Statement by the prosecutor following the arrest of Momcilo Krajisnik on 3 April 2000
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, welcomes the latest apprehension by the NATO led Stabilization Force (SFOR) following the detention today of the accused Momcilo Krajisnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She acknowledges the key role that SFOR troops are playing in bringing indicted persons to justice.
Momcilo Krajisnik as President of the Bosnian Serb Assembly between October 1991 and November 1995, is the highest-ranking political figure to be apprehended so far by the Tribunal. His arrest is therefore an extremely significant development and demonstrates the Prosecutor's strategy of indicting persons at the topmost levels of responsibility.
The accused Momcilo Krajisnik was indicted by the Prosecutor on 21 February 2000 and the indictment, together with the arrest warrant, was kept confidential following the confirmation by a Judge of this Tribunal on 26 February 2000. The indictment alleges that between 1 July 1991 and 31 December 1992, the accused Momcilo Krajisnik, together with Radovan Karadzic and others, was responsible for the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws and customs of war and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, which were committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina during that period.
The Prosecutor would like to make two observations: first, that an indictment such as this deals with the individual criminal responsibility of leaders; it is not directed at the Bosnian Serbs collectively. Secondly, the Prosecutor calls upon the international community to insist on the apprehension and surrender of all other indicted accused. In particular the Prosecutor calls for the apprehension of Radovan Karadzic who should stand trial jointly with the accused Momcilo Krajisnik.