CARLA DEL PONTE SLAMS MUTED RESPONSE
UN CHIEF PROSECUTOR SLAMS GENOCIDE RULING RESPONSE
The Chief United Nations War Crimes prosecutor slammed Europe's "muted" response to a landmark ICJ ruling.
Carla Del Ponte said the response to the judgment, that found Serbia failed to prevent genocide at Srebrenica, “could undermine the fight for international justice,” The Associated Press reported.
Carla Del Ponte cited the ruling finding Serbia could have prevented the massacre of Bosniaks in Srebrenica and that it should have punished its perpetrators.
The ICJ court (International Court of Justice) also faulted Serbia for failing to turn over one of the architects of the massacre, General Ratko Mladic and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.
But the ruling absolved Serbia of direct responsibility for genocide due to lack of evidence.
"The response of the international community, and especially the presidency of the European Union, to this ruling appears to be quite muted," Del Ponte said in statement.
Del Ponte said that EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana issued a statement after the February 26 ruling which "made no mention whatsoever of the fact that Serbia was found in violation of the Genocide Convention.
Instead, he applauded the fact that there is no collective punishment and that the highest tribunal in the world has closed that page."
Del Ponte added that Germany - current holder of the EU's rotating presidency - made a similar statement.
Del Ponte repeatedly has accused Belgrade authorities of not doing enough to arrest Mladic, who is thought to be hiding out somewhere in Serbia. Karad¾iæ's whereabouts are unknown.
Del Ponte said she was concerned that neither fugitive would be arrested and brought to justice before the court is scheduled to be dismantled in 2010.
"This is truly a potentially devastating development given the tribunal's completion strategy," Del Ponte said, adding that she was "worried that we will never see Mladic and Karadzic in our custody. That would have a devastating impact on international justice and on our battle against impunity."
The representatives of authority and political parties which were today in Srebrenica, think that the Municipality should have the status of a district, be excluded from Republika Srpska jurisdiction and put under BiH jurisdiction. The same as Brcko district, over which, no agreement as to whom it should belong, was reached while the Dayton Peace Accord was being signed.
At the meeting which was organised by Srebrenica Municipality head, Abdulrahman Malkic, present were members of BiH Presidency Haris Silajdzic and Zeljko Komsic, Beriz Belkic, BiH Parliament Speaker, Adil Osmanovic, Vice President of Republika Srpska, President of Democratic Action Party, Sulejman Tihic and Zlatko Lagumdzija, president of Social Democrat party, as well as ambassadors of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Libya, and representatives of international organisations.
The conclusions of the meeting were formulated in 12 points. A team was formed which will co-ordinate the conclusions and the demands of the Steering Committee.
To remind ourselves, the Steering Committee which was formed by returnees to Srebrenica, announced mass exodus on 14 of March, if Srebrenica is not excluded from Republika Srpska, following the judgement of ICJ. However, Collective emigration of Bosniaks from Srebrenica was postponed for April 16, the Initiative committee and co-ordination team for demanding special status of this municipality decided.
The Initiative committee expressed regret for non-appearance of European diplomats to the Srebrenica meeting, and condemned non-attendance of RS representatives as well as their threats directed to genocide victims.
1. Politics and Justice don't mix
2. Perversed Judgment
3. ICJ Ruling, Bosnia vs Serbia, Dangerous Precedent
4. ICJ Rules Serbia Guilty of Not Preventing Genocide