ICTY prosecutor to ask Security Council for power to arrest Karadzic, Mladic

ICTY prosecutor to ask Security Council for power to arrest Karadzic, Mladic

[JURIST] Carla Del Ponte [official profile], chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website] has said that she will ask the UN Security Council [official website] to grant the ICTY power to apprehend former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile] and his military commander Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Speaking Wednesday at a Security Council meeting, Del Ponte expressed concern and frustration [transcript; press release] that no country is actively looking for either of the war crimes suspects:

Speeding up the proceedings is a top priority of my Office. Obtaining the arrest and transfer of the remaining indictees at large is another one. It has been said a thousand times: it is inconceivable that the ICTY closes its doors with Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic at large. I want to stress again before the Council that impunity for these two most serious architects of the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, both accused of genocide, would represent a terrible blow not only to the success or failure of the Tribunal, but to the future of international justice as a whole. …

I explained at length in my last report why Karadzic and Mladic are still at large more than 10 years after they were first indicted. My assessment remains the same today. Serbia has to do much more to arrest and transfer Ratko Mladic. The arrest of Radovan Karadzic is a shared responsibility of Serbia, Republika Srpska, NATO and EUFOR. It is pathetic that today, nobody is searching actively for Karadzic. The planned downsizing of EUFOR will further aggravate the situation. Since no one else seems to have the political will to locate and arrest Karadzic and Mladic, I will have no choice but to seek from the Council the powers to arrest fugitives where ever they are and to allocate to my Office the necessary resources for this. Ultimately, I do not see any other way for the ICTY to fulfil its mandate and satisfy the legitimate expectations the victims placed into the United Nations.

Officials suspect that Karadzic is hiding in Bosnia, while Mladic is believed to be in Serbia. Both have been indicted [indictment text] and are wanted [Mladic warrant; Karadzic warrant] for crimes committed during Bosnia's 1992-95 war, including the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica.

Last month, Serbia renewed its efforts [JURIST report] to find and arrest Mladic after membership talks with the European Union stalled when Serbia failed to deliver [JURIST report] Mladic to the war crimes tribunal by the end of April as promised [JURIST report]. AP has more. The UN News Centre has additional coverage.