Brammertz: Mladić remains priority

Hague Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz says Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić will be tried by the international tribunal, regardless of when they are arrested.

“The arrested of these fugitives remains the main priority. If that does not happen, the UN Security Council announced that it will set up a mechanism which will take over the trials if need be,” he said.

Brammertz is currently in Croatia, where he is trying to resolve the misunderstandings with the Croatian government regarding the missing “artillery journals” from the 1995 Operation Storm, mounted against the country’s ethnic Serb areas.

Three of the Storm generals are currently tried for war crimes in The Hague.

The missing documents are “still a problem in relations with the tribunal, and its prosecution,” reports said.

He told Belgrade daily Večernje Novosti that he will speak with Croatian officials mostly regarding this issue.

“That is the only question I want to discuss with officials of the Croatian government. I want to hear what the added measures have been taken since May,” Brammertz said.

According to him, the prosecution is still looking for “a number of key military documents related to Operation Storm, as it was stated last week by the trial chamber in the Gotovina et al. case, in its answer to Croatia.

“The warrant which was issued in September of last year is still binding,” Brammertz said.

He reminded that he asked both in his report to the UN Security Council, submitted in June, and in the correspondence with the Croatian Justice Ministry, that the state complete the administrative investigation and increase efforts to find these documents.

Asked whether he believes that the tribunal should continue to pressure Croatia by making its EU integration harder if it does not cooperate with the prosecution, Brammertz said that “the goal of the Hague Tribunal is to complete its court mandate and not to get involved in any other political process, including Croatia’s EU association”.

“A part of my mandate is to take care and remind all countries of their obligation to cooperation with the Hague Tribunal. We are thankful that the international community which founded the court supports this efforts,” said Brammertz.

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