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ICTY prosecutor calls on EU to suspend membership talks with Serbia

[JURIST] In an interview [in French] with Paris newspaper Le Figaro published Wednesday, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugsoalvia [official website] urged European Union officials to suspend membership talks with Serbia in order to pressure Belgrade to arrest wanted war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic [JURIST news archive]. Carla del Ponte [BBC profile] wants Brussels to delay plans towards a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) [EU backgrounder], the first legal step towards EU membership, until Mladic is captured. Mladic is wanted on charges of genocide and war crimes stemming from his involvement in the Bosnian war in the early 1990s. Serbia and Montenegro Defense Minister Zoran Stankovic has admitted to secret talks with the Mladic family, but claims that he does not know where Mladic is hiding. The Serbian Supreme Defense Council has also admitted [AP report] that retired army officers previously helped hide Mladic, but they maintain that they have no knowledge of Mladic's current whereabouts. EUObserver has more.

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