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Prosecutor Praises Increased Serbian Cooperation With War Crimes Tribunal

The chief prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunal has noted a significant improvement in Serbia's cooperation with The Hague court.

Serge Brammertz made his comments in his latest report to the U.N. Security Council. He singled out the arrest by Serbian authorities of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his former advisor Stojan Zupljanin.

But the prosecutor again stressed the importance of arresting and extraditing the remaining fugitive suspects, former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic and former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic.

Brammertz also made positive comments about the cooperation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia with the tribunal but urged authorities in those countries to fulfill their remaining obligations to the tribunal.

U.S. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, an envoy at the United Nations, said a resolution of the Mladic and Hadzic cases is critical for stability and reconciliation in the Balkans.

DiCarlo also said the international community cannot allow individuals indicted by the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) to enjoy impunity simply because they outlast the tribunals.

Brammertz said Bosnia-Herzegovina continues to open its archives and provide requested documents. But he urged authorities there to redouble their efforts to investigate war crimes cases and prosecute those responsible.

He also said Croatia has responded positively to most requests for assistance, but noted his office is still seeking access to some archives and documents.

He specifically mentioned documents concerning the case of General Ante Gotovina, currently on trial in The Hague on charges of failing to stop his soldiers from murdering ethnic Serb civilians in Croatia.