Mladić’s trial to end in 2016, says Hague Tribunal president

Hague Tribunal President Theodor Meron has assessed before the UN Security Council that the trial of Ratko Mladić will be finished by the end of July 2016.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

Mladić’s trial is the last case in the Hague Tribunal.

Submitting a regular six-month report to the UNSC, Meron said he hoped that a verdict in the case against former Republic of Srpska (RS) President Radovan Karadžić would be delived by the end of 2014 and in the case against Goran Hadžić a year later.

A verdict in the case against Vojislav Šešelj would not be delivered “before July 2013”.

According to Meron, verdicts in cases against Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović Frenki, Stojan Župljanin and Mićo Stanišić and six Bosnian Croat leader led by Jadranko Prlić cannot be expected before March 2013.

Closing arguments in the case against Stanišić and Simatović have been scheduled for January 29.

A final verdict in the case against former Yugoslav Army Chief of the General Staff Momčilo Perišić will be delivered in the beginning of 2013, Meron announced. Perišić was initially sentenced to 27 years in prison for aiding and abetting crimes in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A trial of former Serbian police General Vlastimir Đorđević should be finished by October next year. He was initially sentenced to 27 years in prison for crimes in Kosovo.

Rulings in the case against RS Army officers led by Vujadin Popović and Ljubiša Beara, who were sentenced to life in prison for genocide in Srebrenica in the first trial, are expected by July 2014.

Meron said that verdicts to political, military and police officials of Serbia, led by Nikola Šainović, would be delivered next October.

Meron said that “progress in the implementation of the strategy of the closing of the court is remarkable”.

He added that the Tribunal’s heritage was “extremely important”, especially “because of the strong, authoritative judicial practice”.

The Tribunal will be succeed by a mechanism that will decide on appeals in cases against Šešelj, Hadžić, Karadžić and Mladić.

Chief prosecutor: Victims have right to justice

Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz commended before the UN Security Council Serbia's cooperation with the Tribunal, adding that cooperation was crucial for the successful completion of the remaining trials and appeals.

When it comes to the acquittal of Croat Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač and former commander of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Ramush Haradinaj, Brammertz said that "there can be no doubt that serious crimes were documented in the course of the proceedings" and that "the victims of those crimes have the right to justice".

In his briefing to the Security Council late Wednesday, the prosecutor said he encouraged the national authorities in the region to continue the fight against impunity within their jurisdictions, including through increasing regional cooperation.

"I assure these authorities that my Office will provide support to achieve these goals," he added.

Brammertz pointed out that, during his last trip to Serbia in October, the new government assured him that it would maintain the previous positive levels of cooperation, and added that Serbia has also intensified its efforts to investigate support networks responsible for helping Hague fugitives, including Mladić and Karadžić.

Brammertz also encouraged Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia to sign the Protocol on Cooperation between their Prosecutor's Offices on the exchange of evidence and information in war crimes cases without further delay.

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