UN Prosecutor Urges Probe of Fugitives’ Delayed Capture

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 1:35 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The chief United Nations war crimes prosecutor has urged Serbian officials to investigate how two war crimes suspects managed to remain on the run for so long.

In a meeting with Serbian President Boris Tadic Tuesday, Serge Brammertz praised Belgrade for turning in former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic, the former leader of Croatia's ethnic Serbs.

However, Brammertz said it is logical to want to know who was responsible for allowing them to evade justice for so long — Mladic for 16 years and Hadzic for seven. President Tadic said an investigation is under way.

Serbian authorities arrested Hadzic in July, two months after Mladic.

Both men were sought for atrocities committed during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Hadzic's delivery to the tribunal following the arrest of Mladic and of Serb wartime political leader Radovan Karadzic three years earlier, removed a key obstacle to Serbia's bid to open negotiations with the European Union for membership in the grouping.

Hadzic was the last remaining fugitive sought by the Hague-based tribunal. He faces 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his involvement in the Balkans conflict of the early 1990s. After his arrest, he was extradited to The Hague, where he is charged with ordering the killing of hundreds of non-Serbs in Croatia and deporting thousands of others.

Mladic is on trial for genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim males.