Bosnian Serb justice minister Marko Arsovic is
expected to urge the tribunal to indict Bosnian
Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic
THE HAGUE, July 30 (Reuters) - The first official talks in The Hague between the U.N. criminal tribunal for former Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serb republic were making progress on Tuesday, a tribunal prosecutor said. "We're making progress," deputy prosecutor Graham Blewitt told Reuterss during a break in the talks, declining to give any further details.
Earlier Igor Pantelic, a Serb lawyer accompanying Bosnian Serb justice minister Marko Arsovic, told reporters he could not say anything about the talks. Both parties have promised to issue a joint statement at the conclusion of the visit, on Wednesday or Thursday.
Arsovic on Monday met the tribunal's registry for "technical discussions," while today's talks with prosecutors were expected to focus on more sensitive issues of possible cooperation between the separatist Bosnian Serbs and the tribunal. The visit is seen as a breakthrough for the tribunal after prolonged non-cooperation from the Bosnian Serbs in tracking down indicted war criminals. Arsovic said earlier this week the Bosnian Serbs would not consider extraditing war crimes suspects until after Bosnian elections slated for mid-September.
Neither the Serbs nor the tribunal has said publicly that the talks will include the vexed issue of genocide charges against former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. The tribunal last month issued international arrest warrants against Karadzic and Serb army chief Ratko Mladic, both of whom have resisted international pressure to surrender.
Arsovic was expected to urge the tribunal to indict Bosnian Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic, although he has not said on what charges. The Serbs are said to have handed over to the tribunal box-loads of evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Muslims and Croats against Serbs during the 3½ year conflict which ended with the Dayton peace agreement in late 1995. The tribunal has indicted 75 people -- 54 of them Serbs -- for alleged war crimes against civilians and prisoners.
Berserkistan, July 29 · Bosnian Serb Mininster Holds Breakthrough Talks with Tribunal
Key Facts about the War Crimes Tribunal
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia The United Nations
Coalition for International Justice
Major War Criminals/Suspects CalTech's Bosnia Site
Reports on War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia CalTech's Bosnia Site
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