A Month Remains for Mladic to Be Caught

Serbia’s Head of the Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, Rasim Ljajic, says he will give Serb forces another month to arrest the two remaining war crimes fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic. If the two are not arretsed by that time, he says will resign, he says.

Ljajic expressed his expectations that the next report by the Tribunal’s chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz on Serbia’s cooperation with the Tribunal will be objective and the most positive report so far. 

“This will be the first report which will not include objections on Serbia and in which is clearly stated that we are doing everything to arrest the remaining Hague fugitives. It is important that the issue of cooperation is more political than technical and operational,” the daily quoted him as saying.

Brammertz will on Thursday present his regular report on the cooperation of the former Yugoslav countries with The Hague based tribunal to the UN Security Council.

Brammertz wrote in his regular report that he believes that the cooperation will continue and that it will result in the arrests of the remaining war crimes fugitives.

Brammertz visited Belgrade in the beginning of November meeting Serbian officials and gathering information for his forthcoming report on the country’s cooperation.

The report is considered of crucial importance for Serbia’s EU aspirations. The country’s EU progress has been blocked by the Netherlands, whose government has blocked the unfreezing of a trade deal between Belgrade and the EU, pending the arrest of the two remaining fugitives.

When asked whether the report will make the Netherlands change its position, Ljajic said he believes that Brammertz’s report will be treated adequately in the international community.

“It wouldn’t be good that candidacy represents our one-sided decision, but the result of consultations with the EU partners,” he added.

Even though Ljajic refused to talk about Mladic before they arrest the fugitive, he said that Brammertz’s positive signals help Serbia work under less pressure on locating the remaining indictees.

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