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International tribunal leaders report lack of cooperation, but vow to finish by 2008

[JURIST] Leaders from the UN tribunals for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda have reported to the Security Council that, despite some lack of cooperation by member states in arresting and transfering indicted individuals, they will complete their work by the 2008 deadline set by the Council. Carla Del Ponte, lead prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, told the Council Tuesday that Serbia continued to avoid its legal obligations, allowing up to 12 people wanted by the tribunal to live free in the country. Included among those are former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and military commander Ratko Mladic, both wanted in connection with the Srebrenica genocide. Del Ponte said the 2008 deadline could be met if the remaining suspects were arrested in the near future. Read the full text of Del Ponte's comments, as well as a statement by ICTY President Judge Theodor Meron. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda President Judge Erik Mose said the ICTR faced staff shortages that could prevent the tribunal from completing its work by 2008 if further arrests and indictments were made. Mose said some member states had failed to pay their contributions and that staff shortages have increased since a hiring freeze was imposed. Read press releases from the UN and the ICTR. BBC News has more.

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