ICTY: the arrest of Ratko Mladic must be a priority of the Serbian government

12 Jan, 2009 | Press Releases

The Serbian police have announced a reward of one million Euro for the capture of Ratko Mladic, former commander of the Bosnian Serb militia during the war in Bosnia. General Mladic is charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide and crimes against humanity in connection with the 1992-1995 Siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of around 8,300 Bosniac Muslims on 11 July 1995 at Srebrenica. Together with Goran Hadzic, the former leader of the Serb forces in Croatia, Ratko Mladic is the last person indicted by the ICTY who is still at large.

Statement by Sergio Stanzani and Gianfranco Dell’Alba, President and Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:

“Following the arrest of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in July last year, this most recent announcement by the Serbian authorities confirms the commitment of Belgrade to close the accounts with the past and fulfil its international obligations to ensure the arrest and transfer of all the remaining fugitives indicted by the ICTY.

“We hope that Ratko Mladic will soon be caught and surrendered to the face justice at the ICTY and that his trial, along with that of Radovan Karadzic, will send a warning to the many criminals still at large and will open the way for the collection of important new evidence that might shed light on many incidents occurred during those years, including the disappearances of hundreds of people.

“The arrest of Ratko Mladic, the real executor of the campaign of ethnic cleansing designed by Milosevic and Karadzic, would mark a milestone for international justice and for those institutions created to affirm the principle that there can be no impunity for those guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It would also be a victory for Belgrade, with the government lead by Boris Tadic, which has finally clearly chosen the path towards the assertion of the rule of law, justice and full accountability before the international community and its own citizens, and whose process of anchoring itself within the European Union would no longer be held hostage by the past.”

For further information, contact Alison Smith on asmith@npwj.org or +32-2-548-2912 or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.orgor +32-2-548-3913.