Official quits over failure to catch Serbian fugitive war criminals

Mladics is wanted to have orchestrated the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslims in Bosnia.

Official quits over failure to catch Serbian fugitive war criminals
A Serbian official in charge of capturing fugitive war criminals has resigned because his team has failed to arrest Ratko Mladic, who is wanted to have orchestrated the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslims in Bosnia and another suspect, Goran Hadzic.

Rasim Ljajic has said he would quit if the former Bosnian Serb army commander was not handed over to a U.N. war crimes tribunal by the end of 2009.

The delivery of war crime suspects is the biggest obstacle to Serbia's ties with the European Union.

Ljajic, who is Serbia's labour minister, said he had given Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic his resignation as coordinator in a team involved in the hunt for war crimes suspects. He said he would remain as head of the National Council for Cooperation with the U.N. war crimes tribunal, a separate body.

Ljajic is one of two officials heading the so-called Action Team. The other official, war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic, remains in his job.

Mladic has been charged with genocide over the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo during the three-year war in Bosnia.

Ratification of the EU's pre-membership Stabilisation and Association Agreement remains on hold because the Netherlands wants to see Mladic extradited to the Hague tribunal.

Dutch soldiers served as part of a U.N. peacekeeping contingent in and around Srebrenica during the massacre but left Bosnian Muslims to the hands of Serb militants that later committed genocide.


Agencies


Last Mod: 29 Aralık 2009, 14:43
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