News 23 May 12

Brammertz: No Progress in Finding Mladic’s Helpers

The Chief ICTY Prosecutor stated during his visit to Belgrade that his six month report about Serbia would be negative only in the part related to discovering of Ratko Mladic’s network of helpers.

Marija Ristic
Serge Brammertz,The ICTY Chief Prosecutor | Photo by Beta

Serge Brammertz, the United Nation's war crimes prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia, said at a press conference that Serbia still has to explain how some high-profile suspects evaded justice for years before being caught.

“I did not come here just to criticize. I am satisfied with the fact that the last two fugitives were arrested last year and I am also cooperating on regular basis with the Head of National Council for the Cooperation with the ICTY, Rasim Ljaljic, and with the Serbian Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic,” Brammertz told the media.

“But this issue of not discovering the network of people who were helping Mladic still remains and it will not pass unnoticed in my report,” he added.

The bi-annual report, which also covers other Balkan states involved in the 1990's conflicts, will be presented to the UN's Security Council on June 7, Brammertz said.

Speaking about the delay at the start of Ratko Mladic’s trial, Brammertz said that the mistake of the prosecution was technical and that about three percent of the 150,000 files was not uploaded.

He said that he does not expect the delay to last six months as the Mladic’s defence requested, adding that the break should last between six to eight weeks.

On the first day of his visit to Belgrade, which follows the visits to Croatia and Bosnia, Brammertz met with the Security Information Agency officials, as well as with the Serbian Chief Prosecutor for the War Crimes, Vladimir Vukcevic.

He praised the level of cooperation between Serbia's Prosecutor's Office and the Hague Tribunal, especially when it comes to "access to archives in relation to ongoing cases of Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and Goran Hadzic."

Brammertz also showed concern about current regional cooperation when it comes to war crimes processing, stating that this is still a major challenge especially “if you have in mind that the ICTY will close soon, leaving the war crime prosecutions to the national courts.”

On Wednesday, the ICTY prosecutor will meet with the Head of National Council for the Cooperation with the ICTY, Rasim Ljaljic, where according to the National Council the access to the documents and files will be discussed. 

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