Belgrade under fire over Mladic
UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N.'s chief war crimes prosecutor has accused Belgrade of shielding indicted Bosnian-Serb commander Ratko Mladic from justice.
Carla Del Ponte urged the 15-nation U.N. Security Council to insist on the arrest of both Mladic and fugitive Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, "whose continuing liberty is an affront to the authority of this council."
Karadzic and Mladic were indicted by the tribunal six years ago for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
Del Ponte told the council the list of wanted persons sheltered in the former Yugoslav Republic had grown longer over the years rather than shorter, despite the tribunal's efforts to complete its task of bringing to justice those responsible for Serb atrocities in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
"Instead of clear, unambiguous support to the government of Serbia, instead of taking a clear stand on co-operation with the tribunal, the federal authorities are doing everything possible to stop even limited co-operation by the (Serb) republic authorities, who have been most helpful," she said.
Mladic was living "under the official protection of the Yugoslav army," she said. "As an officer of the Yugoslav army, General Mladic is said to enjoy military immunity, and he is being shielded from both national and international justice."
In September, Del Ponte said she believed Mladic was in Yugoslavia and should be arrested and handed over to the Dutch-based tribunal.
Also in September, the outgoing head of the NATO stabilisation force in Bosnia said he knew the whereabouts of Mladic and Karadzic, and was quoted as saying it was "only a matter of time" before he was arrested.
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