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Statement by Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Press Release REGISTRY

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

The Hague, 21 March 2000

Statement by Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

It is now almost six months since my appointment as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

In relation to the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, my number one priority is the arrest of the remaining 29 accused who have been publicly indicted by the Tribunal, as well as those on sealed indictments.

In particular, I want to see the apprehension of Radovan Karad`i}, Ratko Mladi} and Slobodan Milo{evi}, who in my view are the persons most responsible for the most serious crimes committed since 1991 in the former Yugoslavia.  Until Radovan Karad`i} is brought to justice, it will not be possible for a lasting peace to take root in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I will continue to press SFOR to secure his apprehension and surrender to The Hague.

Concerning President Slobodan Milo{evi} it is almost 10 months since his indictment was issued.  I am dismayed that he still remains in power and is avoiding international justice.  This situation cannot be allowed to continue and I wish to remind the world that he is an indicted accused, who must be delivered to the Tribunal to face trial.

It is my desire to make life more difficult for Slobodan Milo{evi} and all other indicted accused.

My visit to Hungary over the last few days is part of my mission to meet with relevant Government officials of all countries that are neighbours of the former Yugoslavia.  I am seeking the cooperation of all these countries bordering the former Yugoslavia.  My aim is to make the world a much smaller place for all indicted accused.

I am not prepared to discuss publicly which particular initiatives I am pursuing in this regard, but it does not include the identification of any assets held by the indicted accused outside the former Yugoslavia.  I will certainly take action to freeze such assets.

I am very encouraged by the cooperation I am receiving on this mission and this initiative will certainly continue.



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