A top U.N. war crimes prosecutor says Serbia must hand over former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic or face a major obstacle in its bid for closer ties with the European Union.
Carla Del Ponte Thursday said she has told Serbian leaders that Mladic must be in custody at The Hague by December 10. She said otherwise, she will have to include a negative assessment in a report on Belgrade's cooperation with The Hague-based tribunal.
Del Ponte, the chief war crimes prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia, is to present her final progress report to the United Nations Security Council Monday. Her position expires at the end of this year.
Del Ponte has insisted on the capture of Mladic, who is under indictment for genocide in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
She has urged the European Union to refuse to begin procedures for Serbian entry into the bloc, until Belgrade hands over all remaining fugitive war crimes suspects.
They include former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Mladic. The two have been on the run for more than a decade, following the end of the ethnic conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Both fugitives are charged with orchestrating the mass killing of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys from the U.N.-protected Srebrenica enclave.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.