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ICTY chief prosecutor 'cautiously optimistic' about capturing fugitives

[JURIST] Serge Brammertz [official profile], the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website], told reporters in Serbia Wednesday that he was "cautiously optimistic" [Reuters report] that two major remaining war crimes fugitives would be caught. Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic [ICTY materials, PDF; amended indictment, PDF] and Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic [ICTY materials, PDF; indictment, PDF], both Serbian leaders during the Yugoslavian ethnic conflicts of the 1990s, have been in hiding since the end of the conflicts. International pressure for the capture of Mladic and Hadzic has increased since the July arrest [JURIST report] of former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive]. Last month, Serbian President Boris Tadic [official website] said that his country would fully cooperate with the ICTY [JURIST report] to find and arrest Mladic and Hadzic. AFP has more.

Mladic faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for overseeing the Srebrenica [JURIST news archive] prison massacre and other killings of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, while Hadzic faces crimes against humanity charges for killings of non-Serbs and for abuses in Croatian prison camps. The capture of Karadzic, Mladic, and Hadzic has been a major goal of the ICTY [press release]. Brammertz had long criticized Serbia for its failure to find and capture war crimes suspects hiding in the country, and has vowed to try all war crimes suspects [JURIST reports] before the expiration of the ICTY's mandate in 2010.

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