponte said she tried without success to convince SFOR that a fugitive cannot be caught "if you move with 200 soldiers in uniform."

Instead, Del Ponte suggested a plainclothes squad be organized so that villagers would not tip off suspects in advance. But this reportedly has been rejected by the United States, France, and other SFOR participating nations as beyond their purview.

Del Ponte also criticized the Belgrade government for not cooperating with the UN tribunal and sheltering Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military leader. Del Ponte said he had been in Serbia for about a month.