UN rights chief says Hadzic arrest a 'watershed' moment

20th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay welcomed Wedneday's arrest of Croatian Serb fugitive Goran Hadzic, saying it marked a watershed moment for the war crimes tribunal on the former Yugoslavia.

"A strong message has been sent today to those who commit human rights violations that they will be held accountable, if not by domestic judicial processes, then by international justice mechanisms," she said in a statement.

"Hadzics arrest marks a watershed in the important work of the ICTY, 18 years after it was formed to render justice and redress to the victims of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia," added the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Hadzic, 52, was the last fugitive sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

He faces 14 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes for the murder of hundreds of civilians and the deportation of tens of thousands of Croats by troops under his command during the 1991-95 Croatian war.

Pillay added that "the momentum created by these latest developments in the ICTY will serve to strengthen existing processes and initiatives in the field of international criminal justice, not only in the region, but also elsewhere in the world."

© 2011 AFP

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