Wednesday, September 12, 2007


NEW YORK, USA (September 12,2007) - The Human Rights Watch asked the European Union to make the arrest of war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic a condition before Serbia is allowed to join the group.

Human Rights Watch in New York said yesterday that EU leaders should demand from the Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica the arrest and transfer Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic to the U.N. tribunal in The Hague.

It remains a condition for Serbia for signing a stabilization and association agreement with the EU.

Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic is sought on genocide and war crimes charges in the former Yugoslavia from 1991-95, including the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian men and boys committed by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in July 1995.

Charges against Serbian war criminal Mladic also include the 3-year-siege and shelling of Bosnian capitol Sarajevo.

In May 2006, the EU put off talks with Serbia after Kostunica failed to keep his promise to arrest Mladic.Brussels and Belgrade resumed negotiations in June when Serbian authorities arrested two other Serbian war crimes fugitives.

But,the European Union said Monday that it will only sign a new pre-membership aid and economic deal with Serbia when that country has demonstrated its cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte will submit a report in the next few weeks to the EU suggesting whether she believes Serbia is fully cooperating with the ICTY. Del Ponte has discouraged agreements between Serbia and the EU before based on Serbia's lack of progress in the capture and arrest of Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic.

Previous negotiations were put on hold for more than 13 months after Carla del Ponte determined Belgrade was not actively pursuing wanted war crimes fugitives.

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