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BRIEFLY NOTED

By Chris Stephen in The Hague (TU 295, 6-10 January 2003)
By IWPR

Hague prosecutors have requested that the tribunal send medical experts to examine Croatia’s most senior indictee, former army chief of staff Janko Bobetko.


Bobetko is charged with responsibility for war crimes during an attack on Serbs in the Medak Pocket operation in 1993, and Croatia has so far resisted efforts to have him sent for trial. The Hague will not say whether it has agreed to the request.


AID CUT THREAT


American aid to Serbia could be blocked unless Belgrade starts handing over war crimes suspects wanted by The Hague, said Pierre-Richard Prosper, ambassador at large for war crimes.


Congress-approved aid is partly predicated on Serbia’s record of cooperation with the tribunal. It has granted assistance for the past two years and must make a decision on this year’s allocation by March 31.


MILOSEVIC DEFIED


Slobodan Milosevic’s time in custody has not lessened his appetite for politics: he recently ordered the Serbian Socialist Party, of which he was once mentor, to fire two officials.


But Belgrade broadcaster B92 reports that the party’s central committee ignored the instruction to remove Ivica Dacic and Milomir Minic.


Only the Belgrade branch of the party supported his request, but they mustered too few votes to dismiss them.


ICC NEW BOY


Afghanistan has joined the growing list of nations signed up to the International Criminal Court, ICC, which elects its judges next month in New York.


Kabul’s decision will have far-reaching implications, most noticeably for its warlords, who will now be bound by the rules of war.


Prosecutors may also turn their attention to the many Afghans currently being detained by America - without charge or access to lawyers - at Guantanamo Bay.


However, war crimes indictments are not expected any time soon as the ICC has still to attract a single candidate for the post of prosecutor.


Chris Stephen is IWPR Bureau Chief in The Hague.


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