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Del Ponte In Belgrade To Urge Mladic Capture

Carla Del Ponte (file photo) (epa) October 2, 2006 -- The United Nations' chief war crimes prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, has arrived in Belgrade to assess if Serbia has made sufficient progress in its "action plan" to locate and deliver top war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic.

Serbia issued its the plan after the EU suspended premembership talks with Belgrade in May following its failure to deliver the Bosnian Serb wartime commander to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

On October 1, a key party in Serbia's governing coalition, G 17 Plus, quit in protest at the failure to capture Mladic, who is wanted on charges of genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

In other news, eight former Serbian police officers, accused of executing 48 ethnic Albanian civilians in Kosovo in 1999, went on trial in Belgrade today.

The victims included 14 children, two infants, a pregnant woman, and a 100-year-old woman. Their bodies were later dumped in a mass grave, where they were discovered in 2001.

The defendants each face up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

(dpa, Reuters, AP)