Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Serge Brammertz [official profile] called on Serbia and other governments Monday to increase efforts to find and arrest former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic [case materials; JURIST news archive]. Brammertz said failure to arrest Mladic would send war criminals the message [AP report] that if they avoid capture long enough, the world will cease to care about bringing them to justice. Brammertz also emphasized the importance of seeking justice for Mladic's victims. Authorities must work quickly to arrest Mladic, Brammertz noted, since the ICTY is scheduled to be shut down in three years.
Mladic is one of two high-level targets still at large under the jurisdiction of the ICTY and faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for allegedly overseeing the Srebrenica massacre and other war crimes violations during the Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archives]. In June, British Prime Minister David Cameron [official website] and Brammertz marked the fifteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre by reaffirming their commitment [JURIST report] to bringing those responsible for the deaths of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys to justice. In May, Mladic's family filed a claim in the Belgrade District Court seeking to have him declared officially dead [JURIST report] in order to collect his state pension and sell his property. Earlier that month, the ICTY announced that the Office of the Prosecutor filed a motion to amend the indictment against Mladic [JURIST report] to include 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war in order to help speed up court proceedings once Mladic is captured. In March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] said that the ICTY will continue to operate [JURIST report] beyond its originally planned end date, in part to apprehend both Mladic who has been a fugitive since 1995. Ban estimated that it will be necessary for the court to remain open until 2013.