Prague, March 21 (RFE/RL) -- A top Bosnian
Serb leader said today that his republic -- which forms nearly half
of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- is preparing to amend its constitution to
permit the extradition of war crimes suspects wanted by the UN war
crimes tribunal in The Hague.
Rajko Kasagic, self-styled prime minister of Republika Srpska -- as
the Bosnian Serb entity is known -- made the comments in an interview
with RFE/RL from his headquarters in Banja Luka.
He said the Bosnian Serb constitution as now written does n-o-t
permit extradition of its citizens to other countries. But he said
this will be changed.
He said Bosnian Serbs are suspicious of the tribunal because it has
indicted their top political leader, Radovan Karadzic, and their top
military commander, General Ratko Mladic. Kasagic said that Bosnian
Serbs fear their whole nation would be put on trial if these two men
are ever brought to trial.
But he did say that he had faith that the Hague tribunal will act
professionally and be objective. Our correspondent says this is the
first time any Bosnian Serb official has expressed even modest
approval of the tribunal -- and that it may signal new cooperation
with the UN body. The tribunal has indicted 53 war crimes suspects --
the vast majority of them Bosnian Serbs -- but only has two men in
custody. Kasagic urged the Hague tribunal to investigate reports of
atrocities agains Bosnian Serbs as well.