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Tribunal: June ‘07

Reporters quick off the mark to provide comprehensive coverage of Hague indictee arrests.
By IWPR
The IWPR Tribunal team reacting swiftly to the unexpected arrests of two high-profile Hague war crimes indictees this month, producing insightful, thorough reports on both developments.



Bosnian Serb army general Zdravko Tolimir - third on the Hague’s most wanted list - was detained on May 31 on the border between Bosnia and Serbia and transferred to The Hague on June 1.



We quickly put together a package of three articles relating to the arrest, each piece covering a different angle of the story. Few of our rivals were able to react in such a rapid, comprehensive way.



Our response once again showed that although we are a small team, we are able to match and even outperform other much larger media in the region, largely as a result of our expertise in war crimes issues and contacts at the Hague tribunal.



In the following weeks, we looked deeper into controversy surrounding Tolimir’s arrest and whether his case could be joined to seven other Bosnian Serb military and police officers who are currently on trial at The Hague for the crimes committed in Srebrenica in 1995.



On June 17, another high-ranking war crimes suspect was arrested – Serbian police general Vlastimir Djordjevic, who was indicted for war crimes in Kosovo and was one of five remaining fugitives on the tribunal’s most wanted list.



His arrest caused quite a stir in the Balkans, especially because it took place just two weeks after Tolimir was caught. It suggested that this time Serbia had gotten serious and was finally starting to fully cooperate with the tribunal.



Again, we were able to react quickly and wrote a piece on Djordjevic’s arrest and his initial appearance in the Hague tribunal.



Also in June, our intern spent a week in Macedonia and wrote an analytical report on how the country was preparing for its first war crimes trials. Since there is very little information in the local and international media about this issue, Sarah Goodman’s report provided a rare insight into the problems and challenges the local judiciary is facing while waiting for the war crimes proceedings to begin.

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