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Dodik Visit

Tribunal Update No. 178 Last Week in The Hague (May 29 - June 3, 2000)

Dodik said he had assured Tribunal officials that his government would act to maintain law and order should high profile indictees such as Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic be captured. He stopped short of guaranteeing his government's active support in securing such arrests.

Dodik announced, however, that Republika Srpska would soon pass a law on co-operation with the Tribunal and thereby demonstrate the entity's "serious intention to respect all obligations assumed with the Dayton agreements."

Dodik told Tribunal Update he had visited The Hague to "strengthen trust and co-operation."

"This is important for Republika Srpska, the Serbian people and people in the detention unit," Dodik added.

The prime minister had a long conversation with the detainees and delivered their uncollected salaries. Each detainee receives 500 German marks a month. A similar amount is given to help their families in Republika Srpska.

One of those present at the talks with the detainees revealed that Dodik was "very shaken" after his meeting with Radoslav Brdjanin and General Momir Talic, both of whom were friends of the prime minister before the war.

Dodik said the detainees have no complaints about conditions at the detention unit but are very unhappy with the length of time they have to wait before coming to trial. Many of the detainees, Dodik added, fear their trials may have "political connotations".

Dodik said there is a widespread perception in Republika Srpska and Serbia that the whole Serbian people are on trial before the Tribunal. The prime minister said he believed there was a need for the Tribunal to offer a "more forceful expression of its independence and impartiality." In particular, Dodik said, there was a need to stress "individual responsibility for each crime."

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