Right on the New Year’s eve, Serbia Minister of Justice Vladan Batic sent a letter addressed to the leaders of the Hague Tribunal (the letter was highly likely sent just to save face). And finally, reaction to the letter followed. Official spokeswoman of the Tribunal, Florance Artman declared that Belgrade authorities carried out the “policy of obstruction” with respect to the Hague Tribunal. She accused the Yugoslav committee for cooperation with the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia of the failure “to give responses to a number of inquiries sent by the Tribunal” concerning arrest and extradition of the accused, and also concerning access to witnesses and to the Yugoslavian archives.
A interview with Florance Artman was published in Podgorica’s Publika. The Tribunal spokeswoman once again mentioned that the mandate of the Serbia President Milan Milutinovic had expired long ago, which made Milutinovic an ordinary Serbian citizen. The Hague is looking forward to the soonest extradition of Milutinovic to the Tribunal, and it also mentions the statement of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic saying that Milan Milutinovic would be arrested if he refused to surrender to the Tribunal on his own will.
Making some kind of a curtsey toward Belgrade, Florance Artman added that the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia would verify whether the Croatian side was honest when declared that General Janko Bobetko wasn’t extradited to the Hague because of his poor health. She said that on the whole the Tribunal was “satisfied with cooperation with Croatia.”
The Croatia leadership is remarkable for the desire to stand up for its people no matter what kind of men they are in fact. Can you imagine Zoran Djindjic saying Carla del Ponte that President Milutinovic won’t be delivered to the Tribunal because of his critically poor health? No, Djindjic is sure to say quite opposite words; Milutinovic will be delivered to the Tribunal no matter what the state of his health is. And local mass media will give him support.
Former Serbia President Milan Milutinovic said in an interview to RTS television that he was afraid of extradition to the Hague. He says he won’t resist if he gets a necessary order. Milutinovic adds that he doesn’t consider himself guilty of crimes against humanity of which the Hague Tribunal accuses him.