Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Briefly Noted ...

Compiled by Chris Stephen in The Hague (TU 309, 14-18 April 2003)
By IWPR

The new prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Argentine lawyer Luis Moreno, said he hoped the new court will have a powerful deterrent effect on war crimes. “There is some dissuasive effect,” he said. “The mere existence of the court generates the possibility of presenting a case at the International Criminal Court.”


MILOSEVIC CHARGED WITH STAMBOLIC KILLING


Slobodan Milosevic was this week charged with the murder of the former Serbian president, Ivan Stambolic.


Stambolic’s body was found on a hillside in Montenegro earlier this year. He is believed to have been kidnapped and murdered in 2000.


Milosevic’s wife Mira is wanted for questioning about the killing but is in Russia and is refusing to come home.


Police say Stambolic, who used to be Milosevic's friend and mentor, was killed by members of the Red Berets, Milosevic’s praetorian guard.


But Belgrade will have to wait for Milosevic to complete his Hague war crimes trial - and any jail term - before they can launch proceedings.


CROATIA’S TOP WAR CRIMES SUSPECT OUT OF HOSPITAL


Croatia’s former army chief General Janko Bobetko, ruled too ill two months ago to face trial for war crimes, was this week released from hospital in Zagreb.


“Gen Janko Bobetko demanded that he be sent home, despite our judgment that his deteriorating state of health cannot be appropriately treated at home,” said his doctor, Mijo Bergovec.


The Hague suspended an arrest warrant after agreeing that he is too sick to stand trial.


But if he gets better, the warrant could be re-activated.


NET CLOSING AROUND KARADZIC


The European Union will bar entry to 100 people suspected of links with renegade war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic.


The move is part of a fresh western strategy aimed at isolating Karadzic’s outer circle and then moving against his closest associates.


If all goes to plan, he will be progressively denied friends, cash and hiding places, making a final arrest much easier.


It is a fine idea - pity nobody thought of it eight years ago.


KOVACEVIC: CORRECTION


In last week’s Update, I incorrectly wrote that war crimes indictee Milan Kovacevic had committed suicide in jail. In fact he died of natural causes. My apologies - and thanks to the readers who pointed this out. We depend on your feedback.


Chris Stephen is IWPR's project manager in The Hague.