In an interview with a British daily, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said that his country offered to accelerate the ratification of a bilateral agreement on war crimes trials to ensure that former Bosnian leader Ejup Ganic would not face charges in Belgrade but be returned to Sarajevo.
In the article “Serbia moves to defuse war crimes dispute with Bosnia” The Daily Telegraph quotes Jeremic saying that Serbia has done everything to “depoliticise” the entire case.
"We have delivered templates of the legislation to Sarajevo that could achieve ratification very rapidly," Mr Jeremic said. "We can do it very quickly and do not want to get involved politically in a confrontation in this way. We are determined to respond positively to any questions that are asked of us."
Ejup Ganic was arrested on 1 March in London on a Serbian arrest warrant. Ganic’s defence claims that the warrant is illegal, pointing to alleged mistakes made in it, including a reference to the relevant alleged crime being committed in Serbia – Sarajevo, instead referring to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Serbia suspects Ganic of war crimes related to his alleged involvement in an attack on a convoy of the Yugoslav People's Army, JNA, as it was leaving Sarajevo in May 1992.
Ganic defence team argues that the allegations do not stand, contending that the International Criminal Triubunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, investigated the case and did not find enough evidence that the crime had been committed or that Ganic could be held responsible.
Mr Jeremic told The Daily Telegraph that Serbia would be deeply concerned if the case did not come to trial.
"For sure we're not going to withdraw the case, we are deeply convinced there is a strong case and that the judiciary must decide," he said.
Jeremic called his government “reformist” pointing to the government's credentials in promoting reconciliation with Bosnia-Herzegovina and other former constituents of Yugoslavia, especially Croatia, and mentioning the resolution adopted by the Parliament on Srebrenica.
"We have demonstrated we are serious about reconciliation and we have paid a very high price in the polls for our actions," he said. "I honestly believe that our efforts are dedicated to full reconciliation. We are working very hard to ensure that there is individual responsibility for the crimes of the past so that nations are not held responsible for crimes but individuals are. We have to work to make sure that war crimes are prosecuted and all such cases are properly tried," Jeremic said to in the interview.
The Serbian parliament in March adopted a resolution which condemned the massacre committed in Srebrenica, but did not use the word genocide to describe the killings of some 8,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys in July 1995.
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