UNITED KINGDOM: WHITEHALL DOCUMENT REVEALS GOVERNMENT PLANS TO IMPRISON MILOSEVIC, KARADZIC AND MLADIC

A plan by UK Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Jack Straw to make those found guilty of war crimes in the Balkans by the international tribunal at the Hague, serve their sentences in British prisons has been revealed in an internal document. The document is an internal Whitehall paper (Whitehall is where the British government’s offices are located) which states “the Home Secretary will have the final say on the acceptance of individual prisoners” convicted by the Hague international criminal court. This decision raises the possibility of Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, former leader of the Srpski Republik in Bosnia and Ratko Mladic, former commander-in-chief of the Bosnian Serb army, serving prison sentences in British jails if they are convicted by the Hague – if they are ever taken there. Only 15% of Serbs are against the prospect of former President Slobodan Milosevic appearing before the international court. However, Milosevic himself was re-elected as leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia last weekend and states that he intends to fight the election on 23rd December against Kostunica’s Democratic Opposition of Serbia coalition. Kostunica himself has been evasive when questioned about the prospect of the former President being presented before an international court. The Whitehall document states that such prisoners would have to be held in secure jails formerly used to keep IRA prisoners, which would mean prisons such as Whitemoor (Cambridgeshire) and Full Sutton (York) being used. Security would be very tight and every effort would be made to protect the physical integrity of the prisoners, as well as providing for their physical and mental health.

John Ashtead Pravda.Ru London