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Tribunal Seeks Milosevic Arrest

November 19, 1999

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ The new president of the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal said Thursday his top priority now is to secure the arrest and trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the other alleged leaders of the ``ethnic cleansing″ campaigns in the former Yugoslavia.

However, Judge Claude Jorda warned that the 6-year-old U.N. court was ``overheating″ as a result of lengthy trial procedures, which threatened to undermine the goal of enduring justice for the Balkans.

``What’s important for me is ... to get to the very heart of the evil, not only to punish but to eradicate and to purify, to make sure there’s no recidivism,″ Jorda told reporters during his second day as president of the U.N. court.

Jorda, 61, a former prosecutor of the Paris and Bordeaux appeals courts, was chosen Tuesday by the 14 judges of the tribunal to replace Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, who is returning the United States after six years on the bench.

Jorda said it is crucial that the tribunal, set up by the U.N. Security Council in 1993 to try perpetrators of atrocities in the Bosnian war, should have the opportunity to bring to justice those who gave the orders for the ethnic purges.

Milosevic was indicted in May for crimes against humanity stemming from atrocities against mainly Albanians in Kosovo during the campaign last spring that led to NATO bombing.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his army commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic, were charged in 1995 with genocide for allegedly commanding forces responsible for sniping and shelling campaigns in Sarajevo and for allegedly ordering the slaughter of at least 6,000 Muslims after the takeover of Srebrenica.

Most of the Serb suspects detained for trial here were apprehended by NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Bosnia. Other suspects, including Croats and Muslims, either surrendered voluntarily or were extradited by their governments.

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