“Arrest warrant for Thaci still in effect”

Serbian Justice Minister Snežana Malović has denied that the arrest warrant for Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci was withdrawn.

Source: Politika, Tanjug

She told daily Politika that the Serbian judicial bodies have conducted a series of preliminary investigations in connection with organ trafficking in Kosovo.

"The international arrest warrant that Serbia put out for Thaci is still in effect. The cancelation order can only come from the Justice Ministry and we have not given nor will we give such an order, until the court notifies us it has canceled its warrant and is no longer looking for Thaci," she was quoted as saying.

Interpol headquarters in Lyon refused to issue a red notice, saying that Thaci has diplomatic immunity. In Serbia, the Kosovo PM is wanted to serve a ten-year prison sentence for terrorism.

“Genocide was added to the charges in 2003,” the justice minister repeated.

She said the Serbian judicial bodies had conducted preliminary investigations into the case and offered full cooperation to Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty.

"I would like to remind you that one victim has been identified, that we have been collecting data and evidence continually since 1999, and that the War Crimes Prosecutor's Office is investigating the case. I am convinced the Serbian judicial system will continue to do a professional job, bearing in mind that the investigation into this case is of outmost importance both for the international community and for Serbia and it needs to be conducted to the end," Malović pointed out.

She believes that the case could be a test for the international community and that everything should be done in order to establish full cooperation because it is necessary to determine the truth.

“Such monstrous act must not go uninvestigated and perpetrators, if found, need to be appropriately punished,” the justice minister explained.

When asked whether the Justice Ministry has answered the EC questionnaire, she said that the ministry had seriously approached the questionnaire and that “the job will be finished soon”.

“European integration is a goal that Serbia will not give up on. I expect that we will get the EU candidate status in 2011. The Serbian government is making maximum effort in order to achieve that and we are aware that prerequisite for that is completion of cooperation with the Hague Tribunal,” Malović pointed out.

When asked about the information that a former state official had offered information about Ratko Mladić to Carla Del Ponte in exchange for EUR 2.5mn, she said that she was convinced that the competent authorities were investigating those allegations.

“If it is true that there was such an offer, it contains elements of a criminal act and I believe, if it is proven to be right, that the competent bodies will adequately react,” the justice minister was quoted as saying.


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