Brussels urged to ask Serbia arrest Mladic

Oct. 12, 2007 at 9:40 AM
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BRUSSELS, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch urged EU ministers to insist on Serbia’s arrest and transfer of war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic to a U.N. tribunal.

Human Rights Watch said the transfer of former Bosnian Serb military leader Mladic to the tribunal in The Netherlands should be carried out before Brussels and Belgrade sign an EU stabilization and association agreement, a statement released Friday said.

The U.N. tribunal’s Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte claims Mladic has been hiding in Serbia. Del Ponte on Monday is to inform the EU ministers about Serbia’s cooperation, including demands to arrest war crime suspects, with the tribunal.

Lotte Leicht, EU advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, said the European Union shouldn't make it easier for Serbia to complete association agreement talks while Mladic is not in custody.

Mladic has been charged with genocide and war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, including the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in July 1995 when Bosnian Serb forces overran the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. Mladic is also accused of the three-year siege and shelling of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

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