Serbian war crimes suspects should be extradited

The Yugoslavian parliament passed the law on cooperation with the Hague Tribunal last Thursday. The first “volunteer” from the list of suspects, which was handed over to Belgrade, is now known. The person, who “wishes” to stand up in the court room of the International Tribunal in the Hague is Dragljub Ojdanic.

Dragljub Ojdanic is “ready to execute his obligation and show up in the Hague,” – said he in the interview to a Serbian newspaper. There is no need to arrest the general, since he is not going to run and hide. As Ojdanic said, he must do his duty the same way, as he was doing it, protecting Yugoslavia from aggression. Ojdanic started getting ready for the litigation together with his lawyer. To all appearances, there is something to be said to the world. Ojdanic believes that the political battle in the Hague will be his struggle to stand for his own position.

We would like to mention here that doctors failed to save &to=' target=_blank>Vlajko Stojiljkovic’s life: the former home minister died in Belgrade’s central hospital late Saturday. Another (the minister for labor and social development) &to=' target=_blank>Yugoslav official hung himself in Madrid hotel after that. The reason of the suicide was allegedly the fact that the Yugoslav parliament ratified the law to deliver the persons that were charged with war crimes to the Hague Tribunal.

The Russian ORT television network informed that some of the Serbs, which had been charged with war crimes, claimed that “they were ready to follow the steps of the former minister for home affairs. Vremya Novostei On-Line cited retired colonel Veselin Slivancanin: “I will blast myself, if they come near me!” Another suspect, Nikola Shainovic claimed: “I will never yield myself to the Hague after Stojiljkovic’s action!” Anyway, these warnings will never show any influence on Belgrade’s policy, although they can stir up the public opinion in the country.

Yugoslav President Voislav Kostunica stated at the press-conference in Belgrade that “the death of Serbian former Home Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic should become a lesson for the world justice. International structures should not show pressure on Belgrade in order to deliver every war crimes suspect as soon as possible.”

In any case, the political correlation of forces in the country at present is not good for the head of the state, and his sympathies or antipathies do not affect the state policy. &to=' target=_blank>PRAVDA.Ru has already reported about Kostunica’s influence in Serbia and Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, he is very restricted in his authorities, but Premier Zoran Djindjic is being very determined.

So, in spite of the public actions of the Serbian citizens, the procedures of extradition will go on. Up to 20 people can be arrested and delivered to the Hague Tribunal, pursuant to the law, which was passed by the Yugoslav parliament. Socialist Party of Serbia says that such a decision to cooperate with the Hague was “legalized hunting for all Serbian patriots and the heroes of the war against NATO aggressors.”

Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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