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Prosecutor: Time Running Out to Try Karadzic, Mladic, Gotovina


Carla Del Ponte

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte says three leading "criminals" responsible for genocide must be brought to justice in the Hague soon. The chief prosecutor addressed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said it was scandalous that Bosnian-Serb ex-President Radovan Karadzic, ex-military leader Ratko Mladic and former Croatian General Ante Gotovina are still at large.

The prosecutor blamed the authorities in the former Yugoslav countries for inadequate efforts in tracking down the accused.

She told reporters Karadzic was somewhere between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, Mladic was in Serbia, and Gotovina was somewhere between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

But Ms. Del Ponte said she expected to see Gotovina in the Hague "very soon".

"The supporting network in Croatia is very, very strong in hiding and helping Gotovina, so if the prime minister is willing as it appears to destroy this network we will be able very soon to have the location of Gotovina," said Carla Del Ponte.

Ms. Del Ponte said those most responsible for the genocide committed in Srebrenica 10 years ago must be brought to justice.

"In my view it is impossible for the international community to be present to commemorate the genocide of Srebrenica if Karadzic and Mladic are not arrested and not in the Hague and myself personally I will not participate," she said.

In 1995, almost 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were executed following the fall of Srebrenica to Serb forces.