Del Ponte urges France to arrest Karadzic, Mladic
PARIS, April 7 (AFP) - The chief prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Carla Del Ponte, on Wednesday called on France and other countries to do "everything necessary" to arrest the two most wanted Bosnian Serb fugitives, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
“It’s scandalous that they have still not been arrested, and that’s why I am here today,” Del Ponte said ahead of a meeting in Paris with French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, and after one with France’s senior investigating judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere.
France is part of the NATO-led Stabilisation Force deployed in Bosnia-Hercegovina whose duties include tracking down and apprehending war crimes suspects indicted by the ICTY.
“My fear is, as you know, that the SFOR and NATO forces will leave the Balkans, and I would like to know who will have the task of looking for the 21 people for whom there are arrest warrants, among them Karadzic and Mladic,” she said.
Karadzic was the political leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, while Mladic was his military commander.
The two were indicted for genocide and other war crimes by the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague in 1995 for their roles in the conflict, which cost 20,000 lives.
SFOR troops on April 1 led a third failed operation to capture Karadzic.
An Orthodox priest and his 28-year-old son were left in a coma after soldiers used explosives to blast their way into the priest’s house near Sarajevo where Karadzic was suspected to be hiding. There was no sign of the fugitive.
SFOR has since started a television advertising campaign in Bosnia appealing for public help in tracking down Karadzic and Mladic and other suspects. Bosnian Serb authorities have proved reluctant to help.
“I am not only asking for extra means but also for everything necessary so that they are arrested,” Del Ponte said in Paris.
The tough-talking former Swiss attorney-general added that she wanted to see the pair in custody “before the end of the year.”
Subject: French news