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Arresting Fugitives Remains Top Priority for Hague

The new chief prosecutor stresses his determination to secure the arrest of Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and two other top suspects.
In a press statement issued two weeks after he took over as the Hague tribunal’s chief prosecutor, Serge Brammertz said that securing the arrest and transfer to the tribunal of the four remaining indicted persons will be on top of his agenda.

He also stated that bringing the two most wanted suspects to justice – the former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and army chief Ratko Mladic – “remains an absolute priority”.

Brammertz is the fourth chief prosecutor at the tribunal, succeeding Richard Goldstone, Louise Arbour and most recently Carla Del Ponte.

In his first statement since he arrived in the Hague, Brammertz said it was “a great honour and challenge” to have been appointed chief prosecutor.

“I am impressed by the many achievements of this institution since its establishment in 1993.Continuity in the work of the Office of the Prosecutor is of utmost importance, and I intend to provide the leadership and direction necessary to successfully fulfill our mandate”, said the statement.

Brammertz acknowledged that “with 26 individuals on trial, nine on appeal and 11 awaiting trial, this is a busy period for the tribunal. A lot of work remains to be done.”

He added that his office would continue to rely on the “crucial support and assistance” of the states of the former Yugoslavia and the international community, so as to “finally bring Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic, Goran Hadzic and Stojan Zupljanin to justice”.

Brammertz also announced that in the next few weeks he plans to discuss issues related to cooperation with relevant authorities in the former Yugoslavia, as well as representatives of other states and international organisations, including the European Union.

“I am fully committed to building upon the tribunal's many achievements. We owe this to the victims of the crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia”, he concluded.

Merdijana Sadovic is IWPR’s Hague tribunal programme manager.

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