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Bosnia: Serb Leader Obliged To Give Up War Criminals

Washington, 4 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department yesterday said Bosnian Serb authorities are obliged under the Dayton Peace Accords to extradite indicted war criminals.

Spokesman Nicholas Burns said they have a clear and fundamental obligation to give up the people indicted for war crimes now living in Pale and Banja Luka and throughout areas held by Bosnian Serbs.

Burns said the United States urges Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavsic to reconsider her viewpoint. He was responding to a reporter's question about Plavsic' news conference earlier yesterday at which she said the constitution does not permit extradition.

Burns said "the commitments made by the Bosnian Serbs at Dayton supersede anything in the Bosnian Serb constitution about extradition" and there is no ambiguity on that point.

He said that mandates Bosnian Serbs to turn over indicted war criminals to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague for prosecution.