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President Pocar Reports Serbia to the Security Council

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 23 June 2008

President Pocar Reports Serbia to the Security Council
For Non-Cooperation with the Tribunal

President Fausto Pocar last week informed the President of the Security Council, Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, of Serbian government’s failure to cooperate with the Tribunal in the Milutinović and others case.

Under the Tribunal’s rules the President can report a state’s failure to cooperate with the Tribunal to the Security Council upon advice of judges or a Trial Chamber.

Between March and June 2008, the Trial Chamber in the case of Milutinović and others, composed of Judges Bonomy, Chowhan, Kamenova and Nosworthy, on a number of occasions sought to contact General Aleksander Dimitrijević, former head of the Yugoslav’s Army Security Administration, in order to have him appear as a Court witness in the case.

Milan Milutinović and five other former high-level political and military leaders of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) are on trial for the alleged crimes committed in Kosovo during 1999.

As Dimitrijević’s address in Serbia was unavailable to the Tribunal, the Trial Chamber and subsequently the President on a number of occasions urged Minister Rasim Ljajić, the Head of Serbia’s National Council for Co-operation (NCC), to ensure the delivery of the letter inviting the General to testify before the Chamber, as well as the subsequent summons.

NCC’s responses to repeated requests of the Tribunal for updates on the issue were often delayed and incomplete. Despite President Pocar’s warning to Minister Ljajić that without indication of reasonable steps being taken to comply with the Tribunal’s request, a report to the Security Council on Serbia’s failure to co-operate would be sent, General Dimitrijević failed to appear in court and no response or confirmation of delivery of the summons was received from Serbia’s officials.

“The Government of Serbia is challenging the authority of the International Tribunal and the Security Council,” President Pocar said, concluding that by doing so “is in breach of its international legal obligations”.

The full text of the letter can be found at the following link: http://www.un.org/icty/milutino87/presidents/other/080617.pdf

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