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Russia Slams Tribunal For Former Yugoslavia

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia demonstrated "neither fairness nor effectiveness."
Russia has criticized the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin highlighted the tribunal's decision last month to free two Croatian generals, including Ante Gotovina, the most senior Croatian military officer convicted of war crimes during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Churkin also pointed to the tribunal's recent acquittal of Ramush Haradinaj, a Kosovar Albanian former guerrilla commander who served briefly as prime minister.

Addressing the Security Council on December 5, Churkin said those decisions meant no one had been held accountable for murdering and expelling Serbian civilians during a 1995 Croatian military offensive or for murdering and torturing Serbs and their supporters in Kosovo's war for independence.

Churkin said the war crimes tribunal in The Hague demonstrated "neither fairness nor effectiveness."

The court's prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, said serious crimes were documented in both cases and the victims "have the right to justice."

He encouraged national authorities in the region "to continue the fight against impunity."

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters