Del Ponte criticises Serbia as new Hague trial begins

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Del Ponte criticises Serbia as new Hague trial begins

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As a major war crimes trial begins in The Hague, the UN’s chief prosecutor has heavily criticised Serbia for failing to arrest two key suspects.

Carla del Ponte said it was “scandalous” that Belgrade had not detained and transferred fugitives Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.

The trial is of seven Bosnian Serb officers implicated in the Srebrenica massacre.

Five face genocide charges, the two others are charged with crimes against humanity.

Mladic was the military counterpart to Karadzic, the Bosnian Serbs’ political leader during the Bosnian war.

Prosecutors at The Hague tribunal say they masterminded the slaughter of over 7,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995.

Serbia’s failure to catch them has become a key sticking point in the Balkan state’s bid for EU membership.

The massacre is Europe’s worst atrocity since the Second World War.

Mass graves continue to be excavated. Many bodies will be difficult to identify because they were moved by the army as it tried to cover its tracks.