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ICTY chief judge scolds Serbia for delays in handing over wanted war criminals

[JURIST] Theodor Meron, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website], said Friday during a visit to Belgrade that the tribunal is becoming impatient [ICTY press release] with Serbia's "endless delays" in handing over war crimes fugitives, including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. Meron spoke to reporters after leaving a meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, saying the prime minister committed "in unequivocal terms" that Serbia [JURIST news archive] would fulfill its remaining obligations to the international community. Handing over the two war fugitives is crucial for Serbia as the country vies for membership to the European Union [official website]. Negotiations began between the EU and Belgrade last month, partly in response to delivering 13 suspected war criminals [JURIST report] to the Hague in the last year, but Meron pointed out Friday that six months have passed since those suspects were handed over. Former Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder] and his military commander Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder] are the two most wanted fugitives still at large since the Bosnian War ended nearly ten years ago. Reuters has more.

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