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

Mladic Deadline Looms

TU No 450, 28-Apr-06
By IWPR
He said the chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte would not comment on the matter until the end of the month, and he brushed aside Serbian press speculation that new dates had been set later in May.



At the end of March, Del Ponte visited Belgrade, where she had received “clear assurances”, according to Nikiforov, from Serbia and Montenegro prime minister Vojislav Kostunica that Mladic would be delivered by the end of April.



A crucial EU meeting on Serbia’s progress towards accession went ahead at the beginning of this month in Brussels, after the prosecutor gave her positive report.



But according to press reports, the EU enlargement commissioner confirmed that that process would be suspended if Mladic is not produced.



Following a meeting with Serbian foreign minister Vuk Draskovic on April 28, EU commissioner Olli Rehn said, “If Mladic is not in the Hague by the end of the month, we have no other options than to disrupt …negotiations.”



Mladic has been one of the most wanted men in Europe since he was indicted in 1995 for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.



He faces charges relating to his role in the Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995. The prosecutor has reserved the possibility of joining his case to that of eight others currently facing charges in relation to the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.



Five men have been detained in Serbia in recent weeks on suspicion of helping Mladic to avoid capture.