Brammertz on arrests of Hague fugitives

Chief Hague Prosecutor Serge Brammertz says that report on Serbia’s cooperation will be finished in the second half of May.

However, he stated that at this point, he did not know what the assessment would be.

“The fact that the previous report was positive does not mean that the next one will automatically be as well, because it is a new assessment,” Brammertz said. 

According to him, arrests of remaining fugitives – former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladić and former Croatian Serb political leader Goran Hadžić – do not have alternative.

Previous reports showed that there had been an improvement each time, in different areas of cooperation.

“I am aware,” he added, “that the next report is impatiently awaited but it is too early to speak about it now”.

According to the chief prosecutor, there is a good professional cooperation with Serbia.

“I still hope that everything will be done in the future to arrest the fugitives. There’s no alternative to that. As far as the assessment is concerned, I really want to be careful,” he pointed out.

Observers at the tribunal and outside it, all agree that the policy of setting conditions is an important factor and that it has yielded results, “and concurs that a significant progress in the countries of former Yugoslavia has been made, especially thanks to support and encouragement of the EU”.

“Therefore, we want the EU to continue with such an approach, but the court, the technical proceeding on one side and the political decision-making process on the other should be clearly separated,” Brammertz stressed.

“We all agree that primary responsibility for the arrest of the fugitives lies with the countries in the region, in a general sense, and now especially with Serbia. I know that authorities in Serbia are working actively on the issue, which has been confirmed during operational meetings,” he concluded.

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