A bit of Balkan kabuki

The Bulgarians arrested Agim Ceku last week! But then, after a couple of days, they let him go. Serbia is upset.

Who is Agim Ceku, and why should you care?

Well, Agim Ceku is a very important Kosovar Albanian. He was an officer in the Yugoslav army and then, after 1991, he was a commander in the Croatian Army during their war against the Serbs. Then, after that, he was chief of staff of the Kosovar Liberation Army during the 1999 Kosovo War. Later, he was Prime Minister of Kosovo. He’s sort of retired now, or at least politically in eclipse, but he’s still one of the most important political figures in Kosovo.

The Serbs say he’s a war criminal. They have indictments against him for various horrible acts, including genocide. They tried him in absentia for some of them, back in 2002, and convicted him to 20 years in prison. They’ve managed to get an Interpol warrant for his arrest. So, Interpol member states are supposed to assist in capturing Ceku and, if necessary, extradite him to Serbia.

There have been several attempts to do this. None have yet succeeded. The most recent was last week, when Ceku visited Bulgaria. He was stopped at the border, then detained, while a Bulgarian court considered whether to hand him over to Serbia. After a couple of days the Bulgarians decided no, they weren’t going to do that, and Ceku went free. The Serbian government has expressed outrage, outrage! Ceku is still in Bulgaria but should be heading back to Serbia soon.

So why should anyone care?

Well… if you’re not really interested in Balkan politics, perhaps you shouldn’t! But the Ceku case does provide some interesting insights into how Balkan governments paint themselves into corners.

Let’s try this FAQ-style.

Is Agim Ceku a war criminal? — Quite possibly. The war in Croatia was bad; the war in Kosovo was even worse. Both of these were dirty struggles between rival ethnic groups who’d learned to loathe and fear each other. Massacres, terrorist bombings, ethnic cleansing, looting, rape — Serbs massacring whole clans of Albanians, Albanians machine-gunning cafes full of Serbs — it was a bad business all around.

Ceku was a commander in Operation Storm — which led to the ethnic cleansing of a couple of hundred thousand Serbs — and then was a senior KLA commander. I suppose it’s theoretically possible that he could have kept his hands perfectly clean. But, really, it’s not the way to bet. It’s very likely he’s guilty.

What are the chances of convicting him for these crimes? — In a fair trial? Pretty low.

See, most of the witnesses who could prove his guilt? Are Albanian. This means that most of them will be very, very unwilling to testify against him. And even if some might, they’d be subject to — at the least — threats and harassment. So, you could gather a lot of circumstantial evidence easily enough. But proof of guilt to a legal standard? Very hard.

The ICTY tried to do exactly this when it tried Ramush Haradinaj, another senior KLA commander. They made a sincere effort… and failed; they just couldn’t gather enough credible, damning information to prove their case. In which context, it must be noted that the ICTY was considering an indictment against Ceku for years. They never did it, because the case would have been even harder to prove than the one against Haradinaj.

Could Ceku get a fair trial in Serbia?
— Very probably not. Serbia’s judiciary is still pretty feeble. And a jury trial… well, for the last ten years Serb media and government statements have been demonizing the KLA leadership as complete monsters: terrorists, drug dealers, rapists, torturers, vivisectors, pimps, genocidaires. Ceku stands at the center of not one but two of the greatest traumas of recent Serbian history: Operation Storm, the crushing defeat of the Serbs in Croatia, and the Kosovo War four years later. Even ten years later, it would be really hard for Serb institutions to treat him fairly.

What about that trial in 2002? — That’s not to be taken seriously. It was show trial, with no witnesses or evidence presented for the defense. The government of Prime Minister Djindjic was suffering from very low approval ratings, and was trying to prove its nationalist credentials. The District Court in Nish paraded some Serbian refugees in front of the cameras and then “convicted” Ceku, sentencing him to 20 years.

Of course, the idiocy of this process doesn’t make Ceku any less guilty. But it does make it difficult for any Serb government to alter their position on him, since he’s already been formally convicted.

So why wouldn’t the Bulgarians hand him over? They gave various reasons. One was that there wasn’t enough of a factual basis for the warrant. That’s dubious; member countries aren’t really supposed to consider that. (Otherwise, every warrant would be subject to review by every country.) Another was that he had diplomatic immunity. That’s dubious too; he entered Bulgaria as a private person, and his “diplomatic” status was granted by the Kosovar government after his arrest.

The Serbs say it was because the United States put pressure on Bulgaria. This is possible, but unlikely. Now that Kosovo is independent, the US isn’t much worried about Agim Ceku — Kosovo has a rising generation of new politicians, and he’s no longer one of the two or three indispensables.

It seems more likely that Bulgaria let him go because (1) they didn’t want to disrupt relations with Kosovo, and (2) they knew that handing him over to Serbia would be a disaster for all concerned.

A disaster? How so? — Think it through. The capture of Ceku would be huge, immense news inside Serbia, and would capture international attention as well. Serbia would have to put him on trial. (The 2002 trial was so one-sided that it couldn’t be used as a basis for imprisoning him. Anyway, public opinion would demand it!)

Now, pretty much everyone in Serbia is absolutely, morally certain that Ceku is a monster in human form. A trial that ended without a conviction would be a political disaster, quite possibly bringing down the government. On the other hand, a fair trial would probably result in an acquittal. Ceku is probably guilty of some major crimes, but it would probably be impossible to prove this. So basically the government would have to either play fair, acquit, and suffer a massive backblast of public outrage; or cheat, convict him, and suffer broad international condemnation.

Further: putting Ceku on trial would rip open a lot of painful wounds from recent history. Serbia’s current government is not really interested in wound-ripping. (Unlike its last government! But that’s another story.)

And further: it would enrage the Kosovar Albanians and crash the tentative, fragile, and mostly unspoken accord between Prishtina and Belgrade. I don’t think the current government in Prishtina would be quite dumb enough to take revenge on the local Serbs. But I don’t think it’s inconceivable, either. The Tadic government in Belgrade has a pretty clear strategy on Kosovo: keep cool, allow a modest amount of cooperation with the Albanian authorities (without ever conceding that they actually are authorities, mind), protect the Serb minority in Kosovo as much as possible, and try for a legal win at the International Court of Justice. Catching Ceku would be completely disruptive to this.

So then, why are they trying to catch him? — I’m not sure they are, actually.

Oh, they say they are. And every time he walks away from that Interpol warrant — in Slovenia, in Hungary, in Colombia, and now in Bulgaria — they wave their hands in the air and yell about how this is discrimination against Serbia and an outrage against justice, und so weiter.

But they’re not stupid. They can well imagine the consequences if someone were to actually turn him over. So, I strongly suspect that, behind the scenes, they’re not pushing too hard.

Well then, what happens? — Probably nothing. Ceku will continue with his life. He’ll probably be arrested again, but it seems very unlikely anyone will extradite him to Serbia.

So, will Serbia drop the warrant? — Are you kidding? Drop their totally righteous indictment against one of the greatest mass murderers of the age? I don’t think so.

But… — No Serbian government, now or in the next twenty years, will be able to drop that warrant. You know how no Greek government has been able to drop the whole Macedonia name thing, even though everyone outside of Greece knows it’s completely moronic? Well, this is actually much less stupid than that, and quite a bit more painful. So that warrant won’t lapse until either (1) Serbia and Kosovo reach some sort of general settlement — possible, but not for many years to come — or, more likely (2) Agim Ceku dies of old age.

So, we can probably expect “Ceku arrested in [name of country] / Ceku released / Serbia protests!” stories for a while to come.

13 thoughts on “A bit of Balkan kabuki

  1. So, in other words, it’s a useful bloody shirt for all sides to wave as and when needed, right?

  2. Doug, while I agree with your main line of analysis of the “arrest and release” game with Ceku, some of your statements are unfounded. We don’t know for sure if Ceku has really commited any crime. The fact that the wars in Kosovo and Croatia were dirty does not necessary lead to the conclusion that every officer or general involved were criminals. Such conclusions should be viewed with renewed skepticism especially if they generate from a state or society which still adamantly refuses to take it’s large responsibilities in these wars.

    There is something called personal responsibility which in the case of Ceku has yet to be proved. In fact Ceku is much more probable to not have commited anything while beeing in high command during the Kosovo war. The KLA was mainly a guerrila army, decentralized and loosely coupled, with not much of vertical structures and secure chains of command. Back in 99 i always wondered why there were so many generals in an army of more or less 15 thousand troups :). I suggest you go sometime to the mountainous region of Kosovo and north Albania and take a look at a typical village there, with houses (they call them towers there) often kilometers apart from each other. Then maybe you will understand how unrealistic terms like army or command chain are in such rough terrain.

    Anyway, just give some facts or at least some hints other than “the war in Kosovo was dirty”.

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  5. Are you kidding? Who says trials(even in your favorite country, whatever that might be) are fair? Sometimes they are, but not always. Anything you say about Ceku, you could also say about Milosevic or Karadzic. Unless you can link war crimes to direct orders by them, which is your argument.

    And, you really need to get rid of the “I’m better than you and whoever does not agree with my ultrabiased views is a moron” mentality.
    I am not greek for instance, but I see no reason to accomodate a small brainwashed minority, both in land and in population who want to claim the name of a whole area and to do so have to invent a whole new fictional history and ask the world to subscribe to it.
    Plus you cannot speak on behalf of the whole world. Did you ask them, or did they appoint you to represent them?

  6. First of all, there is more than 250.000 of cleansed Serbs from Croatia when Ceku was stuff member of forces who done that. There is more than 1500 of Serbian victims killed in only few days. There is something called command responsibility and every general is guilty if he knew that crimes were committed and done nothing to stop them. There is numerous proofs that they all knew what is going on.

    When it comes to Kosovo and Metohija, no matter they were guerrilla army they must follow the rules of war according to Geneva’s conventions and Protocols added to these conventions, especially Protocol II which is covering civil wars and civilians in the first place. He was commanding officer and he knew for those crimes and done nothing to stop them. Jon, you are right about the sentence “Anything you say about Ceku, you could also say about Milosevic or Karadzic.” but tell me, why were Milosevic and Karadzic in Hague and he is not? Double standards, my friend, double standards and if you are a “friend” of US and other states with big influence in the world AKA if you obey to their demands and follow their orders and doing everything what is in their interest, you are free to do whatever you want, even to commit war crimes and genocide of worst kind. Also, the most important reason why he won’t be extra dict to Serbia is because Albanians were “victims” while Serbs were aggressors on their own soil and in case Ceku is extradicted to Serbia that would be a big slap across US and EU faces for proving that there were no genocide committed against Albanians on Kosovo and Metohija. Bear in mind that from “100.000 missing, feared killed Albanians” the number felt on around 2000 victims including Albanians, Serbs, Gipsies, Turks, Egyptians, Jews, Montenegrins, Croats, Bosnian Muslims during more than one year rebellion (only during 78 days of bombing there was more than 3500 of killed civilians on all sides). I spit on EU and US and so called international laws…

  7. Doug,

    This is one of your poorest writings I have read. It’s so bad it’s hard to know where to begin.

    1.

    You missed a very important detail in that Agim Ceku was the Chief of Staff of the Kosovar Protection Corps. He only left the post after being hand-picked to lead the Kosovar Government in negotiations with Serbia because of the trust that Kosovar Albanians had/have in him. In Kosovo he is known primarily for his role in the establishment and development of the Kosovar Protection Corps. As he was the Prime Minister of Kosovo during the negotiations with Serbia, he did not take part in the general elections and, thus, it is very difficult to measure his political muscle. However, what is clear is that he remains one of the most trusted leaders (not a term I like to use) in Kosovo, not legging far behind President Sejdiu. And, don’t take my word for it. See the opinion polls conducted in December 2008 (over a year since he left the position of the Kosovar Prime Minister):

    http://www.indexkosova.com/fly/?page=6&lang=2

    Therefore, saying that he’s semi-retired or politically in eclipse is, at best, somewhat inaccurate.

    2.

    Serbia accusing someone of genocide? Come on. If you decide to write about this topic then please have the spine to at least ridicule such accusations. The reason why Bulgaria did not extradite General Agim Ceku is because these are politically-motivated charges. I didn’t see any ‘allegedly’ qualifications before any of your statements, which to me seems to be guilt-by-association.

    If you could prove why others, such as General Ademi (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1458247.stm) have been charged by the ICTY whereas General Ceku has not when they both are Kosovar Albanian who fought on the side of the Croatian Army against the Croatian Serb rebellion then you could begin to give a little credibility to your statements. As long as this difference is not completely and reliably explained then these allegations will remain fabrications of the Serbian authorities for, primarily, internal consumption.

    The bottom line is simple: innocent until proven guilty. Serbian authorities have had ample time to provide any evidence of Agim Ceku’s alleged role in war crimes to the ICTY. They can do so even today by lodging files with evidence to the International Criminal Court. While you can write blogs about guilt-by-association, these allegations face a completely different scrutiny in front of a fair and unbiased court. And, you know this. But you still choose to state that ‘it’s very likely he’s guilty.’

    It is also important to know that General Agim Ceku became the Chief of Staff of the Kosovar Liberation Army only in May of 1999, one month or so before the war in Kosovo ended. The war in Kosovo ended on June the 10th, 1999. The machine gun crime in Peja that you mentioned took place in 1998. Of what crimes is he accused of? How can you describe someone as ‘quite possibly’ a war criminal and then provide precious little details – if any? Please, if you want anyone to take you seriously you should provide some tough specific questions for which Agim Ceku has no answers.

    3.

    You wrote that ‘Ceku is still in Bulgaria but should be heading back to Serbia soon.’ I take it you meant Kosovo.

    4.

    Finally, a revealing detail. This piece appears under the heading of terrorism. What does this have to do with terrorism? Is it because you’re adopting the view of the Serbian authorities that the war in Kosovo was a ‘war on terror?’ No conspiracy. I am not accusing you of being pro-Serb or anti-Albanian/anti-Croatian. Nonetheless, I am still curious to know why use the heading of ‘terrorism?’

  8. @ Richard J., yes, that’s about it.

    @ eni and Fidel: Ceku was involved in the war in Croatia from very early; he commanded the attack on the Medak Pocket in 1993, and held high rank during Operation Storm. Then, in Kosovo, he was active in the KLA from 1998 onwards. For a year this consisted of coordination with Croatian and diaspora supporters; he arrived in Kosovo just before the shooting started, in February 1999. His promotion came at the beginning of April.

    The Serbs accuse him of a range of crimes across this whole time period, from the Medak action in 1993 to KLA actions taken against Serb civilians in the aftermath of the ceasefire — a period during which he did, indeed, have command responsibility.

    As to his guilt, obviously we’re never going to know for sure. There are several big differences between suspected KLA war criminals and everyone else’s suspected war criminals — Serbs, Croats, Karadzic and Mladic, etc. One is that the KLA was a guerrilla organization, not a formal government or army. Another is the closed and clannish nature of Kosovar Albanian society in general. And a third is the continuing popularity and political activity of many of these guys, which makes it very difficult for Albanian witnesses to come forward.

    So we’ll never know… but we can make some reasonable suppositions.

    One, atrocities were certainly committed against both captives and civilians at the Medak Pocket. Based on command responsibility alone, Ceku would certainly fall under suspicion.

    Two, Operation Storm was pretty much a string of war crimes from beginning to end. It’s very hard to believe that anyone over the rank of lieutenant came out of it with perfectly clean hands. Ceku was a general and a regional commander. What he actually did… well, the Croats were very good about wiping the files after Operation Storm. If you review the Hague convictions, you’ll notice there are relatively few founded solely on Operations Storm and Lightning. Gotovina, of course, and Markac and Cermak… and that’s about it. And even those trials, which should be slam-dunks for the prosecution (Gotovina was commander of an army that spent a couple of weeks openly and enthusiastically committing a wide variety of crimes) are going very slowly because of lack of hard evidence.

    That said, it’s clear that at a minumum Ceku did nothing to inhibit or prevent crimes against civilians in his command region.

    Three, putting aside the war proper, Ceku was commander of the KLA during the postwar period when thousands of Serbs were driven from their homes, beaten, terrorized or killed, Serb houses were destroyed or stolen, Serb churches were burned, etc. etc. Many of these actions were carried out by KLA members. Ceku was in command, but other than a few very flat public statements about “keeping order”, or that atrocities “could not have been” committed by the KLA, I’m not aware of any actions of his during this period — June to September 1999 — to discourage these attacks. If you know of any, I welcome correction.

    Four — and I put this last because it’s the weakest point — Ceku does not strike me as someone who would have been too worried about the laws of war. I’ve never met the man, but public statements, his personal history and secondhand descriptions all paint a consistent picture. He’s intelligent, disciplined, organized and focused; it’s worth noting that he was a career JNA officer at a time when very few ethnic Albanians were allowed to take that path. On the other hand, it’s pretty clear he’s what the British call a hard man. And he was trained in a JNA tradition that — how can I put this? — did not emphasize careful respect for civilians and captives. He graduated from the Belgrade Military Academy, which produced a healthy crop of war criminals for the Hague, including a couple from his own class.

    The Peja link was thrown in there, not to suggest that Ceku was involved in it, but to help show the general state of affairs in Kosovo by the time the war began. Perhaps this was unclear; if so, my bad.

    As for the terrorism label, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. The KLA’s tactics during most of the conflict were, objectively, terrorist; they included attacks on civilians and on civilian installations. As you know, I’m generally sympathetic to the K-Albanians, and I think the 1999 war was bloody but necessary surgery. But the KLA had not spent the last three years scrupulously attacking only soldiers and military targets while carefully observing the laws of war.

    As for “Serbs accusing someone of genocide”, that’s neither here nor there. ‘A thing may be true even if Lord Halifax says it is true,’

    Doug M.

  9. ‘As to his guilt, obviously we’re never going to know for sure’

    As someone already pointed out, I wonder how this(or the other cases mentioned, Gotovina etc) differs from the case for Karadjic or Milosevic(especially the later). Other than “everybody knows they are guilty”, what is the hard evidence against the other two? Either you are responsible as commander in chief, or you “just had no knowledge of bad things going on”

  10. Doug,

    Thanks for taking the time to get back to us. If you don’t mind, I will continue asking some more questions — some of which were not answered previously.

    1.
    Just as if to prove my previous point, which was not addressed by you, this week new opinion polls showed Agim Ceku as being the most popular politician in Kosovo (see in Albanian: http://www.telegrafi.com/?id=2&a=4754 and http://www.gazetaexpress.com/index.php/artikujt/lexo/10739/C4/C13). Needless to say, this does not prove he is guilty of anything or otherwise, however it does show that at least with regards to this particular topic you are out of touch. You stated that ‘he’s sort of retired now, or at least politically in eclipse’ which is clearly not the case. Don’t take my word for it, look at the opinion polls. My question to you is, if you got this wrong then what else did you also get wrong.

    2.
    I am glad you brought up Operation Medak Pocket. The other question that you did not address can now be asked more directly. Why, in your opinion, was Rrahim Ademi (the spelling is not wrong, in Albanian his name is spelled with double R) indicted – and acquitted – by the ICTY for atrocities committed against Serbs during Operation Medak Pocket but Agim Ceku was not? If one is not able to convincingly answer this question then s/he cannot credibly claim that Agim Ceku was guilty of any crimes. He was not even indicted let alone given the change to prove his innocence. With regards to accusation from within Serbia, of course, they will accuse a military commander who handed them defeats of all sorts of crimes, even genocide for goodness sake.

    3.
    Unless coordination with Croatian and Diaspora supporters constitutes a crime then we can conclude that at least until April-May 1999 Agim Ceku was not charge, hence not directly responsible of any crime.

    4.
    Again, worryingly you use some terms that portray a complete and utter Serb bias. What ‘ceasefire’ are you talking about? You mean the complete and utter military defeat of the Milosevic’s (police, military and paramilitary) forces in Kosovo? Yeah, yeah, I get it. There was a ceasefire, but only for one side to get its troops out of the war zone.

    5.
    Now, post-NATO victory period was sadly and regrettably marked with violence against innocent civilians, mainly of Serbian ethnicity. Was it unexpected considering the circumstances and what took place in Kosovo before and during the war? I am not sure. However, it is should be completely, utterly and unreservedly condemned. The very serious allegation that you are raising is that the perpetrators of these crimes were member of the KLA who were either acting under the orders of Agim Ceku or that Agim Ceku had prior knowledge of these actions and did nothing to prevent them. Now, again, there is precious little detail – if any – of this. If this was true I would be the first one to condemn Agim Ceku, but thus far there is been absolutely no proof. First of all, we need to see proof that the perpetrators were KLA members; that they were active KLA members; that they were under the command of Agim Ceku and moreover that Agim Ceku had knowledge of these crimes and did not prevent them. In spite of all the theories of why there is no evidence against Agim Ceku, I am still puzzled as to how can you conclude that ‘it’s very likely he’s guilty.’ It’s not up to me to prove his innocence; it’s up to those who accuse him of being guilty to prove they point. The man has not even been indicted, not given the chance to prove his innocence, but you still state that it’s very likely he’s guilty. This is astoundingly cavalier. To add insult to injury, you call these ‘reasonable suppositions.’

    6.
    I am astounded that you can come up with statements like this: ‘the Croats were very good about wiping the files after Operation Storm.’ The Kosovar Albanians are, of course, clannish (read: backwards). In other words, there is absolutely no evidence. These really are statements that the likes of Kostunica would be very proud of. If there is not proof then say so, don’t dress it up in Croats did this or Albanians are like that.

    7.
    Without wanting to go off-topic, I would like to address your last point that JNA ‘did not emphasize careful respect for civilians and captives.’ Well, if you search for, say, ‘afghanistan civilians’ on the BBC website some of the top results are the following:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7549272.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7529063.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7503933.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6263796.stm

    You get the picture. Not to mention, Guantanamo Bay or the Abu Ghraib prison. The point I am trying to make is that I find it particularly hard to believe that any army emphasises careful respect for civilians and captives. This is not simply a JNA phenomenon and therefore really does not show or prove anything.

    8.
    Finally, I wanted to make sure in my last post that I am definitely not trying to accuse you or portray you as being anti this or that or pro this or that. The sad reality is that I have read a lot of your posts and agreed with most of what you say, but I normally write back only when I disagree with something. So, I am definitely not accusing you of being biased, however I do strongly regret some of the terms you have used. When, say, the Serbian or Croatian forces attack civilians that’s a war crime, but if KLA did so then it’s terrorism. Just because one uses tanks to murder civilians does not exclude them from being a terrorist and vice versa.

    The point that I am trying to make is that using certain terms that have no clear definition and amount to labelling one side of a conflict is regrettable and rightly raises the question of bias, conscious or otherwise.
    The same can be applied to the term ceasefire. Ceasefire is a term used only by one side of the conflict and denotes that the war is not over. Do you really share that view?

    Related to this is the issue of genocide. If you had the courage to conclude that Agim Ceku was ‘very likely guilty, why don’t you make a similar ‘reasonable supposition’ about the accusation of genocide?

    Best wishes — FP

  11. Interesting discussion.

    One striking example was the discussion on terrorism:
    “When, say, the Serbian or Croatian forces attack civilians that’s a war crime, but if KLA did so then it’s terrorism. Just because one uses tanks to murder civilians does not exclude them from being a terrorist and vice versa”
    By the same token, when one uses planes to bomb
    civilian targets(such as embassies, trains, radio stations and factories, not to mention houses) and expresses regret, but fails to take any measures to avoid such occurences in the future, this was ” bloody but necessary surgery”
    Go figure…

    The second example is how history gets clouded:
    “What ‘ceasefire’ are you talking about? You mean the complete and utter military defeat of the Milosevic’s (police, military and paramilitary) forces in Kosovo? Yeah, yeah, I get it. There was a ceasefire, but only for one side to get its troops out of the war zone.”

    As far as most people understand, Serb forces withdrew from Kossovo after 80 days of bombing
    (which produced relatively few military casualties and much more crippling economic/civilian damages) under the Ahtisaari plan, which had promised that Kossovo would remain part of Yugoslavia…(Yes, the same Ahtisaari who later recommened “supervised independence”)

    I am also at a loss as who actually carried out
    the “post-NATO … violence against innocent civilians, mainly of Serbian ethnicity”.
    Since it is not proven that
    ” the perpetrators of these crimes were member of the KLA who were either acting under the orders of Agim Ceku or that Agim Ceku had prior knowledge of these actions and did nothing to prevent them”, one must conclude that these acts were carried out by ghosts. The same ghosts that carried out similar acts all over Yugoslavia without any proof that Mr. Milosevic, Tudzman, Karadzic, Mladic, Thaci, Ceku or any of the rest of the ex-Yugoslavia
    great leaders had any knowledge or control over these ghosts.

  12. > One was that there wasn’t enough of a factual basis for the warrant. That’s dubious; member countries aren’t really supposed to consider that. (Otherwise, every warrant would be subject to review by every country.)

    That’s exactly that :
    http://www.interpol.int/Public/Wanted/Default.asp

    > The persons concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions (or the International Criminal Tribunals, where appropriate) and Interpol’s role is to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition.

    Interpol warrant aren’t legaly recognized, they are juste a notice of “we want this guy”, not real warrant. And if there isn’t a billateral agreement between the two countries for extradition, it doesn’t help much.

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