Global Policy Forum

Hague Prosecutor: Fugitives are Priority

June 19, 2010

Brammertz and Hague Tribunal President Patrick Robinson presented to the UN SC their six-month reports on the work of the Tribunal.

Brammertz said that the Serbian government has continued with its operative activities in the search for Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić over the last six months, but they have given only "a few palpable results."

Therefore, he said that Belgrade must consider its current form of actions and expand the investigation and increase efforts for finding and arresting the fugitives.

"The arrests of fugitives Mladić and Hadžić remain the Prosecution's main priority. Since my last report, the operative services of Serbia have continued their efforts in the search for the fugitives," he said, adding that the Prosecution "believes that the current operative strategy of Serbia must be reevaluated."

He stressed that he "recently asked the Serbian government to increase efforts in the search by expanding the investigation, increasing search operations, and increasing their operative capacities."

"A decisive and stronger action of the operative services and political leaders is of key importance for achieving the arrests of the two fugitives," Brammertz said.

He said that Serbia has continued to cooperate with the Tribunal over the last six months by giving access to documents, witnesses and archives, adding that "there are no more open questions" as far as that type of cooperation is concerned.

The Chief Prosecutor said that the Serbian government have found and handed over to the Hague Tribunal a large amount of war diaries that belonged to General Mladić, which will be used as evidence in coming cases.

Praising the recent conviction of former Republic of Srpska officers for genocide committed in Srebrenica, Brammertz said that the conviction once again pointed to the fact that Mladić must be arrested as soon as possible.

Asked about the recent efforts by Mladić's family to legal pronounce him as dead, Brammertz said that the Tribunal will continue to work under the assumption that he is alive.

He said that the convictions of Vujadin Popović and Ljubiša Beara for genocide in Srebrenica confirm that they, and others, "worked under the command of other indictees, such as Ratko Mladić, who is still not in custody."

Brammertz also reported on Serbia's cooperation with the Tribunal to the EU Council of Ministers this week, after which a decision was made to begin the ratification process of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Serbia and the EU.


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