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Briefly Noted...

By Chris Stephen in The Hague (TU 297, 20-24 January 2003)

If, as now seems likely, the international community will no longer level sanctions on states sheltering 19 of the 23 Hague indictees still on the run (see accompanying story by Mirko Klarin), a certain irony will arise.

Because among those likely to escape trial is Zeljko Meakic, the former commander Omarska, the camp where so many Muslims were tortured and killed.

It was the visit by journalists to Omarska and nearby camps in the summer of 1992 that provided the shocking evidence that led to the Hague war crimes being created in the first place.


Expect red faces next week in New York at the States Conference for the International Criminal Court.

The week-long gathering of representatives from the 72 nations who have now signed up to the ICC is supposed to elect judges and prosecutor, so that the

court, which came into being last spring, can "go live" and begin work at its base in The Hague.

But there are no candidates for the post of prosecutor, even though the ICC extended the application deadline late last year.

It means that the court will have nobody to bring in the cases, leaving a lot of new judges twiddling their thumbs, probably for many months.

Chris Stephen is IWPR Bureau Chief in The Hague.

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