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Mladic's arrest and the ICTY completion strategy

It is all over the news that one of two remaining ICTY fugitives, Ratko Mladic,  was arrested today in Serbia. It is expected that the legal procedures concerning his transferral to The Hague will take about a week. The first indictment against him was confirmed by Judge Jorda on 25 July 1995, so his arrest comes almost 16 years after. He is accused of having played a key role in the July 1995 massacres in Srebrenica, during which at least 7,500 men and boys were killed.

His arrest comes at a crucial point for the negotiations regarding Serbia’s integration process into the European Union.

Although  the charges against Karadzic and Mladic have largely a common base and the ICTY Completion Strategy requires the tribunal to bring its work to an end in the few coming years, it is unlikely that these cases will be joined. The OTP started presenting evidence in the Karadzic case on April 2010, so that time difference would make joining cases rather difficult. For the ICTY Completion Strategy this arrest means that the work of the tribunal will be postponed for at least another year.

With Karadzic and Mladic on the dock the ICTY has managed to bring to account most of the high profile civilian and military leaders responsible for the crimes committed during the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

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