"Hague convicts should serve sentences in Serbia”
Serbia will once again request that its citizens sentenced by the Hague Tribunal serve their sentences in Serbia, says Rasim Ljajić.Source: Večernje novosti
“The UN Security Council needs to make a formal decision but the Tribunal needs to offer its own opinion,” the Serbian government's National Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal president told Večernje novosti.
“This issue has been a constant topic of all our talks with representatives of the Hague Tribunal in the last several years,” he said.
“The UN secretary general made a recommendation in 1993 that persons sentenced by the Hague Tribunal should not serve their sentences in the countries of the former Yugoslavia because the war was still underway. This was logical to a certain point in the post-war period because the consequences were still fresh,” Ljajić explained.
“However, the National Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal has written several times to (UN Secretary General) Ban Ki-moon and requested that Serbia be placed on a list of 17 countries that signed an agreement with the Hague Tribunal on the serving of sentences,” he added.
“Up until recently, when some of the Hague fugitives were at large, the answer was ‘you have to arrest Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić first’. When we raised the question after their arrest, a new answer came – ‘the convicts would be treated as heroes in Serbia and they would serve their sentences in privileged conditions’,” Ljajić stressed.