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Del Ponte: Serbian Policy Has 'Reached Its Limit'

Prague, 20 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Carla Del Ponte, who is the chief prosecutor for the Hague-based war crimes tribunal, said in Vienna on 19 May that the Serbian authorities lack the political will to arrest indictees like former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported.

"The reason why [the remaining indictees] are still at large is very simple. The relevant authorities [in former Yugoslavia] are not making sufficient efforts to locate and apprehend them," Reuters quoted her as saying.

She stressed that "the Serbian authorities have said repeatedly that they favor the voluntary surrender of indictees, and that they are not ready to carry out arrest operations. We may have reached the limits of this policy" of voluntary surrender.

In other remarks, she said that she opposes the release of Kosova's former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj pending his trial lest it "hamper the investigation." She also cast doubts on recent reports that leading war crimes fugitive indictee Radovan Karadzic openly ate with his wife in a Bosnian restaurant, saying that his wife was elsewhere at the time.

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