29. Yugoslavia does not currently have laws which
allow the extradition of Yugoslav citizens. Such legislation would
be required to enable Yugoslav citizens on Yugoslav territory
who do not surrender themselves voluntarily to be tried before
the ICTY in the Hague. The ICTY has suggested that parts of some
trials could be held before the ICTY in Belgrade.
It is unclear whether this would obviate the need for extradition
in some cases, but, if so, this could avoid delay. However, we
assume that extradition will remain necessary in some if not all
30. According to press reports, federal legislation
to allow the extradition of Yugoslav citizens to the ICTY will
not be in place until June-July 2001.
There is no obstacle, however, to the extradition from Yugoslavia
of citizens of other countries,
which has led some to suggest that there can be no legal reason
to delay the extradition of prominent Bosnian Serb indictees.
In fact, these people are likely to have retained Yugoslav citizenship,
although the situation is uncertain. As Misha Glenny told us,
"the Serbian Justice Minister is evidently unclear as to
whether Ratko Mladic is a Yugoslav citizen or not ... I cannot
imagine that either of them [Mladic and Radovan Karadzic] would
have taken out Bosnian citizenship!"
It may therefore be that all indictees currently in Yugoslavia
hold Yugoslav citizenship, which would mean that none of them
will be legally extraditable for several months. We note the first
voluntary surrender to the ICTY by a Yugoslav citizena
Bosnian Serbin March 2001,
and view this as an encouraging development.
31. We appreciate that those accused of war crimes
need to be subject to legal and transparent processes. If several
months are genuinely required to enable extradition, the Yugoslav
authorities will need to take other steps in the meantime to show
that they are co-operating with the ICTY. Allowing the ICTY to
establish an office in Belgrade was a preliminary gesture. Helping
the ICTY to gather evidence and making documents freely available
to the court would be two further such steps. Equally important,
however, will be ensuring that indicted suspects are available
for extraditionor trial by the ICTY in Belgrade as the
case may beas soon as this becomes possible, and that they
are not allowed to escape justice. The whereabouts of Milosevic
are known. Another indicted suspect, Milan Milutinovic, even now
remains in office as President of Serbia. The Yugoslav authorities
have not, however, been able or willing to ensure that Mladic
remains on Yugoslav territory, although he was regularly sighted
until very recently in Belgrade, where he has a home.
Press reports of 21 February 2001 quoted the Serbian Interior
Minister as saying: "we do not have information that he is
in Serbia at all".
This is evidence that, unless measures are taken, the risk is
that indicted suspects will go into hiding or leave Yugoslav territory
before they can be extradited. We recommend that the Government
explore with the Yugoslav authorities ways in which it can be
ensured that those indicted by the ICTY will be available for
trial before the ICTY as soon as the relevant legislation has