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Statement of the Prosecutor



Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document) The Hague, 25 July 2007
Ok/ PR1179e

Statement of the Prosecutor

Exactly 12 years ago today, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issued its first indictment against Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić the political and military leaders of the Bosnian Serbs during the wars of the 1990s.

According to our evidence, Mladić and Karadžić are responsible for their participation in the genocide in Srebrenica - the killing of close to 8,000 men and boys following the fall of the enclave; the terror inflicted upon civilians during the siege of Sarajevo; the torture and murders in the infamous detention camps like Omarska, Keraterm, Manjaca, Trnopolje, Luka, to name a few; and many other horrific crimes, including rapes and other depraved acts committed against non-Serb civilians throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mladić and Karadžić are charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war, the worst crimes known to humanity and the worst crimes committed in Europe since World War II.

And, after 12 years, they are still at large.

This is a permanent shadow not only on the work of this Tribunal, but also on the international community as a whole. The fact that two of the most notorious war crimes indictees are still able to evade justice is simply unacceptable.

This is why, on this grim anniversary, I would like to take the opportunity to again call upon Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (especially the entity of Republika Srpska) and Montenegro to do everything they can to locate and arrest Ratko Mladić, Radovan Karadžić and the remaining fugitives.

However, I would also like to call upon the international community, all states who believe in the importance of international justice and the rule of law, to maintain and increase their crucial support. Without it, we would not be able to do our important work. Without it, there would be impunity.

We must remain strong and vigilant in our pursuit because this is what we owe to the thousands upon thousands of those who perished at the hands of Karadžić , Mladić and their subordinates.