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Del Ponte: 'Dysfunctional' System Helps War Criminals

Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor for the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (AFP) 15 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A "dysfunctional" international system has allowed indicted Bosnian Serb war criminals to remain fugitives from the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, the tribunal’s chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, said today.

Del Ponte told the UN Security Council on 15 December that cooperation with the Serbian authorities has worsened and that NATO and UN agencies have failed to help her office track down the wartime leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, and his military commander, Ratko Mladic

She urged the international community and officials in Serbia and Montenegro and the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska to take concerted action to find and hand over Karadzic and Mladic.

"For ten years the international community has been playing 'cat and mouse' with Karadzic and Mladic,” del Ponte said, “and for much of this time the cats chose to wear blindfolds, to claw at each other and allow the mice to run from one hole to the other."

Del Ponte said the arrest last week of fugitive Croatian indictee, General Ante Gotovina, was a model of local and international cooperation. She urged the European Union and the United States to increase pressure on local governments to hand over the six remaining fugitives on the tribunal’s wanted list and to make cooperation on this matter a precondition for accession to NATO and the EU.

RFE/RL Balkan Report

RFE/RL Balkan Report


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