High-ranking suspects are prosecuted, says prosecutor

War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukčević has denied allegations of EU and OSCE representatives that Serbia is not prosecuting high-ranking war crimes suspects.

Source: Tanjug
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OSCE Mission to Serbia Head of the Rule of Law and Human Rights Department Romana Schweiger and Head of Operations with the EU Delegation in Serbia Yolanda San Jose stated that Serbia has not prosecuted important war crime cases in which suspects are high-ranking officials.

Schweiger stated that Serbia made considerable progress in the implementation of justice in war crimes cases and San Jose pointed to the efficient legal framework and regional cooperation in the prosecution of the cases. Nevertheless, the two officials told reporters in the Belgrade High Court that the problem concerning witness protection has not been solved yet.

Addressing a news conference, Vukčević said that Serbia was not in the position to prosecute high-ranking suspects because the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia was in charge of them.

The Hague tribunal prosecuted mid- and high-ranking officials and we had the jurisdiction over the cases involving low-ranking suspects only, so we did what we could, he said.

There was absolutely no case in which we rejected criminal charges, even the ones against high-ranking suspects, on condition that we assessed there is enough evidence to substantiate criminal prosecution, he said.

He noted that the Prosecutor's Office did not attach much attention to existence of political support.

The prosecutor is obliged to prosecute every individual in case there is valid evidence to substantiate the claim that they committed a criminal act, Vukčević said.

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