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Yugoslav Tribunal Seeks U.N. Help

September 9, 1998

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal urged the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to help ensure Yugoslav authorities cooperate in bringing suspects to justice.

For three years, Yugoslavia has been harboring three army officers charged with planning and carrying out a 1991 massacre of 200 non-Serbs near the Croatian city of Vukovar, the tribunal said.

The three _ Mile Mrksic, Miroslav Radic and Veselin Slijvancanin _ are believed to be in Yugoslavia despite international arrest warrants.

``Not only does the (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) consider itself to be outside international law, it has become a haven for fugitives from international law,″ the tribunal president, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald of the United States, wrote to the Security Council.

``It is imperative that this reprehensible conduct ... no longer be tolerated,″ she said.

The 11-judge court cited a recent Security Council resolution calling on Libya to turn over two of its citizens charged in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The resolution offered to drop sanctions if Libya complies, but also threatened further action if the suspects fail to appear for trial before a specially-convened court in The Hague.

``This resolution stands in stark contrast with the lack of action by the Council″ in bringing Yugoslav war crimes suspects to justice, Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour wrote in a separate letter.

Established by the Security Council in 1993, the U.N. tribunal has publicly indicted 58 suspects, but only 25 are in custody. The vast majority of those still at large are ethnic Serbs living in Bosnia.

Its two most notorious suspects, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his wartime military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic, remain at large despite international warrants for their arrests on genocide charges.

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