UN war crimes prosecutor visits Serbia

By Dusan Stojanovic

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 8 2011 10:00 a.m. MST

Serge Brammertz, chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor for former Yugoslavia, left, arrives to the Special Court in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011. Brammertz arrived on a two-day visit to Serbia as part of his regular activities ahead of presenting the report on cooperation to the UN Security Council.

Darko Vojinovic, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

BELGRADE, Serbia — U.N. war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz has asked Serbian authorities to probe who helped Ratko Mladic and another suspect evade justice during their years on the run.

Brammertz arrived in Belgrade on Tuesday for a regular visit ahead of delivering a report to the U.N. Security Council on Serbia's compliance with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

The report is expected to be positive because Serbia earlier this year arrested and delivered the last two fugitives wanted by the tribunal — wartime Bosnian Serb army commander Mladic and former Croatian Serb rebel leader Goran Hadzic.

Serbian officials said Brammertz, however, still insists on an investigation into who in Serbia had helped Mladic and Hadzic escape capture for so long.

"We will investigate and reconstruct the movement of all war crimes suspects and see who helped them," Rasim Ljajic, Serbian government official in charge of cooperation with the U.N. tribunal, told Belgrade's B-92 TV.

He said, "more or less, Mladic's movements until February 2006 are known .... then, he disappeared."

"Now, we are reconstructing his movements from that period till his capture" in May in a Serbian village not far from Belgrade, Ljajic said.

Mladic and Hadzic were sought for atrocities stemming from the Bosnian and Croatian wars in the 1990s'. Mladic was arrested after 16 years on the run, and Hadzic after seven years as a fugitive from international justice.

They were believed to have been sheltered by their wartime comrades and some renegade parts of Serbia's secret service.

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