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New ICTY prosecutor toes Del Ponte line on Serb cooperation with war crimes court

[JURIST] New International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz [JURIST report; ICC profile] does not plan to amend his predecessor's tough stance on Serbian cooperation, Reuters reported an ICTY spokeswoman as saying Monday. Former chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte [official profile] long criticized Serbia for its seeming reluctance to cooperate with the ICTY; last October, she said that Serbia must do more to apprehend fugitive war crimes suspects [JURIST report] before she could give a positive report on the country's work with the ICTY to the European Union. In her final address to the UN Security Council [Reuters report] as chief prosecutor in December 2007, she accused Serbia of deliberately failing to arrest fugitive former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder], among others. Brammertz, who took office at the beginning of the year, has no plans to reassess the situation unless "significant developments" so require and said that Del Ponte's report will still apply.

The EU had made Serbia's cooperation with the ICTY a key element of its membership negotiations [EU accession materials], but Slovenia, the new holder of the Presidency of the EU [official website], is apparently seeking to expedite Serbia's path to membership [BBC report] regardless of the ICTY report, with a full signing of a Stabilization and Association Agreement possibly occurring this month. Reuters has more.

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