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ICTY prosecutor requests help in finding those responsible for hiding war criminals

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] prosecutor Serge Brammertz [official profile] on Tuesday requested assistance from Serbian authorities to determine who helped certain war criminals remain undetected for many years. Specifically, Brammertz seeks to discover [AP report] who assisted former Serbian general Ratko Mladic [ICTY backgrounder, PDF; JURIST news archive], who evaded authorities for 16 years and former Croatian Serb rebel leader Goran Hadzic [ICTY backgrounder], who remained on the run for seven. Both were wanted as a result of allegations of atrocities they committed during the Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive]. Brammertz made his request while on a visit to Belgrade, were he will deliver a report to the UN Security Council [official website] regarding Serbia's compliance with the tribunal.

Last month, Brammertz said that he would not appeal the court's decision to proceed with a single trial [JURIST report] for Mladic. The prosecutor sought to separate the indictment [JURIST report] in order to hold one trial for Mladic's conduct during the Srebrenica massacre [JURIST news archive], where approximately 8,000 people were killed, and one for all of his other charges during the Bosnian civil war. The court denied [press release] the prosecutor's request on the grounds that separating the trials would be inefficient and could prejudice Mladic and unduly burden witnesses. Brammertz had argued that splitting the trials was warranted [AP report] because Mladic's health may decline over the course of the trial. Mladic was hospitalized [JURIST report] earlier in the month, allegedly due to pneumonia. Serbian authorities captured Mladic [JURIST report] in May, ending a 16-year manhunt. In August, Hadzic entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him after refusing to enter a plea in July following his extradition to the Hague. [JURIST reports].

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