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UN prosecutor seeks to punish Serbian fugitive aides

The Chief UN Prosecutor for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia called for an investigation into how war crimes fugitives managed to evade justice for so long.

Speaking with Serbian President Boris Tadic in Belgrade, Serge Brammertz praised Serbia on capturing all war crimes suspects, particularly Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic and the last fugitive Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic who was captured in July.

However, he went on to say that serious questions need to be asked on how they managed to evade capture for so long and called for those that helped them to be prosecuted.

General Mladic was on the run for 16 years and Hadzic for 7 years.

Brammertz insisted that the Hague relied on Serbia’s continued support and said,

"We want to know who did not fulfill the international obligation and who is responsible that this has taken so long."

The meeting comes as the European Commission finalises its report on Serbia, which is expected to be key on whether or not they can begin accession talks on joining the European Union.

Serbia has come under increased pressure to arrest all suspected war criminals, a conditional factor that was blocking their path to EU candidacy.

Stating that Serbians should be “proud” of arresting the fugitives, Tadic went on to say,

“We have to exert great effort in order to find the bodies of the people who had been killed in the war conflicts and make their families at least a little bit calmer.

That way, we contribute to the policy of the regional reconciliation and understanding.”