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Serb Lawyer Warns Arrest Mladic or Face Sanctions

By Caroline Tosh in London (TU No 492, 9-Mar-07)
Failure to transfer the wartime Bosnian Serb army chief to the Hague tribunal could result in United Nations Security Council sanctions against Serbia, said Radoslav Stojanovic in an interview with The Associated Press on March 6.

“We are now legally, and not only morally or politically, obliged to arrest Mladic. If we don't do it, the world court's ruling makes it now possible for Security Council to impose sanctions against our country,” he told the agency.

The historic ICJ ruling of February 26 - which cleared Serbia of responsibility for the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995 – found that the country had violated its obligation to prevent genocide and breached the Genocide Convention, established in 1948 in the wake of the Holocaust.

It also found that Serbia had violated its obligations under the convention “by having failed to transfer General Ratko Mladic, indicted for genocide and complicity in genocide, for trial by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and thus having failed fully to co-operate with that tribunal”.

The judgment also “decided that Serbia shall immediately take effective steps to ensure full compliance with its obligation” under the convention to punish acts by transferring individuals accused of genocide to the Hague tribunal and “to co-operate fully” with the court.

Mladic - along with Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic - is suspected of having orchestrated the massacre in the UN designated safe area, which took part in July 1995.

Both men have been on the run since being indicted by the Hague tribunal for genocide nearly 12 years ago.

Mladic is thought to be living in Serbia, aided by supporters in the police and military, while Karadzic is believed to be hiding in the border region between Serbia and Bosnian-Serb entity Republika Srpska, RS.

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