New ICTY prosecutor vows to try all war crimes suspects before mandate expires

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] will complete its caseload before its mandate expires in 2010, Serge Brammertz [UN profile] promised in his first address [transcript; press release] before the UN Security Council as ICTY Chief Prosecutor Wednesday. Brammertz said:

I cannot think of a situation in which the Tribunal, which has been established to try those most responsible for atrocious crimes, will close its doors without having tried all remaining fugitives. During my trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina last March, I met with a number of victims' associations. After all these years, their demands for justice are unwavering and unanswered in respect of the fugitives. I was impressed by the courage of the survivors and the clarity of their message that the accused must be tried by the International Tribunal. They have never given up. And neither can we. We owe them the justice that was promised 15 years ago, when this Tribunal was set up.
Brammertz did note that only eight of the 28 suspects on trial at the ICTY have yet reached the prosecution phase of the case, and that four suspects, including Ratko Mladic [BBC profile; ICTY indictment] and Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile; ICTY indictment], still remain at large. He outlined the tribunal's cooperation strategy with local prosecutors and governments, but criticized Serbia for not doing enough to apprehend fugitive war crime suspects.

In April, Brammertz said he was especially concerned with Serbia's inability [JURIST report] to find and capture four fugitives wanted in connection with the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC timeline; JURIST news archive], including alleged Srebrenica masterminds Mladic and Karadzic. Brammertz took over the court's leadership in January, saying that he would continue his predecessor's tough stance on Serbian cooperation [JURIST report] with the tribunal. In her 2004 address to the UN Security Council [transcript], former chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte [JURIST news archive] set a goal that "all trials should be completed by 2008 and all appeals should be reviewed by 2010."


 

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